litany

litany c.1200, from O.Fr. letanie and directly from M.L. letania, L.L. litania (Cf. Sp. letania, It. litania), from Gk. litaneia "litany, an entreating," from lite "prayer, supplication, entreaty," of unknown origin. From notion of monotonous enumeration of petitions in Christian prayer services came generalized sense of "repeated series," early 19c., borrowed from French.
For those who know the Greek words, a litany is a series of prayers, a liturgy is a canon of public service; the latter in practice includes prayer, but does not say so. [Fowler]

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Litany — • A form of responsive prayer, used in public liturgical services and private devotions Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Litany     Litany      …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Litany — Johannes Chrysostomos Genre Musique contemporaine Musique …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Litany — Studioalbum von Vader Veröffentlichung 2000 Label Metal Blade Records …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • litany — litany, liturgy A litany (from Greek litē ‘prayer’) is a prayer couched in the form of a sequence of petitions. It has a figurative use in expressions such as a litany of curses or woes. A liturgy (from Greek leitourgia ‘public service, public… …   Modern English usage

  • Litany — Lit a*ny (l[i^]t [.a]*n[y^]), n.; pl. {Litanies} (l[i^]t [.a]*n[i^]z). [OE. letanie, OF. letanie, F. litanie, L. litania, Gr. litanei a, fr. litaney ein to pray, akin to li tesqai, li ssesqai, to pray, lith prayer.] A solemn form of supplication… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • litany — [n] recital of items, often part of religious services account, catalogue, enumeration, invocation, list, petition, prayer, recitation, refrain, repetition, supplication, tale; concepts 278,368 …   New thesaurus

  • litany — ► NOUN (pl. litanies) 1) a series of petitions used in church services, usually recited by the clergy and responded to by the people. 2) a tedious recital. ORIGIN Greek litaneia prayer , from lit supplication …   English terms dictionary

  • litany — [lit′ n ē] n. pl. litanies [ME letanie < OFr < LL(Ec) litania < Gr(Ec) litaneia < Gr litanos, pleading < litē, a request] 1. a series of fixed invocations and responses, used as a prayer 2. any dreary or repetitive recital or… …   English World dictionary

  • Litany — A litany, in Christian worship, is a form of prayer used in church services and processions, and consisting of a number of petitions. The word comes from the Latin litania , from the Greek λιτή ( litê ), meaning prayer or supplication .For the… …   Wikipedia

  • Litany —    Form of responsorial prayer in which the leader makes varying invocations, which are answered with a consistent refrain:    Holy Mary, Mother of God . . . Pray for us.    Saint Michael . . . Pray for us.    Saints Peter and Paul . . . Pray for …   Historical dictionary of sacred music

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