lit·​ur·​gy ˈli-tər-jē How to pronounce liturgy (audio)
plural liturgies
often capitalized : a eucharistic rite
: a rite or body of rites prescribed for public worship
a baptismal liturgy
: a customary repertoire of ideas, phrases, or observances

Examples of liturgy in a Sentence

studying the liturgies of different religions He was studying Christian liturgy.
Recent Examples on the Web Encompassing different oral and written styles, the Pyramid Texts likely were funerary liturgies that priests would have uttered to help the royal deceased reach an afterlife in the sky. Smithsonian Magazine, 17 Oct. 2023 The focus is usually on pets, though St. John the Divine’s Episcopal service is especially spectacular, with all kinds of creatures participating in a liturgy that includes a procession into the sanctuary, followed by blessings of individual animals outside. Mary Dzon, The Conversation, 3 Oct. 2023 Prayers for sustenance are part of the liturgy, alongside those for peace, long life and forgiveness. Sonja Sharp, Los Angeles Times, 15 Sep. 2023 The vernacular liturgy, the modern angular church architecture, the emphasis on amity with other Christian churches and other faiths that came after Vatican II were all a good fit with the populous, influential, flexible, and prosperous American Church. Paul Elie, The New Yorker, 18 Sep. 2023 His funeral Mass was the morning after the first Republican presidential debate this year, and just about everything about that liturgy seemed to contrast with much of our politics today. Kathryn Jean Lopez, National Review, 28 Aug. 2023 Powell, of the Natural Beekeeping Trust, compared it to a church of conventional beekeeping, complete with its own liturgy and rituals, such as the National Honey Show. Sam Knight, The New Yorker, 21 Aug. 2023 The ordination liturgy was also attended by Bishop Steven Raica, head of the Diocese of Birmingham, and his predecessor, retired Bishop Robert Baker. Greg Garrison | , al, 27 June 2023 Reform congregations tend to emphasize prophetic themes such as social justice more than Talmudic law, though in recent years many have reclaimed some rituals, such as Hebrew liturgy and stricter observance of Shabbat. Joshua Shanes, Fortune, 19 June 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'liturgy.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Late Latin liturgia, from Greek leitourgia public service, from Greek (Attic) leïton public building (from Greek laos — Attic leōs — people) + -ourgia -urgy

First Known Use

1560, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of liturgy was in 1560

Dictionary Entries Near liturgy

Cite this Entry

“Liturgy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


lit·​ur·​gy ˈlit-ər-jē How to pronounce liturgy (audio)
plural liturgies
: a religious rite or body of rites

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