of·​fer·​to·​ry | \ ˈȯ-fər-ˌtȯr-ē How to pronounce offertory (audio) , ˈȯ-fə-, ˈä- \
plural offertories

Definition of offertory

1 often capitalized
a : the eucharistic offering of bread and wine to God before they are consecrated
b : a verse from a Psalm said or sung at the beginning of the offertory
2a : the period of collection and presentation of the offerings of the congregation at public worship
b : a musical composition played or sung during an offertory

Examples of offertory in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web There are similar challenges in the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., where in-person attendance is roughly a quarter of pre-pandemic levels and offertory revenue is down about 10% after plunging 30% early in the outbreak. David Crary, Star Tribune, "Amid pandemic challenges, houses of worship show resiliency," 3 Oct. 2020 About 60% of the parish’s offertory transactions come electronically, and 52% of its members give online, the top figures in the Archdiocese of Baltimore. Jonathan M. Pitts,, "Beyond the collection plate: These Maryland churches are preaching the value of electronic giving," 6 Dec. 2019 Stanley also served as an offertory collector during weekly Mass for many years., "Stanley W. Lesinski," 17 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'offertory.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of offertory

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for offertory

Middle English offertorie, from Medieval Latin offertorium, from Late Latin offerre

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Time Traveler for offertory

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The first known use of offertory was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Offertory.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for offertory



English Language Learners Definition of offertory

: the offering of bread and wine to God as part of the Communion ceremony during a Christian church service
: a verse from a psalm that is said or sung at the beginning of the Offertory
: the part of a Christian church service during which offerings of money are collected

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