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offertory[Lat.,=offering], in the Roman Catholic MassMass,
religious service of the Roman Catholic Church, which has as its central act the performance of the sacrament of the Eucharist. It is based on the ancient Latin liturgy of the city of Rome, now used in most, but not all, Roman Catholic churches. The term Mass [Lat.
..... Click the link for more information. and in derived liturgical forms, the preparation of bread and wine on the altar and their formal offering to God. It takes place after the gospel and the creed and before the preface. A short psalm verse from Scriptures is appointed to be said or sung at the beginning; it varies from day to day. This is called the offertory verse. From ancient times it has been customary to collect the alms of the worshipers about the time of the offertory, hence the term has been transferred to the collection taken up in services in Protestant churches and to the music played or sung during the collection. The choice of this selection is usually left to the musicians of the church, and in many Protestant churches the offertory is the choir's principal musical selection in the service.
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1. the oblation of the bread and wine at the Eucharist
2. the offerings of the worshippers at this service
3. the prayers said or sung while the worshippers' offerings are being received
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005