Glossary

Come across a term in the world of cathedral music and want to know what it means? It might be in our glossary.

If it's not there, send us the term by email to glossary@cathedralmusictrust.org.uk and we'll look into adding it to the list.

TermDescription
AnglicanChurch of England, although the ‘Anglican Communion’ is the protestant church throughout the world. The Church of Ireland is a part of the Anglican Communion, for example.
AntiphonA short sentence sung before or after a psalm or canticle. There are particular ones for special seasons, e.g. Christmas and Easter.
CanticlesThese are sung at Matins (Te Deum, Jubilate, Benedicite), Eucharist (Gloria, Sanctus, Benedictus and Agnus Dei) and Evensong (Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis).
CollectsSpecial prayers for every week and season, said daily.
ComplineA night prayer of monastic origin.
CongregationThe 'audience' or participants in a church or cathedral service, not the priests or choir.
CurateAny priest who has ‘cure’ of souls in a particular place, normally a parish; a junior priest.
IntroitA psalm or antiphon sung before the choir enters the cathedral, usually unaccompanied by the organ.
LiturgyThis is the particular set of words, music, and actions used during services and other ceremonies.
SATBAcronym for soprano, alto, tenor, bass, ie a four-part choir. An eight-part choir would be SSAATTBB.
VergerAn official in a cathedral who acts as an attendant during services and who often has other caretaking duties.