Christian Cyclopedia

About the Cyclopedia


(Lat. offertorium). Originally the offertory was the 1st liturgical act of the missa* fidelium. It was the offering of one's self through prayer and supplication, supplemented by placing on the altar gifts that might be used as sacramental elements (bread and wine), or used in the agape (see Agape, 2), or given to the poor. In the Middle Ages the offertory as an act of the people was replaced by sacerdotal ceremonies and prayers of different character. These anticipated the consecration and the sacrifice of the mass* and became the “Little Canon” by the 14th c. During the various ceremonies a choral group sang a Psalm and antiphon* in Gregorian chant (see Gregorian Music). Each Sunday and feast or festival day had its own offertory (see also Propers). Since these offertories were usually short, further musical settings were added later, including motets, songs, and organ compositions. In 1593 G. P. da Palestrina* issued 68 offertories for the whole yr. In the 18th and 19th c. organ offertories were written by F. A. Guilmant,* C. C. Saint-Saens,* C. M. Widor,* et al. In It. such organ music was called elevazióne in reference to the elevation.* The Luth. Ch. refused to adopt the RC view of the offertory. M. Luther* was willing to drop the offertory entirely and begin the liturgy of Holy Communion with the preface.* But many did not follow him in this. In the 17th c. Georg Winer's (1583–1651) “Schaffe in mir, Gott, ein reines Herze” became popular as an offertory. Some used penitential hymns, hymns of praise, and Lenten hymns as the offertory. Some used the exhortation in place of the offertory. But the exhortation and penitential and Lenten hymns were not readily accepted by those who stressed the joyful eucharistic nature of the service. “Create in Me a Clean Heart, O God,” sung to a melody from hymns assoc. with J. A. Freylinghausen,* is widely used. Plain chant settings of Psalm texts are also used. See also Ambrosian Music. WEB

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

Internet Version Produced by
The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod

Original Editions ©Copyright 1954, 1975, 2000
Concordia Publishing House
All rights reserved.

Content Reproduced with Permission

Stay Connected! Join the LCMS Network:

Contact Us Online
(Staff Switchboard)
(Church Info Center)
1333 S Kirkwood Rd
Saint Louis, MO 63122-7226 | Directions


Featured Publication

The Lutheran Witness

LCMS Communications

Interpreting the contemporary world from a Lutheran Christian perspective.
Visit TLW Online