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What is the history of the Kyrie?


Question: What is the history of the Kyrie?
Answer: The Kyrie dates all the way back to 4th century Jerusalem and pagan antiquity. In the 5th century, Pope Gelasius I substituted a litany for the Common Prayer of the Church with the Kyrie as the people's response.

Pope Gregory I took the litany and struck out the unnecessary words and said that only "Kyrie eleison" and "Christe eleison" shall be sung, "in order that we may concern ourselves with these supplications at greater length."

In the 8th century, The Ordo of St. Amand set the limit at nine repetitions (which is still commonly used today), beyond that was obviously redundant.

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