Kyrie Eleison

Music by Kathleen Karlsen

Lyrics: Kyrie, Kyrie, Kyrie Eleison


Meaning: A chant of mercy beginning in pagan traditions, later adopted into Jewish rituals and brought into the Christian tradition in the 5th century. “Kyrie” is a transliteration from Greek into Latin and is usually translated as “Lord.” The full translation is “Lord, have mercy.”

The expression was used as an acclamation in Roman times in both religious and civil ceremonies. In this context, the phrase was proclaiming the benevolence and mercy of the Roman emperor.


In the early Christian usage, it was often followed by "Christe eleison," meaning "Christ, have mercy." These phrases were often sung as call and response between a priest and the congregation. This practice continues today in many Catholic masses, though often the English translation is used.

Kyrie Eleison (Solo)Kathleen Karlsen
00:00 / 08:13

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Music by Kathleen Karlsen

Learn more about chanting and mantras! More info available on the BOOK page. 186 pages, $15.95

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