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Alternate chanting. A psalm or hymn alternately sung by two choirs. A form of chant introduced in the West about A.D.500, displacing the responsorial form. Antiphons are also short verses sung before and after a psalm or canticle to determine its musical mode or to provide the key to the liturgical or mystical meaning. Antiphons may be from the psalm that follows, or from the mystery or feast, or mixed from both. A "double" antiphon is using the entire antiphon before and after a psalm; "announcing" the antiphon is using it only at the beginning of the psalm in choral singing or recitation. (Etym. Greek anti, opposite of + phone, voice: antiphona.)
All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.