Find accurate definitions of over 5,000 Catholic terms and phrases (including abbreviations). Based on Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.
The vocal melody belonging to a liturgical office and forming an integral part of the sacred function. Liturgical chant differs from sacred music in that the latter may adorn a religious service without absolutely belonging to it. Chants are monodic, usually diatonic. Their form ranges from the simple musical recitation of a text to the most elaborate and expressive melodies. (Etym. Latin cantare, to sing.)