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1. A devotional composition sung responsively as part of a liturgy.
a. A short liturgical text chanted or sung responsively preceding or following a psalm, psalm verse, or canticle.
b. Such a text formerly used as a response but now rendered independently.
3. A response; a reply: "It would be truer ... to see [conservation] as an antiphon to the modernization of the 1950s and 1960s" (Raphael Samuel).

[Late Latin antiphōna, sung responses; see anthem.]


1. (Ecclesiastical Terms) a short passage, usually from the Bible, recited or sung as a response after certain parts of a liturgical service
2. (Ecclesiastical Terms) a psalm, hymn, etc, chanted or sung in alternate parts
3. any response or answer
[C15: from Late Latin antiphōna sung responses, from Late Greek, plural of antiphōnon (something) responsive, from antiphōnos, from anti- + phōnē sound]


(ˈæn təˌfɒn)

1. a verse, prayer, or song to be chanted or sung in response.
2. a text recited or sung before or after some part of the liturgical service.
[1490–1500; < Medieval Latin antiphōna responsive singing < Greek, neuter pl. of antíphōnos sounding in answer]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.antiphon - a verse or song to be chanted or sung in responseantiphon - a verse or song to be chanted or sung in response
church music, religious music - genre of music composed for performance as part of religious ceremonies
gradual - (Roman Catholic Church) an antiphon (usually from the Book of Psalms) immediately after the epistle at Mass


[ˈæntɪfən] Nantífona f


[ˈæntɪfən] n (Rel) → antifona
References in classic literature ?
Then again there is Lysanias of Sphettus, who is the father of Aeschines--he is present; and also there is Antiphon of Cephisus, who is the father of Epigenes; and there are the brothers of several who have associated with me.
Angelo; the antiphon Regina Coeli which the Catholic church sings
28) See my "Easter Monday Antiphons and the Perigrinus Play," Kirehenmusikalisches Jahrbuch 61-62 (1977-78): 29-46, examples 2-7, and Rankin, 1:218; 2:133-34, 137-38, 143, 147, 151.
Bach's Passacaglia, Fugue in G Major and Fugue in G Minor; Two Antiphons by Marcel Dupre; Prelude, Fugue and Variation, Opus 18 by Cesar Franck; Berceuse by Louis Vierne; and Variations on "Amazing Grace" for English horn and organ by Calvin Hampton.
62) The Latin Improperia chanted during the veneration of the cross on Good Friday, the Advent hymn Veni Immanuel, and the so-called "O" Antiphons still describe Christ as the one who appeared to Moses and led Israel out of captivity.
16 contains antiphons and Magnificat intonations, together with chapters and collects, for use by the officiant at Vespers, (24) while the Mass antiphoner, MS 52.
In fact it was as a composer that I first registered his name - as the creator oiOAdoni, one of the set of "O" antiphons commissioned by Ex Cathedra a few years ago -before I suddenly noticed I was seeing it all over the place.
Sections were linked with the plainsong versions of the great Marian antiphons.
Particularly in the case of lay participation, which we clearly have in the processions of Candlemas and Palm Sunday at least, for these identifications to have much meaning the participants need to understand at least the heart of the Latin orations and antiphons that drive them.
The multiple settings of the four Marian antiphons reflect the popularity of these texts and their importance in the liturgy as, to a lesser extent, does the series of Te Deum settings.
There are few prayers more evocative than the 0 Antiphons of Advent.
Many years ago, Monsignor Edward Ronan of happy memory, would come to Toronto's Seminary to rehearse Tenebrae, the beautiful antiphons for the chanting of the Office (what we now call the Prayer of the Church) in Holy Week.