AskDefine | Define pericope

User Contributed Dictionary



From late Latin pericope, from Greek περικοπή ‘section’, from peri- + κοπή ‘cutting’, from κόπτειν ‘to cut’.




  1. A section of text, especially a passage of Scripture to be read in public worship.
    The reader looked up the Sunday morning pericope.
    The oldest know system of pericopes in the Western Church is ascribed to Jerome.


  • The Lutheran Cyclopedia, 1954, 1975 Concordia Publishing House, St Louis p 614.

Extensive Definition

A pericope () (Greek , "a cutting-out") in rhetoric is a set of verses which form one coherent unit or thought, thus forming a short passage suitable for public reading from a text, now usually of sacred scripture.
Manuscripts, often illuminated, called Pericopes, are normally abbreviated Gospel Books only containing the sections of the Gospels required for the Masses of the liturgical year. Notable examples, both Ottonian, are the Pericopes of Henry II and the Salzburg Pericopes.
Lectionaries are normally made up of pericopes containing the Epistle and Gospel readings for the liturgical year. A pericope consisting of passages from different parts of a single book, or from different books of the Bible, and linked together into a single reading is called a concatenation.
pericope in German: Perikope
pericope in Spanish: Perícopa
pericope in French: Péricope
pericope in Interlingua (International Auxiliary Language Association): Pericope
pericope in Italian: Pericope
pericope in Polish: Perykopa
pericope in Portuguese: Perícopa
pericope in Finnish: Perikooppi
pericope in Swedish: Perikop
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