Is 'Kyrie, Eleison' Greek or Latin?

Is 'Kyrie, Eleison' Greek or Latin?

As part of our "Ask Pastor Dave" blog post series, a parishioner wrote in to ask... 

Question: In the worship folder, you indicate that “Kyrie, eleison” is Greek for “Lord, have mercy.” I thought it was Latin. Can you clear this up for me?

Pastor’s response:

In the Latin Mass of the Roman Catholic Church, the Kyrie is actually a transliterated version of the Greek — from the Greek New Testament. They are the only Greek words in the official Latin versions of the Mass.

Κύριε, ἐλέησον

transliterated: Kyrie, eleison

translated: Lord, have mercy

Χριστέ, ἐλέησον

transliterated: Christe eleison

translated: Christ, have mercy

In Latin, “Lord have mercy” would be rendered:

Domine miserere nobis.

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