In the old system of reading Holy Scripture in Divine Service, short selections from different books of the Bible were read successively, with short Anthems being sung after each, which were called "responds." This responsory system of reading Holy Scripture is still retained in its old form in the case of the Ten Commandments when read in the Communion service. One of the principal changes made in revising the Prayer-book in 1549 was the setting forth of longer Lessons with responsory canticles sung at the end only. Thus the respond to the First Morning Lesson is the Te Deum, and the respond to the Second Lesson is the Benedictus, etc.

American Church Dictionary and Cyclopedia. — New York, Thomas Whittaker. . 1901.

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