1. Gradale, gradual, that which follows in degree, or the next step (gradus) after the epistle, a book containing the Order of Benediction of Holy Water, the Offices, Introit, or beginning of the Mass, the Kyrie, Gloria, Alleluia, Prose; Tract, Sequence, Creed, Offertory, Sanctus, Agnus Dei, and Communion and Post-Communion which pertain to the choir in singing solemn mass. In France it denotes the Antiphonar, which was set on the gradus or analogium.
2. A verse or response, varying with the day; a portion of a psalm sung between the Epistle and Gospel while the deacon was on his way to the rood-loft. Their introduction into the Church is attributed variously to Celestine, 430, St. Ambrose, Gelasilus, 490, or Gregory the Great, c. 600, who arranged the responses in order in his "Antiphonar." Rabanus says the name is derived from the custom of singing the grail on the steps of the ambon or pulpit; but others consider it to be taken from the responsory, gradation, or succession, or the altar-step. These verses were formerly chanted, either by a single voice or in chorus. When the chanter sang to the end tractim, they were called the Tract; but when he was interrupted by the choir, then the name was a Verse, Responsory, or Anthem.