The prayer for the souls of benefactors said before the
sermon; a relic of this remains in the prayer used in cathedrals,
university churches, etc. Bidding is from bead or bede.
(Anglo-Saxon, biddan, to pray for the souls of benefactors.) (See Beadsman.)
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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