I want to properly typeset the versicle and response symbols. The versicle symbol looks like this:

versicle symbol

and the response symbol is the same but with "R" instead of "V".

The Comprehensive LaTeX Symbol List provides a solution which requires XeLaTeX and the Junicode font, but is there a way to properly typeset the symbols using pdfLaTeX (i.e. is there a package which provides the symbols)? If not, what is the best way to construct the symbols manually?

I managed to construct something that looks like a versicle with

\newcommand{\versicle}{$\mathbf{\not{\mkern -3mu \mathrm{V}}}$}

but I'm not skilled at constructing symbols and I know that's not right.

I'm open to using XeLaTeX or LuaLaTeX if necessary to properly typeset these symbols but I'd like to know if there is a good way to do it with pdfLaTeX.

An example of the use of these symbols can be found in, e.g., Wikipedia's article on the Tantum ergo:

Example usage of versicle/response

  • Are rthey symbols for maths relations, or binary relations?
    – Bernard
    Jul 1, 2019 at 20:05
  • @Bernard No, I used math mode simply so I could use \not for the slash. My code is very much a hack, just to demonstrate that I tried to make my own but lack the skill/knowledge to do it.
    – Null
    Jul 1, 2019 at 20:15
  • 1
    ℣ and ℟ are Unicode charaters
    – Geremia
    Jan 16, 2022 at 2:48

4 Answers 4


A poorman’s version:









enter image description here

You may need to fine tune the parameters for a different font.


Here is a possibility with stackengine.

\documentclass[border = 6pt]{standalone}
\newcommand{\versicle}{\kern-0.25em \stackinset{r}{0.33ex}{c}{}{\rotatebox{-30}{\normalsize$\rceil$}}{V}}

\newcommand{\response}{\kern-0.25em\stackinset{r}{0.35ex}{c}{}{ \rotatebox{-30}{\normalsize$\rceil$}}{R}}


 A \versicle B \quad C \response D 


enter image description here

  • That looks a lot better than mine, +1! The symbols aren't used in math mode, though, so I'd have \versicle and \response enter and exit math mode as part of the marco. I added an example of the use of the symbols to my question to better show the usage.
    – Null
    Jul 1, 2019 at 20:51
  • Beware the code used some math kerning, so you'd have to convert it to ordinary kerning (and change the unit – mu is a unit specifically for math kerning.
    – Bernard
    Jul 1, 2019 at 21:39
  • I've updated my answer for text mode. The code is simpler. Please see if it's fine for you.
    – Bernard
    Jul 1, 2019 at 21:55
  • How did I miss this question? LOL! +1 for stackengine Jul 2, 2019 at 10:39
  • 1
    @StevenB.Segletes: it's my favourite tool to make new symbols out of other symbols…
    – Bernard
    Jul 2, 2019 at 10:48

℣ (U+2123) and ℟ (U+211F) are Unicode characters, so use a font that has these characters (e.g., Noto Serif):

\setmainfont{<name of font with these characters>}

Or you can specify a fallback font, where Nimbus Roman lacks ℣ and ℟, so we use Noto Serif's:

\usepackage{fontspec, newunicodechar} 
\setmainfont{Nimbus Roman}
\newfontfamily{\fallbackfont}{Noto Serif}

courtesy: "Define fallback font for specific Unicode characters in LuaLaTeX"

See page 297 of The Comprehensive LaTeX Symbol List (5 May 2021 rev.).


There is a very simple way to do that: using "gregorio" in LualaTex:

% !TEX TS-program = lualatex

\usepackage[bitstream-charter]{mathdesign}%I like this font, but you can use another font.




enter image description here


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