Sticheron

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A '''sticheron''' (plural: stichera) is a type of hymn used in the [[services]] of the [[daily cycle]], while a ''sticherarion'' is a book containing the stichera for the morning and evening services throughout the year. Stichera are also found in the ''[[Menaion]]'' and ''[[Octoechos]]''.  This word should not be confused with a [[sticharion]] (a kind of [[vestments|vestment]]).
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Traditionally, stichera are most often sung in the sticheraric form of the modal music which is canonical in the Orthodox Church.  With the advent of harmonized, polyphonic, non-modal music in some Orthodox churches, the traditional forms have been lost.  In [[Byzantine chant]], sticheraric modes are of "medium" speed (slower than [[irmologic]] but faster than [[papadic]]), with each syllable often having two or three notes in its singing.  The sticheraric mode is most often used for singing stichera, but it is not exclusive to it.
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In some traditions, the sticheraric mode has been reserved mainly for the services of [[Sunday]]s or [[feast day]]s., and the irmologic mode has been substituted for singing stichera at the daily services.
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==Usage==
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Stichera are commonly written in cycles on particular themes or for use in particular liturgical contexts. Examples of such themes include:
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*The Beatitudes
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*Particular [[saint]]s ("stichera aposticha")
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*The [[Resurrection]]
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Examples of liturgical contexts where stichera are commonly used include:
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*[[Vespers]] (the evening office)
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*The [[Litia]]
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*The Praises (at the end of [[Orthros]], the morning office)
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Stichera are usually sung in alternation with verses from the [[Psalter|Psalms]] or other [[Holy Scripture|scriptural]] sources. In liturgical books, they are designated as having a particular [[tone]].
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Settings of stichera are frequently found in recordings of Orthodox liturgical music, some by well known composers.
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[[Category:Hymnography]]
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Revision as of 03:38, June 10, 2008

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