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 vestment).
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.
Stichera are commonly written in cycles on particular themes or for use in particular liturgical contexts. Examples of such themes include:
Examples of liturgical contexts where stichera are commonly used include:
Settings of stichera are frequently found in recordings of Orthodox liturgical music, some by well known composers.