Stichēron (Gk., from stichos: ‘verse’, ‘psalm verse’)
- Gerda Wolfram
(Gk., from stichos: ‘verse’, ‘psalm verse’)
A hymn of the Byzantine rite sung between the verses of psalms by two choirs in alternation. Collections of stichēra are contained in the Stichērarion. Stichēra are poetic strophes that belong to the genre of troparia (see Troparion), the oldest part of the Byzantine repertory. Such troparia are preserved in the stichēraria for the Offices of Christmas and Epiphany, and for the Great Offices of Good Friday. Many stichēra in liturgical books of the 10th century onwards were probably written in the 8th century or even earlier.
At Hesperinos stichēra are inserted between the closing verses of the psalm complex kyrie ekekraxa (Psalms cxl, cxli, cxxix and cxvi). The evening hymn, Phōs hilaron, is followed by the stichēra aposticha, a selection of stichēra with a single psalm verse and concluding doxology. At Orthros stichēra are inserted into the final verses of hoi ainoi, the ‘Lauds’ psalms (Psalms cxlviii–cl). A ...