TABOR - Tradition and Contemporaneity in the Romanian Orthodox Church
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"Let my prayer ..." in the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts. Prokeimenon or antiphon?


In the byzantine tradition, singing psalms represent the major contents of the cult, hymnographical poetry being relatively poor. Today, psalms are found in the content of lauds, and of the divine liturgy. In the byzantine cathedral tradition, however, the psalm book was not divided into kathismas as today, but in antiphons. There are two ways to chant: responsorial psalmody and antiphonal psalmody. Over time, the importance of these types of chant would also be noticed through the fact that through these choruses or answers that were sung at different times of public worship, the whole community was involved in a conjoint liturgical singing and praying. Nowadays we see a downfall of old traditions, which ultimately affects even the communal participation in liturgical prayer. To highlight and illustrate this deviation in byzantine chant, we resorted, in this text, to analyzing psalm 140, 2: "Let my prayer ...", of the Presanctified Liturgy, in order to differenciate between the two types of chant (antiphonal and responsorial) and to demonstrate that this song of the liturgy is a prokeimenon and not an antiphon.


Keywords: worship, liturgy, prokeimenon, antiphon, psalm 140, 2, byzantine psalmody