- Proper (liturgy)
The Proper (Latin "proprium") is a part of the
Christian liturgythat varies according to the date, either representing an observance within the Liturgical Year, or of a particular saintor significant event. The term is used in contrast to the "ordinary", which is that part of the liturgy that is reasonably constant, or at least selected without regard to date, or to the " common", which contains those parts of the liturgy that are common to an entire category of saints, such as Apostlesor Martyrs.
Propers may include hymns and prayers in the
Canonical Hoursand in the Eucharist.
Roman Catholicand Anglo-Catholicpractice, there is a moveable portion of the service that, strictly speaking, does not form part of the proper, the Accentus. The Proper of the Mass, strictly speaking, consists of the Introit, Gradual, Alleluiaor Tract, Sequence, Offertory, and Communion. These are sometimes called the "minor propers" to distinguish them from the collect, secret, postcommunion, and readings. Portions of the Accentus may also more loosely be referred to as part of the "Proper" if they satisfy the criteria of changing by date (such as the Preface and Epistle).
In the Eastern Orthodox and Greek-Catholic Churches, the propers (also known as "sequences") at
Vespersand Matinsare numerous, and include stichera, troparia, prokeimena, Paroemia ( Old Testamentreadings) and Matins Gospels.
Little Hoursthey will normally include only the troparionand kontakionof the day, but during Great Lentwill include hymns which vary according to the day of the week. The fullest form of the Little Hours is the Royal Hours, celebrated on the eves of certain Great Feasts and Good Friday. The propers for the Royal Hours include particular psalms, hymns ( stichera), paroemia, and Epistleand Gospel readings.
Compline, the only variable is usually the troparia which are to be read. A canon may also be read. There are canons in honour of the Theotokos(Virgin Mary) for every day of the week according to the tone of the week found in the Octoechos. Also, if the normal daily service to a saint is displaced by some more important commemoration, such as the services in the Triodionor the Pentecostarion, the saint's service will be chanted at compline, usually consisting of the saint's canon and the stichera appointed for "Lord, I have cried" at Vespers. During the first week of Great Lent, the "Great Canon" of Saint Andrew of Creteis divided into four parts, with a part chanted each night (Monday through Thursday).
When there is no celebration of the Divine Liturgy, the
Typicawill be celebrated in its stead. Propers for the Typica include the troparia which would have been read at the Third Antiphonof the Liturgy, the prokiemen, Epistle, Gospel, and kontakia.
Divine Liturgypropers include troparia, kontakia, prokeimena, the readings from the Apostle and Gospel, the " Zadostoinik" or "Megalynarion" (hymn replacing "It is Truly Meet", not to be confused with the Megalynarionchanted at Matins), and the Communion Hymn. On Great Feastsof the Lord there will also be special Antiphons that replace the psalms and beatitudesthat normally begin the Liturgy.
At all of the services (or at the end of an aggregate of services), the priest says a
dismissal(final blessing) which differs according to the day of the week. These dismissals are of two kinds: the Lesser Dismissal, which is shorter; and the Greater Dismissal, which mentions the saintof the day. Special dismissals used during Holy Weekand Great Feastsof the Lord. At the end of the Divine Liturgy, the dismissal also mentions the name of the saint who composed the Liturgy: Basil the Great, John Chrysostom, Gregory the Dialogist, or James, the Brother of the Lord.
The propers can be found in the following
As well as a number of individually published services or collections.
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