Though a seemingly simple (and necessary) addition, we have finally added the Prokeimenon listing to our epistle readings on the Online Chapel and Daily Readings Mobile Apps. You may be asking “What is the prokeimenon and why are you showing it to us now?” Well, in the Orthodox Church, a Prokeimenon (Greek Προκείμενον, pro-kee-men-on) is a verse (usually from a psalm) chanted to introduce a scripture reading. In Matins, the Prokeimenon “Let everything that breathes praise the Lord” precedes the Matins Gospel. In Vespers, there is not always a scripture reading, though there is always a daily prokeimenon (one for every day of the week). For services that commemorate a major saint or feast, readings (usually Old Testament readings but not always) will follow the daily vesperal prokeimenon. In the Divine Liturgy, the prokeimenon is recited before the Epistle reading, and it is this one that we have added to our readings. Now, there is another one that follows the Epistle (preceding the Gospel) which is sometimes called the ‘Alleluiaron.’
Now, as to why we are just now showing the Prokeimenon before the Epistle reading, well, there’s no real good reason. It’s not the most complex calculation, but we just recently got around to programming it in! This is one of hopefully many additions that we will bring to the Online Chapel to make it a more useful offering to the faithful who use the Archdiocese website and our department’s various services. Future additions include more language options and expanded resources for saints and feasts.
So, what else would you like us to add to the Online Chapel? We know there is so much potential, but we want to know what’s most important to you! Leave a comment below!