Words introductory to the Vespers prokimen
- At Vespers, the ancient hymn "Joyful light" is followed by the vesper Prokimenon. Often horologia and typica move from the former to the latter, with nothing mentioned between them. However, in reality there is something between, and some books do provide it. In Slavic usage, there is a set of proclamations: the deacon exclaims "Let us attend"; the priest proclaims "Peace to all" (there is no "And to your spirit" response); and the deacon says: "Wisdom! Let us attend!" In the Greek sources available to me I have not found these exclamations, but I expect that they were there at one time.
But that is not all. In Greek usage, the deacon next proclaims the words "Esperas Prokimenon""The evening Prokimenon"; and then the precentor begins the singing of the Prokimenon. Despite there being no mention of this in many liturgical books, I have never witnessed its omission.
In Slavic use, there is a parallel proclamation, although if not omitted entirely from the books it is often indicated only by its incipit: "Prokimen," followed by ellipsis dots. The full text as given in a minority of books is on Sundays: "Prokimen dne, na glas shestyi""The prokimen of the day, in the sixth tone." The number of the tone varies, of course, with the day of the week, and special prokimena are prescribed for pre-Lenten Sundays.
Since the printed sources are often a bit defective here, and since there is variation at least between Slavic and Greek practice, may I ask whether anyone on this list can provide further information, or variant wordings, for these words introductory to the Prokimenon?