The Tone 6 Prokeimenon Melody

This melody is used to sing prokeimena in Tone 6, as well as the Tone 6 Alleluia and certain special hymns at Matins which are sung to the prokeimenon melody.

Please note: This article assumes you are familiar with the material taught in the MCI Online course, Introduction to Church Singing. If you have difficulty reading the music notation, please review the MCI website articles on musicianship.

The Sunday prokeimenon and Alleluia

The tone 6 prokeimenon which is sung most frequently is the prokeimenon of the Resurrection in tone 6. It can be found on page 153 in our Divine Liturgies book. This prokeimenon should be memorized.


The same melody is used to sing the triple Alleluia before the Gospel on Sundays in Tone 6:


The prokeimenon starts with a rising perfect fourth, then a sequence la - ti - do. Combined with two phrases ending on la, this puts us squarely in a minor key. Except for the opening perfect fourth, it moves smoothly up and down the scale, and is fairly easy to sing.

Be careful to sing the eighth notes "at tempo" (that is, without slowing down)!

Singing the prokeimenon and Alleluia verse(s)

Normally, the verses of prokeimena and Alleluia are sung by a single voice to the usual psalm tone, beginning on do. But if this procedure is followed with the Tone 6 prokeimenon melody, there is a huge interval between the ending of the verse and the repetition of the prokeimenon or Alleluia:

Instead, cantors should use the minor psalm tone for the verse:

This matches up more easily with the Tone 6 prokeimenon melody. Now the interval from the end of the psalm verse to the beginning of the prokeimenon is a perfect fourth, which is very easy to sing.

Listen to the recording of the Sunday prokeimenon to see how this sounds.

Other examples

The Divine Liturgies book only contains two other prokeimenon in Tone 6: the daily prokeimenon for Vespers on Thursday evenings:


and the prokeimenon for the faithful departed (sung in the requiem Divine Liturgy):

All cantors should memorize the prokeimenon for the departed. Again, remember to sing the eighth notes quickly and smoothly, without pauses.