The Paschal stichera

On the feast of Pascha and the days of Bright Week, the services of Matins and Vespers begin with a series of psalm verses announcing the Lord's victory over death; the troparion of Pascha ("Christ is risen") is sung as a refrain after each verse:

V. Let God arise and let his enemies be scattered, and let those who hate him flee from before his face! (Ps. 67:2)

Christ is risen from the dead...

V. As smoke vanishes, so let them vanish, as wax melts before a fire. (Ps. 67:3)

Christ is risen from the dead...

V. So let the wicked perish at the presence of God, but let the righteous ones rejoice. (Ps. 67:4)

Christ is risen from the dead...

V. This is the day the Lord had made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. (Ps. 117:24)

Christ is risen from the dead...

V. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and forever. Amen.

Christ is risen from the dead...

This first three verses, and "Christ is risen" refrain, are also sung as the Third Antiphon of the Divine Liturgy on Pascha and during Bright Week.

These same Psalm verses are also sung with varying refrains, or stichera, at the Praises of Matins and the aposticha of Vespers, on Pascha and throughout Bright Week. These hymn-refrains are called the Paschal stichera:

V. Let God arise and let his enemies be scattered, and let those who hate him flee from before his face!

Today the sacred Pasch is revealed to us,
holy and new Pasch, the mystical Passover, the venerable Passover, the Pasch which is Christ the Redeemer,
spotless Pasch, great Pasch, the Pasch of the faithful, the Pasch which is the key to the gates of Paradise,
the Pascha which sanctifies all the faithful.

V. As smoke vanishes, so let them vanish, as wax melts before a fire.

O women, be the heralds of good news and tell what you saw;
tell of the vision  and say to Zion:
“Accept the good news of joy from us, the news that Christ has risen.”
Exult and celebrate and rejoice, O Jerusalem,
seeing Christ the King, coming forth from the tomb like a bridegroom.

V. So let  the  wicked  perish  at  the presence of God, but let the righteous ones rejoice.

The myrrhbearing women arrived just before the dawn
at the tomb of the Giver of Life
and found an angel seated on the stone who spoke these words to them:
“Why do you seek the living among the dead?
Why do you mourn the incorruptible  among  those subject to decay?
Go announce the good news to his disciples.

V. This is  the  day  that  the Lord has made; let us exult and rejoice it it.

Pasch so delightful, Pasch of the Lord, is the Pasch –
most honored Pasch now dawned on us.
It is the Pasch!
Therefore, let us joyfully embrace one another.
O Passover, save us from sorrow;
For today, Christ has shown forth from the tomb as from a bridal chamber
and filled the women with joy by saying:
Announce the good news to the Apostles.

V. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and forever. Amen.

This is the Resurrection Day!
Let us be enlightened by this Feast
and let us embrace one another!
Let us call "Brethren" even those who hate us,
and in the Resurrection, forgive everything and let us sing:
Christ is risen from the dead...

Either the priest, or one or two cantors, intone the verses (stichi or pripivy), and the faithful sing the hymns (stichera). The Paschal verses and stichera are sung to a special melody used solely for the Paschal stichera.

In some parishes, the Paschal stichera are sung at the Divine Liturgy during Holy Communion.