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Where is Ode II?


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#1 Joshua G.

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Posted 01 March 2009 - 04:27 AM

I own the Jordanville Prayerbook. In Canons (like the Supplicatory Canon to the Theotokos) Ode II is conspicuously missing. Is there a specific reason for this? Where can the Ode be found? Is that Ode saved for only special occasions and not meant to be read on most days? Is this just to make it more manageable for the reader (although I am under the impression that this is a book that many English-speaking monks and nuns are expected to rely on for their daily prayers which, if I am right about that, it would seem that a few Odes would not be deleted for brevity's sake)?

Thank you for your time,

Joshua

#2 Anthony Stokes

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Posted 01 March 2009 - 05:36 AM

I own the Jordanville Prayerbook. In Canons (like the Supplicatory Canon to the Theotokos) Ode II is conspicuously missing. Is there a specific reason for this? Where can the Ode be found? Is that Ode saved for only special occasions and not meant to be read on most days? Is this just to make it more manageable for the reader (although I am under the impression that this is a book that many English-speaking monks and nuns are expected to rely on for their daily prayers which, if I am right about that, it would seem that a few Odes would not be deleted for brevity's sake)?

Thank you for your time,

Joshua


Ode II is only used in the Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete and on Tuesdays during Lent when the Biblical Canticles are read at Matins. The text is from Deuteronomy 32:1-43. I believe it is the nature of the text that has caused it to fall only during Lent, at least that is what I think I have been told.

Sbdn. Anthony

#3 Olga

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Posted 01 March 2009 - 08:33 AM

My understanding is that Ode 2, being of a particularly penitential character, is only sung during Great Lent, as Sbdn Anthony mentioned. Apart from the Great Canon, I have yet to come across any canon for a saint, feast or other occasion where an Ode 2 is written, other than the Great Canon. It is not for "brevity" that this ode is omitted, rather that it is not written in the first place.

It seems to me that the hymnographic convention is to compose eight odes, not nine, but to number them 1, then 3-9, according to the OT themes of each ode. The theme of each ode is reflected in its eirmos/irmos.

#4 Fr Raphael Vereshack

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Posted 01 March 2009 - 02:21 PM

I own the Jordanville Prayerbook. In Canons (like the Supplicatory Canon to the Theotokos) Ode II is conspicuously missing. Is there a specific reason for this? Where can the Ode be found? Is that Ode saved for only special occasions and not meant to be read on most days? Is this just to make it more manageable for the reader (although I am under the impression that this is a book that many English-speaking monks and nuns are expected to rely on for their daily prayers which, if I am right about that, it would seem that a few Odes would not be deleted for brevity's sake)?

Thank you for your time,

Joshua


In addition to what others have written it is also helpful to understand that originally the Odes or canticles were Biblical selections. Thus Ode Two is from Deuteronomy 32.

At some point though hymnography was added to this and interspersed with the biblical verses. We can still see this form of combined biblical verses and hymnography at Lord I Have Cried and the Praises of Matins. It is also what we do with the canon on weekdays of Great Lent.

Then at a next stage the biblical verses dropped out and only the hymnography remained. This is what our present day canons are outside of the weekdays of Great Lent.

I have always wondered why Ode II dropped out of use. I do not find this biblical ode any more fierce in tone or lenten than some of the others. I wonder if the actual reason is more connected to how the canon developed as a literary form.

For example there is the curious way in which Ode Two is put together during Great Lent. Instead of having the hymnography interspersed with the biblical verses as with the other odes, the hymnography is left to the end and then `Glory to Thee our God, glory to Thee` is chanted in between each tropar. This seems awkward. But I still am not able to come up with a good reason as to why this occurred.

In Christ- Fr Raphael
PS: I wonder if anyone else is having keyboard problems on Monachos. The question mark key puts é É and the asterisk key puts ``. Both keys work properly on a Word document so I don`t think it`s a keyborad problem. Only those two keys seem to be affected.

#5 Cyprian (Humphrey)

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 02:52 AM

PS: I wonder if anyone else is having keyboard problems on Monachos. The question mark key puts é É and the asterisk key puts ``. Both keys work properly on a Word document so I don`t think it`s a keyborad problem. Only those two keys seem to be affected.


Hmmm...

????

****

My question marks and asterisks are working okay. This may be a European versus North American keyboard thing.

But as to Ode II, I wonder if the omission during ferial seasons was due to it's length. If one compares all the Canticles from the back of the Psalter, they're all roughly the same length, except for Canticle Two. It is conspicuously longer than the rest.

Maybe it was felt that is was more suitable for the lengthier lenten services. If you compare the length of small compline and great compline, you see what I mean.

But I am by no means a liturgical authority. This is just one of my rambling thoughts.

Feel free to ignore.

Fr Cyprian.

Edited by Cyprian (Humphrey), 02 March 2009 - 02:53 AM.
I type like I'm wearing mitts!


#6 Joshua G.

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 02:57 PM

Thank you all for your responses! What an timely question since Ode II will be sung tonight!

I am sorry I did not respond earlier. I thought I would be able to see if people responded to my posts simply by checking my User CP. For days I hadn't seen any response to any thread I started and thought, "Man! Monachos is tough crowd!" :)

Well, thank you again, I will look forward to following this conversation if anyone comes up with answers to the great questions that have been brought up here.

Joshua

#7 Joshua G.

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 04:06 AM

So I went to the Canon of St. Andrew tonight and, as you said, all Odes were read, including Ode II. However, I was wondering where Ode II from the other mentioned canons fit into this. Isn't this a separate Canon?

Thanks in advance,

Joshua

#8 Anthony Stokes

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 02:28 PM

So I went to the Canon of St. Andrew tonight and, as you said, all Odes were read, including Ode II. However, I was wondering where Ode II from the other mentioned canons fit into this. Isn't this a separate Canon?

Thanks in advance,

Joshua


Yes, St. Andrew's canon is its own thing. I think that Ode II was just not written anymore, but when that started I'm not sure. It is interesting, because St. Andrew of Crete and St. John of Damascus lived at the same time, yet St. John's canons have no 2nd Ode (at least that remain).

Sbdn. Anthony

#9 Joshua G.

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 03:18 AM

My priest, who doesn't claim to be an expert, echoed what some of you suggested here. He thought he remembered learning that some believe it was too violent or so dark that they were taken out. He said as far as he remembers that's not proven and the reason behind the missing Ode IIs is not fully understood or known by anyone. They "disappeared with Byzantium" he jokingly said.

So I have another question. Supposing that it is true that some common theme DID run through the lost Ode IIs, isn't it logical to assume that other Odes hold something in common with their counterparts? In other words, do the Canons follow a certain thematical (or otherwise) pattern? I have just recently begun to etch the surface of understanding what a canon is other than a long prayer. But even this goes only as deep as : They seem penitent in nature (as opposed to Akathists which praise), they all have 9 Odes and Ode II is missing. That's about as far as it goes. I don't knwo why some Odes are longer than others and why some have certain prayers or different structures or maybe I am missing a pattern. I just learned tonight that Eirmos and..something else (???) are basically subsets of Odes. I'm not sure what the significance of the Eirmos or the other parts are, why it is set up that way, what the practical use is or even how to word my questions. But in having even the few insights i have had into these, it has made Canons less arduous, daunting and foreign. So, ANYTHING you want to comment on is game as far as I am concerned.

Thanks for your consideration guys.

Joshua

#10 Cyprian (Humphrey)

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 04:52 AM

I think you're on the right track here.

Yes, all the Odes of various canons have themes in common. The relate to the Biblical Canticles. Depending on whether you have a psalter, and what format you have, they should be in the back. It's that way in the Boston Psalter anyway.

Look at Canticle One. It's from Exodus 15. All Ode Ones in virtually every Canon will thematically link to this Canticle. Canticle Nine is from Luke 1 - it's the Magnificat. All Ode Nine's will thematically reference the Theotokos, regardless of whether the Canon is to the Theotokos or not.

Do you see what I'm getting at? Canticle one is the thematic basis for ALL Ode one's. Canticle two is the thematic basis for ALL Ode two's (even though it's only seen in the Great Canon!). Canticle three is the thematic basis for ALL Ode three's in all Canons. And so on...

Clear as mud? :)

That's just something I noticed. As far as Eirmoi and their relationship to the other parts of the canon, well, I hope someone will weigh in and explain it, because I don't know either.

:)

I hope you're having a good clean week!

Fr Cyprian

#11 Joshua G.

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 05:03 AM

Father Bless!

Thank you. That DID help. Because now I know what further question I can ask... What is a canticle? LOL I've heard this term, but, are these just psalms.

So, there are nine canticles total, or just nine canticles that are referred to in the Canons. It must not go in order like that becuase otherwise we would have a more certain idea as to what the Ode II theme was, unless we are missing the second canticle as well...

Thank you Father,

Joshua

#12 Anthony Stokes

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 05:05 AM

In other words, do the Canons follow a certain thematical (or otherwise) pattern?


Somewhat. Take Odes 7 and 8, the troparia will usually end in the same phrase from the Biblical Ode. That at least ties them together in a way.

I just learned tonight that Eirmos and..something else (???) are basically subsets of Odes. I'm not sure what the significance of the Eirmos or the other parts are, why it is set up that way, what the practical use is or even how to word my questions.
Joshua

The Eirmos is the first hymn of each Ode. It ties the theme from the Biblical Ode into the troparia for the saint or feast whose canon is being sung/read. Eirmos means "to tie" in Greek. The other parts of the canon are the troparia, which means many things, and the katavasia, which come at the end of each ode. Often, the katavasia and eirmos will be the same. There are also refrains for each troparion.

So, if you take the Great Canon, Ode 1, as an example, the part that the choir sings "a helper and a protector..." is the Eirmos; "have mercy on me, O God..." is the refrain; and the parts that the priest reads are the troparia. After the last troparion, "a helper and protector" is repeated as the katavasia.

Katavasia means to "come down," signifying that when there are two choirs, they should come together or "down" to the center of the church and sing the katavasia hymn together.

Hope that helps a little. Canons can be quite confusing, and unfortunately they are not done very often in our many of our churches.

Sbdn. Anthony

Edited by Anthony Stokes, 04 March 2009 - 05:06 AM.
fixed tags


#13 Cyprian (Humphrey)

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 01:21 PM

Confusingly enough, these are sometimes referred to as "odes" as well. I think Canticle is just another word for "song".

These are found in the back of the Boston Psalter, and in one of the appendixes of the Old Believer Horologion.

Canticle 1: Exodus 15
Canticle 2: Deuteronomy 32:1 - 43
Canticle 3: 1 Kings 2:1 - 10
Canticle 4: Habbakuk 3:2 - 19
Canticle 5: Isaiah 26:9 - 20
Canticle 6: Jonah 2:3 - 10
Canticle 7: Daniel 3:26 - 56
Canticle 8: Daniel 3:57 - 88
Canticle 9: Luke 1:46 - 55 and Luke 1:68 - 79

(Note that these OT references are for the SEPTUAGINT OT, NOT the MASORETIC text.)

So, Canticle two, the thematic basis for Ode two (or at least the Eirmoi of Ode two!), is not lost at all. It is, however, remarkably longer than all the other Canticles.

Fr Cyprian

#14 Fr Raphael Vereshack

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 02:50 PM

I've really appreciated all of these comments. The irmos in effect is the commentary- often of very Patristic tone- on the theme of the biblical canon as connected to the theme of the feast being commemorated. Very ingenious!

I'm still mystified however about why Ode 2 dropped out. If anyone read through this Ode yesterday it seems that there is really only one set of verses that are a bit gruesome. If kept in the canon it even would have retained that symmetry which Byzantine poetic form strives for; ie 1,2,3-4,5,6-7,8,9.

In Christ- Fr Raphael

#15 D. W. Dickens

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 03:53 PM

I'm confused. Ode II is in our service materials the the choir director assembles at our parish, we just skip it. When I asked my priest he said monasteries do Ode II but it's considered too weighty for parish life.

Incidentally he said there is a great variation in practice and that at the Antiochian parishes he's visited they don't do any of the Odes.

#16 Joshua G.

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 04:27 PM

If kept in the canon it even would have retained that symmetry which Byzantine poetic form strives for; ie 1,2,3-4,5,6-7,8,9.

In Christ- Fr Raphael


Father Bless!

Could you expand on this a bit more? Is it symmetry in length? I SEE the symmetry, but symmetry in what?

Thank you,

Joshua

#17 Fr Raphael Vereshack

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 06:40 PM

Father Bless!

Could you expand on this a bit more? Is it symmetry in length? I SEE the symmetry, but symmetry in what?

Thank you,

Joshua


I mean symmetry in the poetic form that was used.

I think it was there in the Byzantine original. But it was not able to be passed on through the Slavonic very much. And into English even less.

In Christ- Fr Raphael

#18 Cyprian (Humphrey)

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 07:20 PM

I'm confused. Ode II is in our service materials the the choir director assembles at our parish, we just skip it. When I asked my priest he said monasteries do Ode II but it's considered too weighty for parish life.

Incidentally he said there is a great variation in practice and that at the Antiochian parishes he's visited they don't do any of the Odes.

It's impossible to address what you've said here without some context. Is Ode II in the ferial materials that you're parish uses? Or just the lenten stuff like the Great Canon? Because, just like the originator of thread, I've never seen Ode II outside Lenten material. In fact, the only place I've ever seen Ode II is the Great Canon itself. I've been told it existed, but fell out of use and is now only associated with Great Lent.

I don't know of any monasteries that do Ode II on a regular (i.e. non-Lenten) basis.

But as far as any parishes not doing any Odes, I think that would mean that they don't do any Canons. Which, if they don't do Matins, either as part of the Saturday All-Night-Vigil, or on Sunday morning, is not a big shock. The only place Canons come into the daily cycle is at Matins, and sometimes at Compline (oh, and once a week in the Midnight Office!). Also, if they abbreviate Matins (which many parishes do) it's likely the Canon was left "on the cutting room floor", so to speak.

The mission I'm attached to generally doesn't do Canon's either. They do Great Vespers on Saturday night, and 3rd and 6th Hours, and Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning. They never do Matins, so they generally never do any Canons. We are, however, doing the Great Canon this week, in Small Compline, as opposed to Great Compline. I think the idea is that we don't want to hospitalize our fledgling choir for exhaustion. :)

#19 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 07:25 PM

I have seen odes in akathists that have an Ode 2, but then they only have 8 odes, not 9.

Herman the cantor

#20 D. W. Dickens

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 10:13 PM

It's impossible to address what you've said here without some context. Is Ode II in the ferial materials that you're parish uses? Or just the lenten stuff like the Great Canon? Because, just like the originator of thread, I've never seen Ode II outside Lenten material. In fact, the only place I've ever seen Ode II is the Great Canon itself. I've been told it existed, but fell out of use and is now only associated with Great Lent.

I don't know of any monasteries that do Ode II on a regular (i.e. non-Lenten) basis.

But as far as any parishes not doing any Odes, I think that would mean that they don't do any Canons. Which, if they don't do Matins, either as part of the Saturday All-Night-Vigil, or on Sunday morning, is not a big shock. The only place Canons come into the daily cycle is at Matins, and sometimes at Compline (oh, and once a week in the Midnight Office!). Also, if they abbreviate Matins (which many parishes do) it's likely the Canon was left "on the cutting room floor", so to speak.


I attend a very small parish. The "choir" consists of the Matuska our choir director, our Reader and our Deacon (except during Divine Liturgy when he's assisting the priest) and me... the new convert who tests his sight reading skills (and often fails the test).

It took me about 4 or so Divine Liturgies to get the basic outline in my head and about half a year to feel like I was "in sync" with it. However our Vigil (Vespers + Matins) services on Saturday night are still beyond my comprehension after 2 years.

I won't go into detail about the layers of my confusions, but it goes to this: I don't know what I'm talking about, so feel free to correct me. But between the reading/venerating of the Gospel and the Magnificat someone reads the Odes. There usually more than one (and sometimes three) books they use to make up the reading, but one of the books clearly has sections called Odes and they are numbered 1-9. We always skip #2 (it is printed in the book, I promise) and sing the Magnificat between 8-9 (I think).

Does that help?

I wish someone would make a guide to other services like so many that are available for the Liturgy. As I said, I'm usually completely confused even though I'm standing next to the reader. Even the Matuska's notes (usually printed out on 8.5/14 paper) make little sense to me because she will use the usual smattering of "short hand" so many Orthodox use when talking about the services.




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