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ODE – (Sl. Irmos) Biblical Odes (also called canticles) One of the nine canticles of the canon sung at Matins. They are nine hymns that are taken directly from Scripture.? The (First) Song of Moses (Exodus 15:1-19), The (Second) Song of Moses (Deuteronomy 32:1-43), The Prayer of Hannah (1 Samuel 2:1-10), The Prayer of Habakkuk (Habakkuk 3:1-19), The Prayer of Isaiah (Isaiah 26:9-20), The Prayer of Jonah (Jonah 2:2-9), The Prayer of the Three Holy Children (Daniel 3:26-56]), The Song of the Three Holy Children (Daniel 3:57-88), and The Song of the Theotokos (the Magnificat, Luke 1:46-55); the Song of Zacharias (the Benedictus, Luke 1:68-79).

Originally, these odes were chanted in their entirety every day, with a short refrain inserted between each verse. Eventually, short verses (troparia) were composed to replace these refrains, a process traditionally inaugurated by Saint Andrew of Crete.? Gradually over the centuries, the verses of the Biblical Canticles were omitted (except for the Magnificat), and only the composed troparia were read, linked to the original canticles by an irmos. During Great Lent, however, the original Biblical Canticles are still read.