Canon of Odes

Canon Of Odes is applied to a part of the office of the Greek Church, sung to a musical tone, for the most part at Lauds, and which corresponds to the hymns of the Western Church. A canon is usually divided into nine odes, each ode consisting of a variable number of stanzas or troparia, in a rhythmical syllabic measure, prosody being abandoned except in three cases. The canon is headed by an iambic, or occasionally a .hexameter line containing an allusion to the festival or the contents of the canon. or a play upon the saint's name, which forms an acrostic to which the initial letters of each troparion correspond. This acrostical form is thought, with probability, to be derived from Jewish practice. The nine odes have generally some reference to the corresponding odes at Lauds, especially the seventh, eighth, and ninth. In practice, the second ode of a canon is always omitted, except in Lent. The reason given is, that the second of the odes at Lauds (the song of Moses, Deut. 32), which is assigned to Tuesday, is more a denunciation against Israel than a direct act of praise to God, and is on that account omitted except in Lent. Hence the second ode of a canon, which partakes of the same character, is also omitted except on week-days in Lent. It is not said on Saturday in Lent. The tone to which the canon is sung is given at the beginning, and each ode is followed by one or more troparia, under different names. After the sixth ode the Synaxarion, or the commemorations which belong to the day, are read. Among the principal composers of canons were John of Damascus, Joseph of the Studium, Cosmas, Theophanes, and Sophronius of Jerusalem. As an example of canons may be mentioned "the Great Canon," the composition of St. Andrew, archbishop of Crete. The word canon is applied in the Armenian rite to a section of the psalter, which in that right is divided into eight sections called canons.

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