The Third Ode: A Prayer of Anna, the Mother of Samuel the Prophet (1 Kings 2:1-10 LXX)
The text above is an example of a hymn from Ode 3, selected from the Orthros of Sunday of Pentecost.
During the Orthros service, the Canon (a series of structured hymns) is chanted which is comprised of nine Odes based on nine Biblical Canticles; eight from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament. Canons are also chanted during the Compline, the most well-known being the Akathist to the Theotokos. Each Ode has a specific theme. The third Ode is dedicated to the Prayer of Anna, the mother of Prophet Samuel.
Anna, like several other women in the Scriptures such as Sarah and Elizabeth, the mother or St John the Baptist, was barren. Barrenness was a source of humiliation in Israel.
The Scriptures record that Anna prayed intensely to God, which moved Eli the priest to exclaim, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him” (1 Kings 1:17 LXX). The Lord “remembered her” (1 Kings 1:19 LXX) and she became pregnant with Samuel, which means “God hears”. After this, Anna prayed the words which became the basis for Ode 3 in the Canon (1 Kings 2:1-10 LXX). It is a prayer of thanksgiving to God after the removal of Anna’s sterility and the bearing of Samuel. Hence, Anna is a prototype of the Church which was first barren but later cultivated and bore priests like Samuel who in turn anointed Kings like David, and their descendants the apostles and hierarchs.
Source: June-July 2014 Lychnos Edition