- Armenian Literature, History, Religion in in Russian

Grigor Narekatsi


Tenets of Prayer  Prayer 1  Prayer 2  Prayer 3  Prayer 4  Prayer 5  Prayer 6
Prayer 7  Prayer 8  Prayer 9  Prayer 10  Prayer 11  Prayer 12  Prayer 13  Prayer 14
Prayer 15  Prayer 16  Prayer 17  Prayer 18  Prayer 19  Prayer 20  Prayer 21  Prayer 22
Prayer 23  Prayer 24  Prayer 25  Prayer 26  Prayer 27  Prayer 28  Prayer 29  Prayer 30
Prayer 31  Prayer 32  Prayer 33  Prayer 34  Prayer 35  Prayer 36  Prayer 37  Prayer 38
Prayer 39  Prayer 40  Prayer 41  Prayer 42  Prayer 43  Prayer 44  Prayer 45  Prayer 46
Prayer 47  Prayer 48  Prayer 49  Prayer 50  Prayer 51  Prayer 52  Prayer 53  Prayer 54
Prayer 55  Prayer 56  Prayer 57  Prayer 58  Prayer 59  Prayer 60  Prayer 61  Prayer 62
Prayer 63  Prayer 64  Prayer 65  Prayer 66  Prayer 67  Prayer 68  Prayer 69  Prayer 70
Prayer 71  Prayer 72  Prayer 73  Prayer 74  Prayer 75  Prayer 76  Prayer 77  Prayer 78
Prayer 79  Prayer 80  Prayer 81  Prayer 82  Prayer 83  Prayer 84  Prayer 85  Prayer 86
Prayer 87  Prayer 88  Prayer 89  Prayer 90  Prayer 91  Prayer 92  Prayer 93  Prayer 94
Prayer 95  Colophon

Prayer 4

Speaking with God from the Depths of the Heart


Since I have begun
these conversations with you
who holds in your hand
the life breath of my sinful soul,
I am shaken, and rightly so,
trembling in constant fear, remembering,
with unbearable terror that defies words,
O creator of heaven and earth,
your inescapable tribunal,
which justly judges me a sinner.
And what is more, there exists no remedy
for the multitude of incurable, mortal wounds
and the stinging bites inflicted by the deadly fangs
of him who pursues my soul’s destruction.
Especially since according to the Prophet,
there is no putting off the day of confrontation: 1

Not by words of justification,
not by a cloak of protection,
not by a mask of obfuscation,
not by speeches of propitiation,
not by appearances of deception,
not by compositions of prevarication,
not by swift feet of evasion,
not by aversion,
not by the ashen dust of abnegation,
not by fixing one’s mouth to the earth,
not by self-burial in the depths of the earth,
for even the covered and the invisible are
readily seen by you.


My virtue is dissipated and depleted,
my sins laid open and ever worsening,
my wrongs permanent and I am lost as
the weight of the right is ever decreasing
and the weight of wrong is increasing,
the harvest of goodness washes away
and the errors of my ways harden to stone.

The bail is lost even as the sentence is sealed.
Death’s mortgage is signed,
while the covenant of good news is voided.
The doer of good is despondent,
while the doer of evil is jubilant.
The host of angels grieve,
while Satan’s horde dances in glee.
The army on high is orphaned,
while the army below is elated.
The murderer’s bounty grows,
while the protector’s treasure is plundered.
The third parties’ rights are upheld,
and the true heir’s legacy is betrayed.
The creator’s gift is forgotten,
while the destroyer’s ambush is remembered.
The Savior’s grace is mocked,
while the tricks of Satan are celebrated.
The fountain of life runs dry,
while the tyrant’s rust continues to corrode my soul.


And now, would it not be better.
as the prophecies foretold,2
never to have been conceived,
never to have taken shape,
never to have been born,
never to have seen the light of life,
never to have been counted among mortals,
never to have struggled toward the state of immortality,
never to have been dressed in the image of beauty,
never to have been armed with words,
than to be seized by such horrible sins,
too great for a hard rock to bear
let alone the frail body?


And now, compassionate God,
I pray for your mercy,
as you instructed in your own words,
“Make offerings in the name of God’s salvation
and you shall be made holy,
for I want contrition not sacrifice.”3
Be exalted anew in remembrance of this offering in
for everything is in you, and everything is from you.
To you glory from all.

1. Ec. 8:8.
2. Job ch. 3 passim; Jer. 20:14.
3. Hos. 6:6, Mt. 9;13, 12:7, Ps. 51:16-17.



Source: St. Gregory of Narek
Provided by: Thomas J. Samuelian

© 2002, Thomas J. Samuelian. Published with the permission of the author.

See also:

Biography of Grigor Narekatsi (in Armenian)
The Christ-Child ( translated by Alice Stone Blackwell )

Design & Content © Anna & Karen Vrtanesyan, unless otherwise stated.  Legal Notice