- Armenian Literature, History, Religion in in Russian

Grigor Narekatsi


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Prayer 95  Colophon

Prayer 81

Speaking with God from the Depths of the Heart


Accept, kind and merciful God,
with the prayers of the Mother of God,
the petitions of the immortal angels, adorned in light,
which sing, without ceasing, with their pure mouths
in constant intercession for my sake.
The angels are virtuous, created good by you,
doer of good,
They are ignorant of evil, established by your command, which rules all, God who is.
They are a mighty force at your disposal, exalted God,
holy, pure, spotless, blessed,
splendid, victorious and invincible,
swift as a flash of the mind.

These guardian angels serve us and plead for us,
just as for the barren fig tree1
that did not give fruit for three years,
an eternity encompassing past, present and future,
for a long period it took root
in the vineyard of this world,
decorated with useless foliage, but gave no fruit.
And this is the very image of wretched mankind.

The angels brood over us constantly.
They aid us in our frailty.2
They tend our portion of virtue
with everlasting life they pray for our salvation,
saying these words: “Forsake not the work
of your hands.” 3
For truly, this prayer is ours.
You, God on high arranged for them
to say this for our sake,
for they were created by the word,
and we by the action of your hand.4
They shall come with your only begotten Son,
as fearsome witnesses at the last judgment,5
true accusers of the sins of earthly beings,
before the terrifying tribunal,
justly and fairly counseling us.
There too, they sympathize with us, pleading with sighs,
the perpetual chant of their voices:
Have mercy, you who created them.
Do not destroy them.6


Now, with their voices in thanksgiving
and their prayers, immortal and sublime,
inhale also the savory scent of our sighs, creator of all.
You exceed those above and below with
your compassion,
since from you flow all good deeds for us and for them.
And for the sake of the splendor of the
incorruptible beings, miraculous in their fiery forms,7
unadulterated purity, sinless, made of fire and
spirit, invincible, with the immense advantage of
their higher status,
their abundant, brilliant knowledge,
fervent with an ardor that does not cool,
with an innate passion for the love of God,
like them, may our cold, smoldering hearts,
be rekindled brightly at the sublime mystery of
the holy table, which is your sanctuary,
and without drowsiness or lethargy,
may we await the blessed command
of your life-giving will, creator of all,
to be united with God inseparably
in cherubic virtue.

They are the great heavenly principalities,
soldiers, pure and awesome,
the virtuous and noble ministers in your
heavenly kingdom,
the glimmering rays of your cloud of light, God on high.


Through them, Jesus, show your merciful
love for mankind
for me also, sinner born of earth that I am.
Through the prayers of my guardian angel
turn me toward the good path of your light,
so that the inheritance of my soul
which you entrusted to his protection,
may be received by you from this life,
with a joyous heart, jubilant within me,
blameless and blessed by you,8
might he bring me forward and present me
with a glad and cheerful face,
to you, praised and merciful Lord,
sublime king of glory beyond comprehension,
in the midst of the blissful choir in tumultuous jubilation.

And to you, who are beyond understanding,
with your Father, beyond reach,
and your Holy Spirit beyond words –
glory, honor and adoration,
unto the ages of ages.

1. Lk. 13:6-9.
2. Book of Tobit, where the Angel Raphael comes to the aid of the persecuted, but righteous Tobit.
3. Ps. 138 (Arm. 137):8.
4. Gen. 2:7.
5. Mt. 25:31.
6. per K?chichian, p. 434, n. 2, this phrase is a citation from a hymn to the angels in the Armenian Ritual.
7. Heb. 1:7.
8. Mt. 25:34.



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 )

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