BOOK OF PRAYER
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
Speaking with God from the Depths of the Heart
Have mercy, praiseworthy and long-suffering king,
upon all souls through these prayers
of grieving lamentation,
composed on various themes,
and have mercy especially on those souls
who are cut off from the hope of salvation
who have died unprepared,
with lamps extinguished for lack of oil.1
Remember, then, my compassionate Lord,
and consider me justified in this request also,
for in your splendid and awe-inspiring majesty
you combined opposites in the make-up of man,
a little gravity, a little levity,
on the one hand coolness, on the other heat,
so that by keeping the opposites in balance,
we might be called just,
because of this faithful equality.
And however virtuous we might be judged
on this account, when transported upward,
we should bear in view that we are made of humble clay
and accept the crown of tribulation.
But since we violated your commandment of the
and following our earthly nature, strayed like animals,
we were laid low and bound to the earth,2
in some instances by disease, and others by cruelty,
some by gluttony and passions,
as if a ravenous beast is joined to our nature.
Sometimes one of four primary elements,
lunges forward 3 and uncontrollably, savagely and
relenlessly raises its head.
And though warmed by the fervor of our love for you
and by token of your spark which is in us,
the coldness that is its constant companion,
extinguishes it, disrupting the good.4
And although we ascend to you with the
airy ways of angels, the weight and density of
our first element, earth,5
holds us down, and hinders us.6
And now, defeated on all fronts and completely forsaken,
like a feeble cripple, I am rejected, I am banished that
I might perish.
Worn down by the multitude of blows, I was
captured by death and deprived of grace.
I seek mercy with a shameful face.
I, who have committed all manner of sin,
pray for all the dead living in you.7
For you are able, with infinite ingenuity,
to save dying mortals like me.
For you everything is possible.
Especially since you have power that knows no limits,
and you take delight in exercising your will for good.
Therefore, when these two illustrious and
renewing graces come together – power and will –
the despair that afflicts the race of sinners is lifted away
and the light of your good news arrives
with your prescription to heal our souls,
Lord of all, blessed forever.
1. Mt. 25:8.
2. Gen 8:21, Ps. 44 (Arm. 43):26.
3. St. Gregory refers here to the elements of classical cosmography: earth, air, fire and water.
4. Rom. 7:14-25.
5. Gen. 2:7, 3:19.
6. Rom. 7:14-25.
7. Lk. 20:37-38.
Gregory of Narek
© 2002, Thomas J. Samuelian. Published with the permission of the author.