- Armenian Literature, History, Religion in in Russian

Grigor Narekatsi


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Prayer 95  Colophon

Prayer 91

Speaking with God from the Depths of the Heart


Lord, Lord filled with compassion, God of mercies,1
majestic name, awe-inspiring voice,
severe summons, unbroken silence,
thundering speech, shocking sound,
hope of good deeds and all merciful sweetness,
before which all creatures quake in fear.
Before your awesome wrath,
the seraphim take to flight and the cherubim
huddle together.2
the choirs of angels hide their faces,
all the principalities of heaven shake in amazement,
and all of them rejoice with great trembling in
jubilant celebration.
the demons are frightened away and the
evil bands recoil,
the spirits of darkness are exiled and
the angels of the banished one are condemned
to the abyss.
The attacks of the aggressors are held in check by the
sign of your cross, and the vengeful Amalekites are
locked away in their infernal prison.3
The enemy forces are bound with undoable knots.
The legions of the warriors of death are jailed in prisons
from which there is no escape.
The demonic hordes are arrested as in irons by
your command.
The instigators of mutiny are silenced.
The mobs of evil spirits are tied up and waste away.
The emissaries of the Antichrist are locked in
unbreakable chains.


In this midnight silence I lift
my hand toward you to make
the blessed sign of your cross, source of sight,
who never dims in the darkness of ignorance,
but eternally dwells in unapproachable light.4
With a grateful heart I implore
that this grieving soul be taken
under the protection of your almighty wing.5
Save me from the onrush of external illusion.
Endow my heart’s eye with pure light.
Strengthen me with your cross, the wood of life,
against nightmares.
Consecrate the boundaries of my cell with drops of your
life-giving blood.6
Sanctify my threshold with the water and blood from
your side.7
May the roof of my dwelling bear the shape of
your cross.
May the miracle of your sacrifice for our salvation
appear as a vision before my raised eyes.
May the instrument of your torment be fixed
upon my door.
May my faith and hope hang upon your blessed tree.8
With your cross, Lord, stop the slayer of souls.
Let the protector of light enter.
Ease the severity of my pains
and lighten the burden of my guilt.9
In the silent chamber where my mind collects itself
upon the cushion of my bed,
recalling the bitter fruits of despair,
I confess to you, all-knowing God, my
innumerable deeds of wicked iniquity in all their forms.10


Give me rest.
I am exhausted from the multitude of cares and toil.
Remove the turmoil of doubt from my broken spirit,
the bitterness along with the grief,
the sighing along with the misery,
the anxiety along with the wretchedness,
the cries along with the destruction,
the brokenness along with the stupor,
the delirium along with the folly,
the imprudence along with the stupidity,
the cooling of love along with the feverish
passion for luxury.11

Come to my aid,
for I am weak with grief and poor in spirit.
With your right hand of beneficial grace,
with your finger of renewal, with your ever-radiant glory,
with your eternal, incorruptible presence,12
with your cheerful countenance,
with the essence of your venerable being,
with your greatness worthy of worship,
relieve this labored sighing that is suffocating me.13

Stop the new tricks of evil and the old deceptions of
the Troublemaker,14
the alienating impulses of the teacher of death,
the unfitting imaginings prompted by the one who
kills us daily,
the mirages caused by the treacherous demon,
the enchanting sorcerer’s fiery breath.

Protect my place of rest in the tranquility
resembling death,
from hidden thoughts and new errors,
from great misdeeds and small missteps,
from the evil machinations of idleness.

Banish from my senses, wayward servant that I am,
inappropriate thoughts and base passions,
blameworthy conduct and unbecoming ambitions,
erring actions, ridiculous illusions,
vile thoughts, and despicable babble.


Arm me, for I have taken refuge in you,
arm me with an unerring heart and undefiled body,
against winds, the violent blows,
the battering of the storm, the pouncing of the tempest,
the attacks of beasts.
When I close my eyes, do not let my heart-vision
grow dark,15 rather let it awaken,
become bright and splendid
to shine with you, Lord Jesus Christ,
with the burning of the inextinguishable light.

With your word, cleanse my bedchamber
of cunning and distractions,
of memories distasteful to you and thoughts
hostile to heaven,
of criminal follies and ingratitude toward your Lordship,
and heresies against God.
Stand guard over me with your heavenly host,
the principalities and dominions, and invincible powers,
pure ministers of your holy Godhead,
the apostles with the tidings of your Gospel,
the prophets with their testaments,
and the righteous with their prayers offered at the
end of their lives,
that I might fall asleep in mourning pleasing to you16
and awaken anew with the grace of your joy.
Though I sleep with trepidation,
may I arise again in spiritual bliss.
Though I go to bed in sinfulness,
may I get up with a clear conscience
and spotless purity.


Hear the sighing of my voice in prayer,
you who alone are most compassionate,
through the intercession of your Holy Mother,
and all the righteous and the chosen martyrs.

To you glory from all people, which I offer up to you,
along with the choirs of immortal Holy Angels,17
in praise of your Father, our God,
and the Holy Spirit, the creator and renewer
of everything,18
forever and ever.

1. 2 Cor. 1:3.
2. Is. 6:1-5.
3. Ex. 17:8-16.
4. 1 Tim. 6:16.
5. Ps. 17 (Arm. 16):8.
6. Heb. 9:11-24.
7. Ex. 12:7.
8. Wis. 14:7.
9. Mt. 11:28.
10. Ps. 32 (Arm. 31):5.
11. Mt. 24:12.
12. Dan. 7:14.
13. 2 Cor. 7:10.
14. Wis. 2:24.
15. S. of S. 5:2.
16. 2 Cor. 7:9
17. Lk. 2:14.
18. Ps. 104 (Arm. 103):30.



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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