Gregory Narek - Prayers - Prayer 24

Prayer 24

Speaking with God from the Depths of the Heart

A What am I worthy to ask of you in prayer?

May I pray for
paradise,1 from which I have strayed?
your magnificent glory, which I am denied?
your everlasting life, from which I was rejected?
the society of angels, from which I was expelled?
the company of the just, from which I am banished?
the living vine, from which I have been
ripped away?2
the shoot of the plant of bliss, from which I have
dried up?
the grace of the flower of glory, from which
I have fallen?
the legacy of praise, from which I was disinherited?
the devoted fatherly embrace, from which
I have pulled away?

B Or may I pray
that I might be honored with clothing of light,
from which I have been stripped?
that I might hope for return to my creator,
from whom I have been estranged?3
that I might turn my desires to the light,
from which I have strayed?
that I might join the body of Christ,
from which I was rejected?4
that I might touch the hand of him,
from whom I am separated?
that I might seek refuge in the sanctuary,
from which I was spurned?
Or might I pray for
the renewal of salvation, from which I fell?
the reawakening of joy, from which
I was abandoned?
the rule of monastic life, from which
I have been diverted?
the edge of steadfastness, from which
I have slipped?
the bulwark of the immovable rock,
from which I have been shaken?
the procession of the faithful, from which I strayed?
Or may I pray that I might
prosper in the city of firstborn,
from which I was taken captive? 5
receive my daily bread, for which
I have not worked?
be compensated for labor, for which
I have not sweat?
be showered with rewards, which
I have not earned? 6
be recorded in the book of life,
from which I have been erased? 7
remember the bounty of blessings, which
I always forget?

C And now the thread of the hope of life has snapped.
I am dominated by a plague of leprosy, diseased all over.
My body has been eaten away by corruption.
Besieged, I have been made dead to God.
A small, shiny, ugly, white scar8
is all that remains of my earlier ambiguous symptoms,9
leaving no doubt of my uncleanness.
All vestiges of pride have been snuffed.
Salvation is forsaken; the good darkened by shadows.
Access to life is completely closed;10 comfort removed.
The tribunal of judgment approaches.
The poisons of death quicken within me.
The malignancies reawaken.
The harbor is shut by reefs.
The path of hope is blocked.
The cloak of grace has been stripped away.
The splendor of majesty is eclipsed.
The sense of direction has been confused.
The stabs of reprimand have multiplied.
The horns of iniquity have sprouted.
The flames of hell have singed me.
The yoke of servitude weighs heavily.
The chains of slavery are strengthened.
The supporting structure has collapsed.11
The base of the summit has disintegrated.
The unity of the family has fallen into the abyss.
The Spirit of God which loves holiness is dejected.12

D I have embraced the bitter dregs
of torment, anguish, sorrow, spiritual distress,
pains beyond treatment,
doubt beyond steadying, shame beyond measure,
scandal beyond concealment,
humiliation beyond brazenness,
fleeing beyond return,
persecution beyond human decency,
a long, barren pilgrimage.13
Whereas you are salvation, strength, and relief,
mercy, enlightenment, atonement and life eternal,
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God,14
creator of heaven and earth,
who offers water to those parched from
thirst in the desert.15
Blessed, kind, mighty, loving,
forbearing, caring, ingenious, visitor,
defender without sparing, protector victorious,
life indestructible, intercessor to heaven,
undiminishing fullness, bliss celebrated,
lovingly extend your right hand of mercy.
Accept and present me, a manifold sinner,
my sins forgiven and cleansed,
to your Holy Spirit, equal to you in honor,
O living Word,
so that reconciled through you the Holy Spirit might return to me.
Through you, may the almighty Holy Spirit
cleanse me with pure will and present me to your Father
so that I may with him and through him
always be bound with grace to you
through the breath of salutation
inseparably united with you.
And for these gifts, to you, the Father and
the Holy Spirit,
three persons, one nature and one godhead,
glory and thanksgiving from your created beings,
forever and ever.

1. Gn 3,23-24.
2. Jn 15,2.
3. Lc 15,11-20.
4. Ep 5,30.
5. He 12,23, Ex 13,14-15, NM 18,15-16 Lc 2,22-23.
6. 1Co 9,24-27.
7. Ex 32,33.
8. Lv 13,2; Lv 13,19
9. Lv 13,5.
10. Mt 25,10.
11. Si 27,3.
12. Ep 4,30.
13. Lc 19,12.
14. Mt 16,16.
15. NM 20,1-11.

Prayer 25

Speaking with God from the Depths of the Heart

A In describing my imprisonment and captivity,
I have recounted some of the wicked torments
that have afflicted me one after another,
most unfortunate soul that I am.
Now I change my figure of speech,
but not the subject of my laments.

B The ways of my life are like the waves of the sea,
my soul tossing in this world upon countless,
endless swells,
riding in the shell of my body
like the ship lost at sea, as the prophet Isaiah1
once said mourning the sudden destruction of Jerusalem and Samaria by Persian hordes.

Would I then be wrong to use similar sounds and
images to describe the spiritual destruction that crashed upon me?
For as I strode through life free of doubts and cares,
I had no inkling of the peril lying in wait for me
between work and rest.
It arrived like the winter’s blast on a summer’s day,
a turbulent front thrusting me into turmoil.

Wrecked by the blows of the wild waves of the sea,
like a ship
whose rudder has become unhinged,
whose tall mast has been ripped from the deck,
whose flapping sails are in shreds,
whose well-built frame has lost its form,
whose ropes have unravelled,
whose lookout has been laid low,
whose cable strands have snapped,
whose anchor has come loose,
whose joints are unjointed,
whose guiding oar is bent,
whose keel is submerged,
whose helm is detached,
whose steering mechanism is gone,
whose backbone has snapped,
whose ribs are undone,
whose underbelly is shattered,
whose deck burst loose,
whose cabin has collapsed,
whose railing has fallen,
whose captain’s chair has tipped,
whose deck planks have split apart,
whose fastening nails are out.

C This image of destruction reminds me of my misery,
like a captain mourning his ship,
chin in hand,2 tears streaming down,
viewing traces of the wreckage
bobbing on the crest of the waves.
My slain sanity sobs with pitiful grief.

I did not stray from the truth
in selecting these words to mourn
the shattered ark of my intellect.
For the Good Captain with his heavenly host
took pity on the sea of humanity in just this way.
Indeed, our merciful Lord,
wept like one of us mortals for the death of a friend3
and shed tears for fallen Jerusalem and
treacherous Judas.
Those two, like sunken ships, were lost beyond hope,
but the first, having hit bottom,
was lifted up into tranquil peace,
by the thread of hope held in the hand of our deliverer.

D I wonder:
Will I ever see the battered ark of
my body restored?
Will I ever see my shipwrecked soul healthy again?
Will I ever see what has been separated by
so great a chasm rejoined?
Will I ever see the sad and tired heart of
this grieved spirit in bliss?
Will I ever see the defiled image of
nature once again in full bloom?
Will I ever see the destroyed temple of
my miserable self standing?
Is there hope I might see this exiled slave set free?
Indeed, may one fallen from grace expect
to be lifted once more to the light?
Will I ever see the native splendor of
your radiance appearing to me in mercy?
Will I ever see the saddest aspect of my soul smile?
Will I ever hear good tidings instead of bad news?
Will I ever see the thousand cracks in
my vessel mended?
Will I see through the windows of
my mind’s eye the bond of my debt torn up?4
Will I see the goodness of forgiving grace
dawn upon the days of my anguish?
Will you lead me again into the joyous altar of light?
Will my dried bones come alive again like Ezekiel’s
through your life-giving breath?5
Will I again set eyes upon your holy cathedral,
I who cry forth like the prophet from
the belly of the whale,6
rejected from the light, standing
before you in shame?
And will morning’s light ever dawn to
dispel my gloom,
I, who was reared in darkness?
Will one tormented in the deep frost of
winter ever see spring?
Will the mist of the rain restore the green
pasture of my soul?
Will the lost sheep, gashed by wild beasts,
be again counted among your flock
through your merciful will?

E For as Job said, the snares of evil are all around,
from these I cannot escape.7
But by your good will
if the light of compassion should shine,
if the door of your mercy should open,
if the rays of your glory should spread,
if the care of your hand should be revealed,
if the dawning sun of life should break forth,
if the sight of your beautiful morn
should be unveiled,
if the bounty of your sweetness should flow forth,
if the stream from the maker’s side should run,
if the drops of your pure love should shower down,
if the good news of the dawn of your
grace should resound,
if the tree of your gift should blossom,
if the parts of your blessed body are distributed,
if the dashed expectations should be reassembled,
if the silenced sound of your beckoning voice, Lord,
should again be heard,
if your banished peace should return,
then with this blessing
shall the faith of steady hope be forever mine
finding refuge in the Holy Spirit,
who with the Father is worshiped with
the voice of sweetness
and together with you bathed in light too bright for human eyes.8
Grant life, forgiveness and heavenly bliss to me, a sinner,
holding your incorruptible grace, the true token of faith,
as an indestructible legacy.

This we pray in the name of your awe-inspiring,
mighty and holy oneness
and the lordship of your three-fold person
beyond human words and understanding
to you, who are in essence and in existence eternally
exalted, crowned, clothed and
enthroned with sweetness, mercy and benevolence.

Indeed through you, O merciful Lord,
all things, in all ways, for all people, are possible.
To you glory here, now and forever and in the eternity to
come on the great day of revelation.

1. Is 5,30.
2. Jb 21,5.
3. Jn 11,35.
4. Col 2,14.
5. Ez 37,1-11.
6. Jon 2,3-5.
7. Jb 18,8 Jb 19,8 Jb 36,8.
8. 1Tm 6,16.

Prayer 26

Speaking with God from the Depths of the Heart

A And now, truly and rightly, I join the others
who, modulating the sobs of their voices,
appropriately dress their writing
with the same sound at the end of each verse,
thereby more intensely inflaming and rending the heart,
and the anguish of the pangs of its distress
to the point of tears.
Thus I take my place at the head of the table of
the practitioners of this art,
who punctuate their poetry with sobs,
and like them sighing and exclaiming “alas,”
I lay open the grief of my soul,
which is not totally dead to the world,
but is not truly alive to God,
poetry neither especially hot, or particularly cold1
as the Evangelist wrote in the Revelations,
thrice condemned by the Holy Trinity and
all-knowing creator.
Thus, the fitting manifestation of my afflictions,
making them twice as pitiful,
is to set forth with a single rhyme
making them the epitome of wretchedness,
resonating response after response.

B Like one, who renouncing debts, incurs even
more penalties, wretched person that I am,
I am condemned by my unworthy acts
to a double penalty and unwaivable judgment,
liable before the Almighty, apprehended without
any defense, in a matter of thousands of talents,
but without an ear’s worth of coins,
held captive in bitter confinement without
an intercessor to sup on sighs and
pain in a prison of darkness,
tormented without refuge or sustenance, I am pitiful,
and chose here a different mode for my lamentations,
transposing my weeping with words,
arranged with regularity in the same manner,
with the indivisible, mystical symbol: 20,
the pure vowel sound “ee” and the number of talents
returned by the industrious servant of the parable.2
The flames of the furnace of spiritual poverty are
fanned from all sides, around my miserable,
defenseless self.
My anguished heart is mortgaged and
my inconstant soul, easy prey to error.
Unsparingly indicted, judgment shall be
demanded of me.
My senses shall be wounded by the weapons of
death and sin.
Like a slave condemned beyond salvation,
my very essence is shredded by the hacking of
its sharp sword.
At the mere recollection of the tribunal of my judgment,
gloom without a glimmer of light envelopes
my pessimistic eyes.
Helpless captive of doubt, wretch that I am,
the image of heaven’s consternation overwhelms me.
In the severe sunless Tartaros, without cover,
without refuge, singed by the flames of Gehenna, I am
lost without trace, swallowed by the abyss of sin.
This is my net worth of useless silver
which will never be honored or acceptable for deposit
in the Lord’s treasury.
My petitions are tainted and my hands are
unclean for an offering.
I am heart broken and my fingers tremble in
hope of redemption.
With my face to the ground, I beseech you,
Mother of Jesus,
intercede and pray for forgiveness for me, a sinner.
You, who are the mighty savior of life, Queen of Heaven,
to you we offer the blessing of our voices and
the fragrance of incense and the gift of sweet oils.

C Now, let me add to the lamentations already written, another part.
I have offered to the grantor of grace the fruits of tears.
Having been unable to find the depth of my perdition,
whenever I tried to describe it in precise words,
even the swift wings of my mind were not able to
comprehend its essence.
Because the defeat of my mental capacities by
the invincible forces of sin,
I have taken the cup of wrath in my hand and
I drink, as a taste of death, the perplexity of doubt.
And now that I have set these rhythms of transgression to song with a pitiful voice,
an invisible inferno blazes within me with flames that cannot be quenched,
like some invisible molten metal bubbling furiously in an blasting furnace,
like the shooting of poisoned arrows into the deepest chamber of my heart,
like jabs of pain from mortal wounds piercing through the veins of my liver,
like pangs of labor, pain is stuck in my blocked intestines unable to escape,
like my two burning kidneys that cannot be cured,
like the unbearable bitterness of bile at the back of my throat,
the fading voice of a sigh of “alas” can be heard in my windpipe.
The various elements of the nature of my essence are like
enemies at war with each other,3
wavering with the timidity of opinions in total crisis.
Although kin, they are destroying each other in
irreconcilable betrayal,
neither dead nor alive, buried in the mire of
the baseness of sin.
And with the suspicion of a convict I gaze upon
your benevolence,
that I might be lifted out of the pit of this hopeless life into the light of our desire.

D May he who copies these words be crowned
among the blissful.
May he expecting your mercy join the ranks of the pure.
May he be granted life through your beneficence for his homage to God the Word.
May the praiseworthy blessings of your lips be
upon the heart of him who distributes this book.
May the aspiration of Solomon’s book of
Proverbs be fulfilled.4
Through your Spirit, exalted God, may the imprint of your image be incorruptibly renewed,
for you alone are patient and forgiving,
and to you all glory.

1. Ap 3,15-16.
2. This line has been the subject of a number of interpretations. Critical Edition p. 1019-20 n. 11. Avetikian is followed here, according to which the reference is to the letter ini in Armenian, which is the number twenty and also the sound in which all the lines in this prayer end starting from Part B. The vowel [i] is indivisible as a “pure sound” not a diphthong, and is mystical in that it is the number of talents returned by the industrious servant in the parable of the Three Servants, Mt 25,14.
3. This is the conflict between the four elements, earth, wind, fire and water, out of which medieval thinkers believed all else was composed.
4. Pr 11,25.

Prayer 27

Speaking with God from the Depths of the Heart

A As I adapted the earlier chapters to the
wordy creations offered up in my lamenting voice,
wailing and sobbing, shrieking cries,
weeping sighs of anguish,
again I begin my prayers
with confession and contrition,
revealing my dark secrets.
And I shall place here, at
the beginning and end of each sentence
the same words, echoing each other
to form a single supplication of similar litanies
for soul-saving humility.

B I have sinned against your beneficence,
disrespectful sinner that I am.
I have sinned against the rays of your dawn,
dark sinner that I am.
I have sinned against the boundless benefits of your grace, verily I have sinned.
I have sinned against the exalted mercy of love,
brazenly I have sinned.
I have sinned against the creator ex nihilo,
truly I have sinned.
I have sinned against the tenderness of your
almighty embrace,
unworthy sinner that I am.
I have sinned against the enlightenment of your
undiminishing light,
deceitful sinner that I am.
I have sinned against the eating of your ineffable life, many times I have sinned.
I have sinned against the talents of your
incomprehensible gifts,
at all times I have sinned.
I have sinned against the praiseworthy body of God, mortally I have sinned.
I have sinned against your worshipful blood, our creator, truly I have sinned.

C Indeed this “I have sinned” is a blessed phrase in this prayer for the heart set on hope,
It has an honorable lineage, an unforgettable image,
paternal tribute, law of our forefathers,
our common inheritance,
irrefutable argument, forceful response,
bridge of life, pleasing to Heaven,
beloved of the saints, unseverable tie,
magical words, inescapable logic, earnest request,
inviting altar, heart-rending cry,
hope for the hopeless, shield against hardship,
charter for the faithful, letter to the pagans,
rule of the ancients, birthright of Christians,
victorious creative force, mighty abyss,
terrifying separation, transcending art,
incomprehensible depth, dazzling vision,
sealed mystery that cannot be unlocked,
beyond the grasp of the quickest mind.
A fitting, miraculous sound,
which was not uttered by the outcast sinners,1
for if it had been, perhaps at that very moment,
the just death sentence and culling of the flock2
no longer being applicable,
the eternal barrier would have been torn down.
This word is an ornament of crowning glory,
by which the Godhead himself spreads his
magnanimity among us.

D For who, having sought refuge by holding the
horn of the holy altar,
did not instantly escape punishment, being found pure?3
Or as Achan, son of Carmi,4 King Saul,5 and Judas,6
were not absolved, merely by saying “I sinned”?
This, I affirm, with God as my witness, was just and fair,
for forced confession is not performed with loving
contrition and therefore cannot bring salvation.

E But I again embrace this happy word,
repeating it willingly
like a kind of baptism:
I have sinned by forgetting your favor,
again I have sinned.
I have sinned by slaying my soul with my hands of flesh, senselessly I have sinned.7
I have sinned by betraying the life you gave,
verily I have sinned.
I have sinned by ignoring your word,
basely I have sinned.
I have sinned by hastening the day of my death myself, destructively I have sinned.
I have sinned by mortgaging myself to lifeless death, mockingly I have sinned.
I have sinned by my impudence before your greatness, annoyingly I have sinned.

F Yet again I cry out my soul’s ultimate lament.
For its loss and destruction came about by my own hand,
I strayed beyond return and though treated as a son,
I turned hostile.
I stumbled from the heights of heaven and only gathered thorns of life.
Moreover, I cry out,
for I defiled myself and turned myself into
an altar to the Destroyer.
There is also another ache in my heart,
for they consider me to be something I am not.
Like an outwardly sparkling cup, that is really dirty,
or a whitewashed wall, that is filthy,
or a showoff dressed in vain conceit,
that is really a light engulfed in gloom,
a miserable eye blinded not by a speck, but a stick,8
or an extinguished torch of glory,
destructive in all things, in all places, in all ways,
toward the providence of the Lord,
toward the manifestations of Godliness,
toward the images shaped by the creator,
toward the fearfulness of humility,
toward the one, whom I saw with my own eyes,9
toward this, for which I am more accountable
than for the entire Gospel.
Amazement, shock,
gnawing cares, those infeasible intentions and
calculations beyond the mind’s ken,
failed escapes, faulty landings,
deserved disappointments, fair reprimand,
appropriate ridicule, just denunciation,
well-deserved curses –
such are the accusations and self-inflicted
torments of my sinful self.

G And since you are able to forgive all these
transgressions and cure these deadly wounds,
Lord of mercies, God of all
Christ King, Son of the exalted Father,
creator, compassionate, beneficent,
blessed, generous, bountiful,
awesome, mighty, merciful,
guardian, rescuer, bulwark,
savior, reviver, resusciator,
long-suffering, unvengeful, refuge,
physician, praised, heavenly,
ineffable, light, life,
resurrection, renewal, atonement.

H If you would look upon me with that goodwill
toward mankind as you do,
then as I contemplate you, I will cry out in anguish.
If you would listen, I will sigh.
If you would incline your ear, I will whisper a prayer.
If you would take note, I will beseech you.
If you would forgive, I will ask forgiveness.
If you would turn toward me, I will call.
For if you turn away, I will be ruined.
And if you kick me away, I will cry.
If you do not protect my soul, I shall die.
If you show me your terrible countenance, I will perish.
And if you scold me, I will tremble.
If you glare at me, I will shake.
If you are stern, I cringe.
If you drive me away, I whimper.
If you knock me down, I will shatter.
If you do not put out the flames of despair, I agonize.
If you despise me, I will flee.
If you threaten me, I will collapse.
If you examine me, I will be stoned.
If you look hard at me, I will sink.
If you do not spare me, I will be rejected.
If you summon me, I will be paranoid.
If you stare at me, I will be shamed.
If you call me, I will fear.
For I have betrayed the gift of goodness,
forsaken bliss, abandoned grace, disavowed my word,
forgotten the gift of life, lost boldness and confidence,
angered the creator of my being,
trampled that grace beyond words,
deformed the image of honor.

I But if you, Lord Jesus, reach out
to me in loving-kindness as I suffocate with sighs of pain,
then, as the Scriptures promised,
“Your cure will cleanse away the greatest sins.”10
And through your boundless kindness
I will be joined to you, with your image of light
re-imprinted upon my soul.
Atoned and re-established in your salvation,
I will reach the immortal life of the virtuous
and give glory forever to you
with the Father and Holy Spirit.

1. Mt 25,41.
2. Mt 25,32.
3. 1R 2,28.
4. Jos 7,19.
5. 1S 15,24.
6. Mt 27,4.
7. Rm 6,12.
8. Mt 7,3.
9. Commentators through the centuries have interpreted this as a witness to St. Gregory’s sainthood and visions. Critical Edition p. 1026, n. 14.
10. Qo 10,4.

Prayer 28

Speaking with God from the Depths of the Heart

A Which of my sins shall I confess now?
Which shall we examine?
On which kind shall I discourse?
How much of the hidden shall I uncover?
Which shall I confess –
the present, which I am still doing?
Or the past, which I have done?
Or the future, which I fear?
The slippery places, where I stumbled?
Those faults I thought small, but which
God reckoned large,
or the insubstantial, which are not worth mentioning?
The minor, which are many,
or the few, which are grave?
The psychological passions which are destructive
or the physical ailments which are deadly?
Those that began as easy pleasures,
or those that ended in destruction?
The invisible or visible?
Those committed directly by the hand,1
or those committed indirectly by one’s breath?
The scattershot of easy marks
or the arrow shots at length?
Those whose depth is beyond measure
or those that totally cover the surface?
Multifarious prostitution
or incurable illness?
The body swollen with evil
or the soul starved of the good?
The penchant for things unpleasing to God,
or the equally frenzied tugging at the leash of restraint?
The mortal sins or my vain thoughts?

B Truly, like a willfully crazed person, stripped naked,
I display my waywardness openly,
contradicting the wise man who said
that the clever cover up their shame.2
I who am estranged from religion,
who am expelled from the ranks,
in holiness, profane; in celibacy, unclean,
in justice, iniquitous; in piety, wicked,
in words of my mouth, close to my creator,
but in my innermost organs, distant.
By my lips offering honor, as the Prophet says,
but not with my heart.3
And if I recount my full shame here,
I would tempt fate with a worse punishment,
for I am the unreliable servant,
vacillating between two paths,
both leading to damnation.4
I try, but I have no success.
I press forward, but I do not arrive.
I rush, but I am late.
I strain, but I do not see.
I desire, but I am not fulfilled.
I long, but I do not meet.
I have all earthly ills and thus can serve as
an emissary offering prayers for the whole world.

C Forgive these sins, generous God,
and do not focus only on them.
It is easier for you to erase them than
for me to describe my vile actions.
Therefore I write without restraint
so you may blot them out,
you, who for the sake of us sinners
became long-suffering.
My soul, like Ezra’s yearning heart,
is anxious, my spirit, restless
as I list these faults,5
showing how I am in danger of every mortal passion,
how I am fallen into a pit of sin.
And like Job I doubt you hear me.6
Now, as a self-accused, self-condemned captive,
bound by sin, I turn myself in
and block all of life’s possibilities.
But by your mercy toward me
your greatness is multiplied, praiseworthy Lord.

D And as advised by the good prophet,
let us try to pray with him in song,
with our firm faith in God’s protection,
“Give your word,” says Hosea,
“And turn away from sin and toward the Lord our God,
and say to him, ‘Would you forgive our sins?’”7
that you might be restored to the good,
that your souls might enjoy bliss.
God spoke, but who listened?
He himself gave witness, but who believed?

E These words, weighed and judged,
these terms describing God-given conditions,
this good news, this set of purposes,
this door to what is right,
this invitation to comfort,
this genuine picture,
the undiminishing treasure,
the indelible memory,
I hereby set down in faith,
and testify with the prophet –
that you are able to forgive all our sins,
thereby magnifying, exalting yourself,
for this wretched soul.
In this you reign, providing all,
reaching everywhere,
triumphing over all violence,
crumbling all hardness,
fending off all blows,
softening all severity,
overcoming all bitterness,
sweetening sourness,
lightening the inconsolable,
forgiving all debts,
remitting all transgressions,
you, able, mighty, master of all arts,
submerge and destroy all sins and clear them away,
as with a flash of lightning, which takes no space,
but penetrates the depths and is enveloped by
the universal sea.

F Now, Father, through prayers offered by
the readers of this book,
have mercy, for the sake of the cross and
the suffering and death of your Son,
who is the source of the lamenting voice of
the one who sends these tearful psalms.8
May he who prepared this remedy for
the salvation of our souls
be made whole in your name, Almighty.
Let him who showed us the true path
through confession,
be clear of all his transgression.
Let him who taught us to clip the wings of our pride
with his message on the rule of life
be released from the evil bonds of deadly sins –
original, final and all in between.
Through the beneficence of your Trinity,
restore us to the light and
we will deem ourselves blissful with him.

G Now, Father creator
awesome name, miracle maker,
shuddering voice, familiar exclamation,
embracing thought, splendid effect, severe command,
essence beyond examination, existence beyond words,
reality beyond measure, might beyond thought,
good will, limitless dominion,
immeasurable greatness, exalted beyond comprehension,
quantity beyond weighing, supremacy
beyond surpassing,
the origin of the Son by fatherhood, and not by priority,
by you and through your unbounded power,
banish the tormenting and demonic frenzied fever,
which slyly entered with sin.
Banish it from man so that
frightened by the wondrous and unending stream
of blood of your heavenly lamb,
we might be cleansed forever.

H And now, before your wonders, in abject humility,
may Satan shrink in shame at the evil deeds
of his angels, may he be tormented and driven away,
banished and exiled, into the outer darkness,
from the altar of your dwelling place within us.
And when you have purged them, wipe the tears
from our faces, erase the sobbing of
our voices from our hearts.
And in memory of the blows, like thorns in the side,
mortal and terrifying, by which the Only Begotten
was nailed to the cross,
may the evil one also suffer similar pain.
And may the blow to the side by the piercing arrow,
gravely wound him and
kill the creator of death.
And since Satan bowed his haughty head,
before he breathed his last breath, O Exalted One,
let rebellious Beliar with his evil ways
perish totally, condemned, vanquished.
And again, since the truly immortal was concealed and
buried in the womb of the earth,
let the haughty see himself bound in the darkness of
the shadows on the deadly pavement of hell.
And may he remember the first irreversible blow
by which the resistance to the poisonous snake died
at the price of the suffering of the almighty Savior.

I For your glory and in praise of your Son and through
the Holy Spirit,
I confess this, Father of mercy,
for in the deep mystery of your unity,
one does not need the least power from the other,
rather we glorify your Word made flesh
without beginning, along with the timeless Father.
To you alone, Holy Trinity,
from one stem, indivisible self,
blessings, thanks and strength,
and the ineffable splendor of greatness,
felicitous balance and equality forever.

1. Gn 3,3-7 (sin by reaching for the fruit of the tree of knowledge vs. sin by the breath of one’s voice).
2. Pr 12,16.
3. Is 29,13.
4. 1R 18,21.
5. Esd 8,72.
6. Jb 9,16
7. Os 14,2, Is 55,3.
8. Commentators suggest that this section is dedicated to St. Gregory’s teachers or parents. Critical Edition, p. 1028, n. 11.

Gregory Narek - Prayers - Prayer 24