- Armenian Literature, History, Religion in in Russian

Grigor Narekatsi


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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 47

Speaking with God from the Depths of the Heart


What can I be, but speechless
before your awesome might?
What can I be but embarrassed and silent
my words only quiet dust in my mouth,1
when I hope for virtue
as the prophets advised?
Even if I open my clamped lips,
what would flow but more mournful elegies?
Nothing but the voice of my many wounds
pouring forth.


And now, weeping with the great sinner,
who willingly committed mortal sin,
I join in his cry,
“I have sinned, Lord, I have sinned,
and to my lawlessness I myself am witness.”2
Weaving this cry with the words of the 50th Psalm,3
I conclude that the wages of my innumerable
sins are greater
than the grains of sand that make up the earth
and are scattered by the wind.
I have sinned against heaven and you.
Like the Prodigal Son, who though shamed,
received his father’s forgiveness,
I make my entreaty, prostrate before you,
my face twisted in grief, pleading:
Father of compassion, God of all,
I am not worthy to be called even a worthless,
irresponsible hireling,4
let alone “son,” or even to have this word
uttered about me.
Still accept me, a wandering exile, defeated by wounds,
faint with gnawing hunger.
Heal me with your bread of life,
confront me with mercy, for you are my first refuge.
Clothe me, a lawless sinner, merciful and
unvengeful God,
with the clothes of my former innocence.
Place, with your boundless generosity,
the ring with your seal of courage
on my sinful hand that lost everything by straying in sin.
Protect the soles of my bare feet
with the sandals of the Gospels.5
Guard me from poisonous snakes.
And even though I am wanting in virtue
you sacrifice the fatted calf of heaven,
your only begotten Son, out of
love for mankind.
Your blessed Son who is always offered and
yet remains whole,
who is sacrificed continuously upon innumerable altars without being consumed,
who is all in everyone and complete in all things,
who is in essence of heaven and in reality of earth,
who is lacking nothing in humanness and without
defect in divinity,
who is broken and distributed in individual parts,
that all may be collected in the same body with
him as head.6
Glory to you with him, Father most merciful.

1. Lam. 3:29.
2. 2 Chr. 33:1-20.
3. Ps. 50:3-5.
4. Lk. 15:3-32.
5. Eph. 6:15.
6. Jn. 11:52, Eph. 1:22-23.



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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