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A thousand years ago St. Gregory of Narek (951-1005) set out, with much trepidation, on a sublime mission to translate the pure sighs of the “broken and contrite” heart into an offering of words pleasing to God. Beginning each prayer with the incantation “speaking with God from the depths of the heart,” he referred to himself as “a living book (Prayer 39b)” and to his book as a compendium of prayers for all times and nations – “a testament. its letters like my body, its message like my soul (Prayer 54e).” Thus, the man equated himself with the book, and ever since, the book has been equated with this saintly man. So the book like the man came to be known affectionately as Narek.
Beneficent, almighty, awe-inspiring God,
good Father, charitable donor of mercy,
whose very name heralds the good news of
your grandeur, compassion and fatherly affection,
you are gentle even toward the bitter and discontented.
With you also is your Son, who is like you,
whose hand is strong like yours,
whose awesome reign is eternal like yours,
whose exaltation is shared with you in your creation.
So too the Holy Spirit of your truth,
that flows from you without end,
the perfect essence of existence
and eternal being, is equal to you
in all things, reigning with the Son
in equal glory.
Three persons, one mystery,
separate faces, unique and distinct,
made one by their congruence
and being of the same holy substance and nature,
unconfused and undivided,
one in will and one in action.
One is not greater, one is not lesser,
not even by an eyelash, and because
of the unobscurable light of heavenly love
revealed in our midst both have been
glorified with a single crown of holiness
from before the ages.