Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Harp of Narekavank

 Today was the feast of St. Gregory of Narek, Doctor of the Church. He was born in the Kingdom of Vaspurakan, on the border between modern-day Turkey and Iran, around Lake Van, a very large salt lake. This area was one of the major cultural centers of medieval Armenia. He spent most of his life at the Monastery of Narek (Narekavank), which had one of the Armenian Church's major schools, where he taught theology.

From his Litany for the Church: 

 Treasure of profound goodness, desired, discovered, and concealed, absolute fullness that gathers everyone, never wanting, hardly differing from heaven above: Your altar extends beyond its space--into the inaccessible ether, your boundaries are marked by the fiery hosts beyond the chasm; immeasurable image of compassionate care, glorious throne of the King on high, beyond imagination. Please accept our prayers of petition with befitting incense offered in this place, the holy church, we plead. 

 [Gregory of Narek, The Festal Works of St. Gregory of Narek, Terian, tr. Liturgical Press (Collegeville, MN: 2016) p. 93.]