Composed by St. Gregory of Narek with the help of his brother Hovhannes around the year 1001 of our Lord and 500 of the Armenian era, copied through the centuries by dedicated scribes and scholars and revered by the Armenian faithful for a thousand years. In 2001 on the occasion of the 1700th anniversary of Armeniaís adoption of Christianity as its state religion, it was translated in to English with awe and trepidation by Thomas J. Samuelian and polished poetically by Diana Der Hovanessian, in the hope that this translation might help restore to many English-speaking Armenians this treasure from our heritage and that for people around the world it will be a discovery that will cause the heart to sigh. For once there was a saint called Gregory who wrote a book of prayer for his brethren and all nations, at a monastery on the shores of Lake Van, the land of our forefathers from time immemorial.
About the Translator
Thomas J. Samuelian holds his Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Pennsylvania and his J.D. from Harvard Law School. He has taught Modern and Classical Armenian at the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University and St. Nersess Seminary.
He is the author of numerous books, articles and translations, including A Course in Modern Western Armenian, a retelling of Yeznik Koghbatsiís Refutation of the Sects, a verse translation of Toumanianís David of Sassoon, and Armenian Origins: An Overview of Ancient and Modern Sources and Theories.
In 1998 he moved to Armenia, where he heads a public interest law firm, continues scholarly pursuits, and remains active in Armenian community and church life. He can be reached at email@example.com.
With what shall I come before the Lord? Shall I come with burnt offerings? He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?