A Prayer for Sunday (Gregory of Nazianzus)

Keeping with the theme from the last couple of weeks, today’s prayer comes from the third of the great Cappadocian fathers, Gregory of Nazianzus. Like his friends Basil and Gregory of Nyssa, Gregory of Nazianzus was a staunch supporter of Nicene trinitarianism and a leading theology of the fourth century. Indeed, his influence on Christian theology and worship was so great that is revered in the east as one of the Three Holy Hierarchs.

Although there is some question as to the exact date of Gregory’s death, it is likely that he died on January 25 in 389 or 390. So this Sunday’s prayer comes from him in memory of his amazing life.

O All-Transcendent God
…..(and what other name could describe you?),
what words can hymn Your praises?
…..No word does You justice.
What mind can probe Your secret?
…..No mind can encompass You.

You are alone beyond the power of speech,
yet all that we speak stems from You.
You are alone beyond the power of thought,
yet all that we can conceive springs from You.

All things proclaim You,
those endowed with reason and those bereft of it.
All the expectation and pain of the world coalesces in You.
All things utter a prayer to You, a silent hymn composed by You.

You sustain everything that exists,
and all things move together to Your orders.
You are the goal of all that exists.
You are one and You are all,
yet You are none of the things that exist,
neither a part nor the whole.

You can avail Yourself of any name;
how shall I call You, the only unnameable?
All-transcendent God!

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