Hymns and Poems of St. Gregory the Theologian

A Hymn of Glory to the Trinity

Glory to God the Father
And to the Son who reigns over all.
Glory to the Spirit, All-Holy,
To whom praise is fitting.
This is the Single God, the Trinity,
Who created all things that are;
Who filled the heavens with spiritual beings,
The land with earthly creatures,
The oceans, rivers, springs,
With all aquatic living things.
Out of his own Spirit he gives life
to all that lives (Ps. 104.30; Jn. 6.63)
So that all created life can sing out praise
To the wisdom of the Maker;
That single cause of their existence,
Their continuing subsistence.
But more than all other things,
And in all things,
Rational nature must sing out
That he is the Great King, Good Father.
And so, my Father, grant to me
In spirit and in soul, in heart and voice,
In purity of heart (Mt. 5.8)
To give you the glory. Amin.
St. Gregory of Nazianzus.
Hymn 1.1.31. PG 37. 510-511
Tr. J.A. McGuckin.

A Hymn to the Divinity

You stand above all things that are.
What other way could we rightly begin to sing of you?
How can words chant your praise
When no word can ever speak of you?
How can the mind consider you
When no thought can ever grasp you?
You alone are unutterable
From the time you created all things that can be spoken of.
You alone are unknowable
From the time you created all things that can be known.
All things cry out about you
those which speak, and those which cannot think;
For there is one longing, one yearning,
That all things have for you (Rom. 8. 22-23).
All things pray to you, that comprehend your plan,
And offer you a silent hymn.
In you, the One, all things abide
And to you all things endlessly converge
Who are the end and goal of all.
You are One, and All, and None of these.
You who bear all names,
How shall I ever name you?
You who can never be named?
What heavenly mind can ever penetrate
those veils above the clouds?
Be merciful, You who stand above all things.
What other way can we rightly sing of you?
St. Gregory of Nazianzus.
Hymn 1.1.29. PG 37. 507-508
Tr. J.A. McGuckin.

Two Prayers at the Setting of the Sun

Now it is time to bless you
My Christ, the Word of God,
Light of Light that has no beginning,
Steward of the Spirit
And of that threefold light
That gathers in one glory.
You it is who set loose darkness,
And you who brought forth light,
That you might make all things in light.
You set fast unstable matter,
Forming it into a world
And into the good order we now have.
You enlightened the mind of Man
with reason and with wisdom
And thereby placed an Ikon here below
Of that brightness which is above,
That Man may see the light by light
And so become entirely light.
You it was who lit up the heavens
with lights of many hues.
You it was decreed that night and day
Should gently yield to one another
Honouring that law of brotherly and sisterly love.
In Night you give us respite
From the cares of our much burdened flesh.
In Day you raise us up to work
And to deeds that are pleasing in your sight;
So that fleeing from all darkness
We might hurry into the day,
The day you liberate from all the gloom of night.
But for now, send a light and restful sleep upon my eyes
So that the voice of praise may not be silenced long;
For as the angels take up that song,
Your work is never stilled.
Now let this reverent time of repose
Be also a scrutiny of soul before you,
So that the night may not reproach us
With defilements of the day,
And that the follies of the dark
Should not affright our dreams.
But let the mind, freed of the body,
Still speak with you, O God;
The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit;
To whom be glory, honour and might
To the ages of ages. Amin.
St. Gregory of Nazianzus.
Hymn 1.1.32. PG 37. 511-514
Tr. J.A. McGuckin.
Word of God, and Truth itself,
I consecrated this day to you;
But I have played you false.
Night now falls upon me
And finds my own lamp barely bright.
This I prayed over, and foresaw,
But even so my feet still stumbled,
And so darkness fell around me,
That hater of salvation.
Oh, my Christ !
Rekindle my little lamp,
And shine on me once more.
St. Gregory of Nazianzus.
Hymn 2.1.25. PG 37. 1285
Tr. J.A. McGuckin.
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