Armenian text of the Prayers attributed to Ephrem the Syrian, with the first-ever translation into a western language. Utilizing a highly developed poetic rhythm, the author manifests a profound spirituality laying his own emptiness before the inexhaustible Mercy of God.
7 x 10
A bilingual edition of the Armenian Prayers attributed to Ephrem the Syrian.
Collected together in eight books, probably in eleventh or twelfth century Armenian Cilicia, these prayers are filled with a very profound spirituality and a highly developed poetic rhythm, nearly every line evoking a phrase, an image or an event from the Bible. The author bares his soul in his deep yearning for union with God, groans and pours out all his sins and weaknesses, laying them at the feet of the Almighty, always begging for but still completely trusting in God’s inexhaustible Mercy. Whatever their relation to the fourth-century Syrian poet St. Ephrem, these exquisite Prayers exist only in Armenian. The accompanying English translation makes this work, heretofore the exclusive treasure of the Armenian Church, accessible to the western world for the first time.
Edward G. Mathews Jr studied Syriac at Catholic University of America and Armenian at Columbia University and has published in both fields. His research interests center on Syrian influence in Armenia and the Armenian works attributed to Ephrem the Syrian. Now retired, he has taught in colleges and seminaries all over the world and is currently cataloguing Armenian manuscripts for the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library in Collegeville, Minnesota.
Cover image: Ephrem the Syrian, from Ms. Matenadaran 2690.