As you sip your Monday morning coffee and prepare for your week, I offer you the following prayer for reflection:
Աղօթք Այգաբացին Prayer at Dawn
From The Night Service
Der yeteh uzshurtoons eem panas, peran eem yerkestseh zorhnootyoonus ko.
O Lord, open you my lips, and my mouth shall show forth your praise.
As young seminarians, these were the words that first touched our ears each morning in those moments just before sunrise. Our officiant priest would recite the Lord’s prayer and start with this prayer during our Night Service, which was not held at night as the name implies, but in the twilight moments preceding dawn. It was a beautiful uplifting service for us seminarians as we began each day, fresh from sleep and filled with hope, as the first light of the day began melting away the darkness that had surrounded us during the night. As the weight of the night lifted from our shoulders, we were filled with the hope of the new day. It felt so right to ask that our lips be unsealed so we could proclaim words of praise for our Heavenly Father. In those fleeting predawn moments, we felt the day held all the promise of God’s perfect Word. As you establish the routine of opening your eyes and beginning your day with this simple prayer, this positive and uplifting sense will take root in you too.
This prayer was adopted by our church fathers at a time when they incorporated verses from the Bible into our traditional Armenian prayers. In the Night Service, the officiant priest would repeat this prayer twice, each time followed by the deacon responding, “Blessed be Our Heavenly Father.” You can read through the Night Service here: https://www.stnersess.edu/liturgical-services.html. Scroll down to “Night, Morning and Evening Services Booklet.”
Let us remain faithful, mindful and spiritually strong, as we stand together in the face of this pandemic.