Prayer with Animals

Prayer with the Animals

A Hymn by St. Gregory Nazianzus

O all-transcendent God
(what other name describes you?)
What words can sing your praises?
No word at all denotes you.
What mind can probe your secret?
No mind at all can grasp you.
Alone beyond the power of speech,
all men can speak of springs from you.
Alone beyond the power of thought,
all men can think of stems from you.
All things proclaim you -
things that can speak, things that cannot.
All things revere you -
things that have reason, things that have none.
The whole world's longing
and pain mingle about you.
All things breathe you a prayer,
a silent hymn of your own composing.
All that exists you uphold,
all things in concert move to your orders.
You are the end of all that is,
you are one, you are all;
You are none of the things that are,
you are not a part and not the whole.
All names are at your disposal;
how shall I name you, the only unnamable?
What mind's affinities with heaven
can pierce the veils above the clouds?
Mercy, all-transcendent God
(what other name describes you?) (4)

An Excerpt from St. Basil's prayer after Communion
...And thus when this life on earth shall have passed away in thee, hope of life eternal, may I attain unto everlasting rest where the hymn of those who glorify thee is unceasing and the delight of those who behold the ineffable goodness of thy face is infinite; for thou art the true desire and inexpressible joy of those who love thee, O Christ our God, and all creation glorifieth thee to all eternity. Amen. (17)

From the Barbarini Codex 226 - A Greek Liturgical Manuscript from the late 8th century:
O Lord our God who have subjected all rational and spiritual powers to your will, we pray and beseech you to accept the praises we offer you as best we are able, together with all creation, and we ask that you will give us all the riches of your goodness; before you every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth; all things living and created praise your unfathomable glory, You who are the one true God, abounding in mercy.
With all the powers of heaven we praise and glorify you, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and for ever to the ages of ages. Amen. (8)

From Hymn #V by St. Ephriam the Syrian (9)
[The shepherds] brought and presented
a suckling lamb to the Pascal Lamb,
a first-born to the First-born,
a sacrifice to the Sacrifice,
a lamb of time to the Lamb of truth.
Fair sight [to see] the lamb offered to the Lamb!
The lamb bleated as it was offered before the First-born.
It praised the Lamb, that had come to set free the flocks and the oxen from sacrifices:
yea that Pascal Lamb, Who handed down and brought in the Passover of the Son.

The Service for Pascha Matins
Verily, all creatures have been filled with light, the heaven and the earth, and all that is below the earth. Let all creation, therefore, celebrate the Resurrection of Christ, in which it is strengthened. (17)

From the Lenten Triodion (10)
O Thou who coverest Thy high places with the waters
Who settest the sand as a bound to the sea
and dost uphold all things:
the sun sings Thy praises,
the moon gives Thee glory
Every creature offers a hymn to Thee
his author and creator, for ever.

Nineveh & The Three Youths in the Fiery Furnace
In the Services of the Orthodox Church you will find a love for the Ninevites who (along with their animals) repented at the word of one prophet, and the three youths in the fiery furnace who in spite of persecution continued to praise God. Not only did they praise God in the face of death but they called all of creation (including the animals!) to praise God too. The Orthodox understand the fourth person in the fiery furnace to be Christ himself protecting them. This is a Eucharistic image.

From Church Services for October 26 - Demetrius
by Simeon
Stichos: He looked upon the earth, and maketh it tremble.
The people of Nineveh, because of their shortcomings, heard of the threat of the earthquake. But by means of the sign of the whale, which made clear to them the Resurrection, they were called to repentance through Jonah. Therefore, as thou didst harken to them, harken also to the cries of thy people, with the babes and beasts, and have compassion on us who are chastised. Pity us for the sake of thy third-day Resurrection, and have mercy upon us. (17)

Katabasis of the Nativity (17)
Christ is born, glorify him.
Christ hath come from the heavens, receive him. Sing unto the Lord, all the earth;
and ye nations, praise him with joy;
for he hath been glorified.
The Epistle: All those on earth worship thee and sing unto thee, Alleluia to God, O all the earth.

pg.2 - Holy Scripture

Orthodox Prayer for & with our Fellow Creatures


Speak a word to me, Father.

Copyright © 1999, L.A. Christensen. All rights reserved.