Prayer, Poem, and Dialectic to God


by +photius farrell


We pray Thee, O Christ,

We acknowledge Thee to be the Lord,

The God of Adam, and Saviour of Eve,

The Hope of Abraham, the Blessing of Isaac,

The Inheritance of Jacob;

O Thou in Whose humanity art the true promised land;

Thou, O Lord God of our fathers, fulfilling all,

hast filled all things with Thyself.


For whither shall I Go from Thy presence,

Whence shall my mind take wings and flee,

That Thou art not there for me to find

For if to Heaven supernal above, Thou art there, O Christ

From thence didst Thou descend as God, and thence ascend as man. 

And if to earth or Hades beneath, thence didst Thou, Love, for love depart,

With Thy human soul; and to the dust of the grave with Thy bodily part

For our human nature was in Thee in death truly sundered

But still in union with Thy deity, In Thee was each part still one,

When, brought to heaven in triumph o’er death, hast Thou the God-man won.


And if in the pride of my human mind

I seek for a place bereft of Thee to find

There too measureless to mankind

Shall I find Thee Who fillest each after its kind:


Thou art the Well-spring of Youth, O Christ,

Yet also the Everlasting Ancient of Days;

As man hast Thou Mother,

As God hast Thou Father,

Who yet hast neither, and yet hast both.


Thou art the Lion of Judah

Yet also the Lamb of God

For Thou hast made both kind of all warring opposites

To lie down together

United in Thee.


Thou art Uncreate, yet created

Mortal, and Very Medicine of Immortality

In thick clouds of darkness dwelling

Yet upon the Mount of Tabor telling

Of Thy divine and uncreate brilliancy.


Who shall declare Thy Generation, O Christ,

Thou Son of God, and Son of Man?

Creator of the creature Thou art,

Yet creature of the Creator Thou art,

By the ineffable union and art of Thy Person.


Thou art very priest, yet also very sacrifice,

Offered once, Yet offered always,

True God, and very man;

Sinless, and made to be sin for us,

Source of blessing, and cursed for us.


Impassible, Thou sufferedst Passion

Incorporeal, bloodless spirit,

Whose Precious blood hath redeemed the kosmos:

For Thou, O Christ, hast flung the stars into the firmament,

And called forth the beasts and Lazarus at Thy command;


Yet, O Christ, wast Thou flung

By Thy creatures’ hands into the Tomb;

Thou hast hung the planets,

and wast hung upon the Cross;

Thou art Judge of all, yet judged of man;

Thou art Boundless and bound in swaddling clothes.


Thou art formless,

yet in Thy countenance we behold

The very Form and Face of God,

Whom no man may see and live,

Yet Whom we handle and hold.


Thou didst descend from whence Thou didst never depart

To seek mankind, the sheep Thou didst never lose

For in Thine Incarnation we behold

The limitless measure of Thy condescension

And the like canon of our Exaltation.


Thou art the True Vine, yet also the Vinedresser,

Thou art the True Lamb, yet also the Good Shepherd

For Thou art all universals common to Deity and humanity


Thou didst find what Thou didst never lose, even humanity

Which, being Thine own which Thou hast made,

hast Thou made Thine own: the Temple not made with hands,

And in the Tomb, Thy Sabbath Rest, from death, ever-raised,

True leaven of life, for ever art Thou praised.


Burnt, by union with Thy Godhead,

Ever-eaten, though ne’er consumed,

For no mere abstraction or “fleshness” do we eat,

But Thy Body and Blood from Adam descended

And by the Holy Ghost and Thine Ever-Virgin Mother conceived.


Thy self-same flesh containing Her, and Thy whole descent,

Whose seedless womb contained Thee Who art yet uncontainable

For keeping the portal shut, Thou didst enter the room

As in the beginning Thou didst enter the womb and from both didst burst forth

As didst Thou, the Rock, from the rock-hewn tomb.


Thou wast conceived by the Spirit moving upon the face of the waters, O Christ,

That creation made be remade in like manner as its foundations were laid

That all by like rebirth may be reborn with the birth from above:

Infant for infants, Child for children, Man, for men, Death, for them that die,

Life, that they yet may live; Light, that the blind may see,

Word, that the deaf may hear, Living waters, that the thirsty may drink,

Bread of life, that the hungry may drink.


O what measureless Love hath flowed from thee

Down through all measureless ages, for the deifying adoption of man.

Who shall meetly worship or praising Thy beauties tell of them all?

For Thou art more excellent than all worship

For Thou art the everlasting word Who excellest all words or silences of man.


O let the peoples praise Thee, O Christ, Yea, let all the nations worship Thee,

For Thy Cross is shown to be Thy mercy-seat, both altar and throne

Whereon Thou reignest, Who dwellest between the seraphim there,

Thy hands uplifted I that true and only prayer;

For the earth trembled and shook withal and the veil of the temple was rent

When Thou, O Christ, her Creator and Lawgiver, didst die thereon.


As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,

For Thou, O Christ, art the same yesterday, today, and forever,

And doest nothing save what Thou seest Thy Father do,

Wherefore, Thou hast healed,

As Thou didst make, us:


When with clay and water didst Thou form us

And with Thy Spirit breathed therein to give us life;

Didst Thou set the pattern and the type

Which Thou Thyself didst Fulfill

As with clay and water didst Thou make the blind man see.


As it was in the beginning, when Thou didst move upon the waters

Is now, and ever shall be, as upon it in the end Thou didst walk;

As it was in the beginning, Who by Thy Spirit, didst scatter the tongues of men

Is now, and ever shall be, by Whose Spirit we are united in the Orthodox worship and faith.


All laud to God the Father be,

All laud, eternal Son, to Thee,

All laud as is ever meet,

To God the Holy Paraclete, Amen.

4 Responses to Prayer, Poem, and Dialectic to God

  1. Dr. Farrell told me that he wrote this sometime back in the mid-80’s.

  2. I’m not entirely sure of the exact date. Perhaps he could come one here and tell us when he penned it.

  3. Fr. Maximus says:

    Both beautiful and profound. When was this written?

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