Vahan Tékéian

(1878 - 1945)
 

 

 

 


 

 

THE ARMENIAN CHURCH

By Vahan Tekeyan

The Armenian Church is the birthplace of my soul.
Like a vast grotto it is simple and profound, dark and light -
With its hospitable court, ample tribune, and hushed altar
Standing in the distance as though it were a ship afloat.

The Armenian Church I see with my eyes closed.
I breathe and hear it through the clouds of incense
Which rise towards the feet of the Infant Jesus,
And through the fervent prayers vibrating its walls.

The Armenian Church is the mighty fortress of my forefather’s faith.
Raised by them from the earth stone by stone,
And descended from heaven, a dewdrop and a cloud at a time.
In it they unfolded themselves peacefully and humbly.

The Armenian Church is a great embroidered tapestry
Behind which the Lord descends into the chalice, and
Before which all my people stand with bowed heads
To commune with the past through life-giving bread and wine.

The Armenian Church is a peaceful haven across turbulent seas.
It is fire and light in the cold of night;
It is shady forest in the scorching midday sun
Where lilies bloom by the River of Hymns.

The Armenian Church, beneath every stone in its floor.
Holds a secret passage leading up to Heaven.

The Armenian Church is the shining armor of Armenia’s soul and body.
Her crosses rise to protect her;
Her bells ring forth and her song is always Victory.

 





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