A Hymn by St. Gregory Nazianzus

O all-transcendent God what other name describes Thee?

What words can sing Thy praises?

No word at all denotes Thee. What mind can probe Thy secret?

No mind at all can grasp Thee. Alone beyond the power of speech, all men can speak of springs from Thee. Alone beyond the power of thought, all men can think of stems from Thee.

All things proclaim Thee - things that can speak, things that cannot. All things revere Thee - things that have reason, things that have none. The whole world's longing and pain mingle about Thee.

All things breathe Thee a prayer, a silent hymn of Thy own composing. All that exists Thee uphold, all things in concert move to Thy orders.

Thou art the end of all that is, Thou art one, Thou art all; Thou art none of the things that are, Thou art not a part and not the whole.

All names are at Thy disposal; how shall I name Thee, the only unnamable? What mind's affinities with heaven can pierce the veils above the clouds?

Mercy, all-transcendent God, what other name describes Thee?

(4) Earliest Christian Hymns, edited by F. Forrester Church & Terrence J. Mulry, Macmillan Publishing Co. '88





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