Thousand years ago St. Gregory of Narek (951-1003) set out, with much trepidation, on a sublime mission to translate the pure sighs of the "broken and contrite" heart1 into an offering of words pleasing to God. Beginning each prayer with the incantation "speaking with God from the depths of the heart," he referred to himself as "a living book (Prayer 39b)" and to his book as a compendium of prayers for all times and nations2 - "a testament... its letters like my body, its message like my soul (Prayer 54e)." Thus, the man equated himself with the book, and ever since, the book has been equated with this saintly man.3 So the book like the man came to be known affectionately as Narek.
St. Gregory's Book of Prayer is also sometimes called the Book of Lamentations.6 The book is known in Armenian as Girk aghotits (literally, 'book of prayer') or Matean voghbergutyan (literally 'book of tragedy or lamentation'). 'Lamentation' is one possible translation of the Armenian word voghbergutyun, which also can be translated as ‘tragedy,’ as it has been translated into French.
Lamentations: Conversations with God" have recently been translated into English and are available online:http://www.stgregoryofnarek.am/book.php
St. Gregory was a monk by lake Van in Armenia during the 11th
century. His sorrowful writings often come near to despair, but
ultimately he finds comfort in God's mercy. His poems/prayers are used extensively in the liturgy of the Armenian church