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Author Topic: Fasting of Nineveh  (Read 13064 times) Average Rating: 0
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paul2004
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« on: January 17, 2005, 01:01:42 PM »

Our priest announced that the fasting begins today. It is a three day fast. How about other Churches?

-Paul
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« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2005, 10:19:25 PM »

IC XC NIKA
I don't think the Coptic Church is, I have a little day by day calender, and it didn't say it on it. 
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« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2005, 01:24:45 AM »

Hiyas, yeah we (Copts) do hold it as a fast.
Coptic Orthodox Boy, you'll find it there if you look again, about two weeks before the start of Great Fast,
yours in Love,
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« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2005, 07:38:05 PM »

Hiyas, yeah we (Copts) do hold it as a fast.
Coptic Orthodox Boy, you'll find it there if you look again, about two weeks before the start of Great Fast,
yours in Love,
Mourad

We follow the new calendar in India. So, check the Coptic calendar month equivalent to Feb. 05.

This fasting is there in the Assyrian Church of the East also.

-Paul
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« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2005, 02:38:53 AM »

Dear brothers
Slomo
As the fast subject raised in the forum, let me share a devotional posting on the same subject in one of the Malankara Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church Forum with yahoo. The author of the devotional thought belongs to Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church and one of my best friends. Other three parts will be posted in coming days.

May God have mercy upon us, be gracious to us, and accept the fast of the Holy Church, as HE accepted the fast of the people of Nineveh and spared them. And may our dear Lord also bless us through the prayers of Jonah, the great prophet.


Devotional thoughts for the first day of 3 days Lent
Reading: Jonah 1: 8

As the three days lent is in remembrance of the fasting of the natives of Nineveh, the Lent is generally known
as Nineveh Lent. This lent has certain uniqueness.

1) This is the smallest canonical lent of the Holy Church.
2) It is based on an event of the Old Testament.
3) All the people who were natives of Nineveh were not Jews, but they were gentiles.

The gentiles did not dream God’s mercy upon gentiles. There is a mention about Jonah and Nineveh in 2 Kings 14:25.We read, “He restored the coast of Israel from the entering of Hamath unto the sea of the plain according to the word of the Lord God of Israel, while he spoke by the hand of his servant Jonah, the son of Amittai, the prophet, which was of Gathhepher” This is the only evidence of the place of birth of Jonah. Our Lord Jesus has given a compliment to Jonah in St. Matthew 12: 40-41. “For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whales’ belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth”. By saying so our Lord has eradicated all chances of doubts of men like “how a man could stay inside the belly of a big fish without food and air” like that. Our Lord once again has established that everything is possible for God Almighty.

In Jonah 1:3 we read, “Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord and went down to Joppa and he found a ship going to Tarshish : so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord” In Isaiah 23:1 we read, “Howl , you the ships of Tarshish”. Normally we all either read the book of Jonah or listen from the book with the satisfaction of listening a wonderful story. We often ignore the very fact that each and everyone who might flee from the presence of God Almighty will have to face the consequences not only for them, but also for the fellowmen. In our everyday lives, how many times we are fleeing from our Lord God? Kindly think. Every time we will sing in loud voice “Ellam Ange mahatwathinay”. Just examine all our daily deeds are for His glory?

In 1:6 we read, “So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, what do you mean O sleeper? Arise and call up on your God”. We all are also sleepers like this in a way or the other. Now we must give heed to the timely alarm to get up and call our Lord God with real repentance. In 1:8 we read, “What is your occupation? And from where you come, what is your country? And of what people are you? We must realize the fact that Jonah was the only Israelite in the ship and all others were gentiles. When the gentiles were crying to God the selected son of God was in deep sleep. Are we also not in such a situation? How eager we are in calling upon our Lord God than the people around us? We must be careful to avoid such a question from somebody else about identity and personality as Jonah had to face. So we must adjust our lives in a way we could enrich our spirituality and link with our Lord God.

We must appreciate Jonah’s initiative in suggesting the remedy for God’s wrath. It is considered as the first step of his repentance. He might have been sure of God’s ability to save him from the bottom of the deep ocean. See the faith of the gentiles mentioned in verse 14 and 16.. We must always have such a staunch faith in our lives.

May God Almighty be pleased in our fasting, prayer and lent.

May God forgive all our sins and grant us all blessings.

Jose Kurian Puliyeril
St. George Orthodox Church
Abu Dhabi
Source: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SOCM-FORUM/message/5737
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« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2005, 03:13:01 PM »

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Mourad
I know we do this fast, but what I read was TODAY, haha, so I was saying that it hasn't started yet.
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« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2005, 04:30:27 PM »



We follow the new calendar in India. So, check the Coptic calendar month equivalent to Feb. 05.

This fasting is there in the Assyrian Church of the East also.

-Paul

Hi Paul!  Just out of curiousity, how did the Indian and Syrian Churches come to follow the new calendar?

Thanks!
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« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2005, 04:36:50 PM »

Could someone here educate a clueless EO (me) as to exactly what this fast/feast is?

Demetri
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« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2005, 06:32:55 PM »

Dear Nik,

The Syrian Church follows the Orthodox date for Easter, so this fast should come later for them than it does for us in India.  My understanding of the Indian situation is that in 1953 the new calendar was adopted because when the govt. was assigning "days off" for religious holidays, they didn't want to recognise two sets of Christian holidays, and so the Church decided to go new calendar rather than keep the old and have no one come to church because they were working. 

The fast of Nineveh, Demetri, commemorates the story recounted in the book of Jonah, the repentance of the Ninevites at the preaching of the prophet.  It precedes Great Lent, and lasts three days (at least in the Syrian tradition...I think the Copts do it for a week, but I may be mistaken), Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, with a Liturgy on Thursday to conclude.   
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« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2005, 08:39:27 PM »

Thanks Mor! Afro
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« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2005, 11:23:30 PM »

+Irini nem ehmot

Hey,

I just thought it would be cool to note that we Copts, according to tradition, got this fast from the Syrians.

One of our Syrian Patriarchs (I think we have had three Syrian Patriarchs) was surprised that we had an extra three days of fasting that go with our Advent for the moving of the Mokattam. He said that he would fast those three days if we fasted the three days of the Nineveh Fast. Since we Copts are obsessed with fasting (*sigh*), we, of course, with all enthusiasm, agreed. Wink

Prayers...
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« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2005, 11:30:45 PM »

IC XC NIKA
Fortunatus,
YEAH MAN, we do fast a lot, but I love it.  I was listening to a sermon by Anba Youssef, and he was explaining why we fast so much (nearly 2/3 of the year), and he said, since fasting helps us overcome sin, we should ask for more fasting days.  Come on Anba, I want some dairy products.  Haha, but really, since the Nativity fast has ended, I noticed how poor my body feels, with all that meat in it.  I can't wait till LENT.  Well, maybe I can.
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« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2005, 11:36:36 PM »

+Irini nem ehmot

Dear CopticOrthodoxBoy,

It's been awhile! Smiley Yeah, to be honest, I love the fasting, particularly Lent. In addition to helping to fight sin, it is a great means of putting the body in subjection, learning discipline, and focusing on the spiritual food...

By the way - your avatar is actually of Abouna Samaan el Anba-Bola. Smiley I met him in Egypt before he was sent to serve in Europe... A great monk he is...

Prayers...
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« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2005, 11:42:50 PM »

IC XC NIKA
Thanks for the correction, I must have gotten mixed-up, because I think that his picture was near a picture of Anba Anthony.  Still, HIS BEARD ROCKS.
copticorthodoxboy
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« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2005, 11:47:05 PM »

IC XC NIKA
Sorry, also, people probably just think I am an exterior freak. Of course the interior is the most important, but I think the exterior can also be a sign of the interior. At any rate, I do get excited over weird things like that, haha, beards, what a funny subject.
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« Reply #15 on: January 20, 2005, 01:33:48 AM »

The History of the 3 Days lent in Syriac Orthodox Church

Bar Ebroyo narrates the history of this fast as follows in his Eccleciastical History: "The people in the East began the fast, which is being observed three days after the Epiphany, in this time (i.e. the time of Catholicos Hananeshu,
who became the Catholicos in A.D.686). When Abdul Malik the son of Morwon heard of the beauty of the women in Hirto, he asked the Governor there to send all the virgins to him. As this command came, the governor started to gather all the virgins. Then all the Christians came together in the church, and prayed and fasted. They prostrated before the Lord and appealed Him to save them from this punishment. On the third day when their Bishop John was reading the gospel he got a revelation about the death of Abdul Malik, and he revealed it to the
people. After some days, this news was confirmed. It is said that, from this time onwards the believers observe this fast. But some others say that this fast was begun in the East when the king Quzra Abroose prepared to rape the virgins." Cf. Chronicon Ecclesiasticum III, cols. 139-141. (Abbeloos, J. B. and Lamy, T.J. (ed. and transl.): Gregorii Bar-Hebraei Chronicon Ecclesiasticum, I-III, Paris-Louvain, 1872-1877.)

Translating from the famous book "Bibliotheka Orientalis" by Assemani (ASSEMANI, J. S.: Bibliotheca Orientalis Clementino-Vaticana I, De scriptoribus Syris Orthodoxis, Rome, 1719 / reprint Hildesheim-New York 1975; II, De scriptoribus Syris monophysitis, Rome, 1721/ reprint Hildesheim-New York, 1975) Fr. Chediath gives the following versions also in his translation of Bar Ebroyo's "Sabhacharithram" (pp.248-251)

A lot of people died in the village of Beth Garme because of a fast spreading infectious disease. The Bishop of that diocese Mor Sabarisho summoned the people for a public prayer. He said them " The most virtuous God has showed mercy to the people of Nineveh and withdrew from the intended punishment according to the words of prophet Jonah. How much more will He show mercy to us, who believe in Him, His Messiah, and in His Holy Spirit?. And the people obeyed him. They came together and supplicated to God intensively. All, including the infants, have worn sack clothes. And God has removed the infectious disease for them. As the East Syrian Catholicose Thimothi (he died in AD 819) took charge as catholicose, he ordered these 3 days prayer and fast to be continued annually. And this Lent should be known as the lent of Anger and not as the lent of Nineveh.

With Love and Prayers
Fr.Dr.Biji Chirathilattu , Vicar,
St.Mary's Syrian Orthodox Congregation Vienna, Austria
Source: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SOCM-FORUM/message/5744
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« Reply #16 on: January 20, 2005, 01:37:26 AM »

Devotional thoughts for 2nd day of 3days Lent

Reading : Jonah Chapter 2. Verse for Devotion: Jonah 2:7

Dear and Respected Brethren,

In the second chapter of Jonah we could come across a number of prophecies of other prophets. In verse 3 we read, “For thou has cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas, and the floods compassed me about al thy billows and thy waves passed over me. The Psalmist says about such an experience. N Psalms 88:6 we read,” “Thou has laid me in the lowest pit, in darkness, in the deeps. We do not come across another person other than Jonah, who was thrown to the deeps. In verse 4 we find the staunch faith of Jonah. He says “Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple”. Normally we place a lot of personal pleas and petitions when we worship God. God often replies to our petitions in three 1) yes, 2) No and thirdly wait. If we accept No or wait from God we wont be pleased on the spot. Reaction to such replies will be varied. Some will stop praying or going to Church. Other few get annoyed with God. We must think how Jonah
could cry and pray to Lord God as soon as he was thrown to the deeps. The answer to such a question is very simple. Jonah, as soon as he reached the belly of the fish he realized his fault and he repented well. Only because
of his repentance, he could pray with hope. He could pray quoting the Psalms. He was sure about the teachings of the Psalms. While uttering the prayer of verse 4, he must have remembered Psalms 31:22, where it is said
“For I said in my haste, I am cut off from before your eyes: nevertheless thou hears the voice of my supplications when I cried unto thee”. In Isaiah 49:14.we read, “But Zion said, The Lord has forsaken me, and my Lord has
forgotten me”. Jonah was in a similar situation. Still he did not get disappointed. He was hopeful of the salvation of his Lord God.

Now we come to the verse of devotion. (2:7) “When my soul fainted within me, I remembered the Lord; and my prayer came in unto thee, into your holy temple”. In Psalms 18:6 we read, “In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried into my God, he heard my voice out of his temple and my cry came before him, even unto his ears.” Again in Psalms 34:6 we read, “This poor man cried and the Lord heard him, and saved him, and saved him out of all
his troubles” In Psalms 130:2, we read, Lord hear my voice; let your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications.” Again in Jeremiah 2:13 we read, “For my people have c omitted two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.” What we learn from these Biblical verses? It is nothing else but when we have an understanding that we have been derailed from the way of God, we must turn back to God with real repentance and must seek His loving help. Our Lord is willing to forgive our sins of omissions and commissions. Let us have a break on our further journey and turn back to our Lord God with full faith and hope. He will accept us with more joy, happiness as the father of the prodigal son. Let us make use of the Sacrament of Holy Confession and let us say like the prodigal son “Father I have sinned
against you and heaven. Kindly forgive”. God is waiting for our initiative.

May God bless us all.

Jose Kurian Puliyeril
St. George Orthodox Church
Abu Dhabi
Source: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SOCM-FORUM/message/5741
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« Reply #17 on: January 24, 2005, 03:27:43 PM »

Devotianal thoughts for the 3rd Day of 3 days Lent

Reading : Jonah Chapter 3 and 4. Verse for devotion : Jonah 3:10

Dear and Respected Brethren,

The third chapter of Jonah starts with our Lord God's call to Prophet Jonah. In 3:1-2 we read, "And the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the second time, saying, arise go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee" Here we find Jonah as cent percent obedient to God. In verse 3:5 we read " so the people of Nineveh believed God" when they heard the cry of Jonah that the great city of Nineveh shall be overthrown within forty days. How did they believe it as the word of God? Because they were sure that Lord God
had deputed him. In Deuteronomy 18:22, we find the Lord's teaching about his Prophet. There we read, When a Prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken it presumptuously; thou shall not be afraid of him". This must be reason for Jonah's displeasure while God had forgiven to the natives of Nineveh. He might have thought about the pity condition if his prophecy was proved to be bogus and his own. This must be the reason for his unrest and unhappiness.

There is a great influence of Jonah's attitude on the modern man When we hear about the problems or agonies of one of our fellowmen, Suppose one of our friends is hospitalized for some or other severe disease. All would be happy to pray for him and visit him and of course to tell others about the seriousness of his illness. When we
would hear that he is discharged from the Hospital as he got complete cure, our immediate reaction wont be perfect happiness. In the inner heart we might be desiring to see him as a patient for some more time. We could find people reacting soon on hearing such goods "is it true, I can't believe" like that. When we love others, we must love with our open heart. We must praise Lord when we learn about the cure of the patients we were praying since long. When the natives of Nineveh fasted they did it with fully. In our prayer book we read, "when the infants cried for the breast feed, the mothers also cried in loud voice." When Jonah cried and exhorted the people to repent, the news reached the mighty king. It is said in our prayer that the people loyal to the king had asked "who is he to order against the mighty kingdom. Who is he to ignore the mighty king? Why he is making the Judgment against us". Still the King was also moved, as he also took it as a word from God. The King only ordered the strict fasting. And when saw that the natives of Nineveh have repented well and left all their evil deeds, He felt sympathy on them.

We are also fasting, praying and observing the Lents. But we cannot implement a radical change in our lifestyle. After the fasting and lent we will go back to our old life style of living according to selfish motives. We must make a change in the life style. After a good repentance, we should not wear the dirty cloth which we threw away once. Only Holy Spirit could help us to have a life style pleasing to God Almighty. So let us pray for abundant supply of Holy spirit in us.

May God bless us all.
Jose Kurian Puliyeril
St. George Orthodox Church
Abu Dhabi
Source: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SOCM-FORUM/message/5742
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« Reply #18 on: February 02, 2005, 09:47:12 PM »

We observe a five day fast in the Armenian Church for this Nineveh Fast.  I find it to be a very inspiring observance.  I've always been impressed by the way our Eastern Churches have so many Old Testament themes and Saints on our Calendar.  It really does underline the continuity between Old and New Testament Israel.
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« Reply #19 on: February 25, 2005, 01:18:20 PM »

Smiley This may be a new topic, and forgive me if it has been covered elsewhere, but, having no first-hand experience with non-Chalcedonian churches, I am curious as to how Great Lent and Pascha are observed in actual practice in non-Byzantine Eastern churches. Specifically, what services are sung, and when? In Lent, is there a Pre-sanctified Liturgy? For Pascha, is there a Saturday evening, Saturday midnight, or Sunday morning Liturgy? Is there anything like Agape Vespers the next day? Does everyone hold a candle? Bring baskets to be blessed? Visit the cemetery? What foods are eaten?
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« Reply #20 on: February 25, 2005, 01:54:56 PM »

Ghazaros, when would the Armenian Nineveh fast be held during the year?  I understand our Armeian brothers use a different calendar.
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« Reply #21 on: February 26, 2005, 01:16:33 PM »

SaintShenouti,

Most Armenian Churches (except for the Holy Land) are on the new calendar (and no one to my knowledge was killed or condemned for this change). Smiley  From the timing of the above posts, it appeared to me that we observed this penitential period the same week.  This year it was from Jan. 17-21 culminating with the "Rememberance of the Prophet Jonah."

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« Reply #22 on: February 26, 2005, 01:20:27 PM »

timotheou,

If interested in some info. on the Armenian Church's observance of the Great Fast, Great Week and Easter-Pascha, I have some web-pages which give some background on these:

The Great Fast and Great Week:
http://www.geocities.com/derghazar/fast.html

Easter Pascha:
http://www.geocities.com/derghazar/pascha.html

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« Reply #23 on: February 26, 2005, 02:53:36 PM »

May the Lord keep our honored fathers H.H. Papa Abba Shenouda III and his spiritual brother H.H. Catholicos Karekin II of all Armenians.  May the Lord preserve their lives.

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« Reply #24 on: February 26, 2005, 11:32:25 PM »

May the Lord keep our honored fathers H.H. Papa Abba Shenouda III and his spiritual brother H.H. Catholicos Karekin II of all Aremenians. May the Lord preserve their lives.

Unto ages of ages... Amen!
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