The Rogation of the Ninevites was held in Chicago, Illinois led with prayers and vigils by His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV, Catholicos Patriarch of the Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East.
Priests, deacons and faithful gathered at St George’s Cathedral on the first day, 14 February, where prayers and requests were lifted to our Lord God, concluding with the offering of the Holy Eucharist by Reverend William Thomas, parish priest of St Sarkis’ Church.
On the following day, prayers and vigils commenced again at midday where the liturgy of the Rogation of the Ninevites was preached through to the late afternoon, when the concluding Holy Eucharist was offered by Reverend Antwan Lachin, parish priest of St John’s Church.
His Holiness Mar Dinkha Again offered the Holy Eucharist on the third day, where further prayers of the “baoota d’ninwayeh” continued, according to the calendar of the Assyrian Church of the East.
His Holiness preached on numerous topics, beginning with helping the needy and doing good, praying and fasting.
“When you do good, be sure not to boast and proclaim your deeds but rather do deeds where your right hand may not know of your left, just as is read in the Gospel of Christ,” said His Holiness.
Again, His Holiness stated: “Prayer is the key to the treasures of God, and conversing with the Holy Spirit – this is what Mar Odisho, Metropolitan of Nisibis, one of the Church fathers, writes in his teachings.”
Prayer is essential, His Holiness added, reading the Gospel of the day.
“For your Father knows what you need and before you ask, pray you this: Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done as in heaven on earth. Our daily bread give us today, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Thine is the kingdom, power, and glory, forever. Amen.”
His Holiness further stressed the importance of prayer and fasting, which are essential aspects for Christians. Fasting, he said, can be the external drop-out of food and the internal drop-out of the evil spirit.
The Rogation of the Ninevites took place 862 years BC when our forefathers were prophesized by Jonah and told to repent. They fasted for 40 days and 40 nights where God did not destroy the city of Nineveh but restored peace in their regions.
His Holiness mentioned that the Rogation of the Ninevites is a nationalistic event and should be celebrated and remembered by all patriotic parties of our nation regardless of their Christian denomination. All churches, may it be the Assyrian, Chaldean and Syrian Churches must together, hand-in-hand remember and unite for the sake of our forefathers and the history which our nation holds.
Following the three-day services of the Rogation of the Ninevites, it is fitting and according to the liturgy and calendar of the Assyrian Church of the East that on the Thursday following the baoota d’ninwayeh, the Holy Eucharist is offered for thanksgiving. Reverend Poulous Benyamin, parish priest of St George’s Cathedral, offered the Holy Eucharist on this day.[nggallery id=168]