Some more prayers from the Rogation of the Ninevites… Wednesday


This is the last part of my copy and paste {with reformatting} of translations from… The Wednesday page has readings as well as the meditations.

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday

A little explanation for people unfamiliar with this service…  This is not the full service as in the books, but a good amount of translation into English.  I am so happy to see Fr. Andy and the rest of our priests in our diocese working hard to bring a lot of our spirituality out of the Syriac of the Hudra into English for many to rejoice in.  Fr. Andy also translated our Qdam waBathar/”Before and After” into English.  It can be found in Amazon here. God bless him and all our clergy and their helpers in these works.

So, in these three posts, you will see the first couple of lines of the meditations are italicized.  Those lines are repeated as the refrains after each paragraph.  Yes, the entire service is sung… even the long sections called “Readings” which are not in these posts.  They are often very somber toned but nonetheless beautiful hymns.  With the tone and the wording, if I am paying attention to what we are saying and doing, I have to hold back tears.  Around this time of the year, and every year, I remember why our forefathers referred to both Mar Ephrem and Mar Narsai as the “Spiritual Harp”.

Each couplet of the final blessings said by the priests is interspersed with “Yes, Lord” and “Amen”… and kneeling and standing.  Those that can’t kneel as easily, sit, and those who have trouble altogether, can just bow their heads.

I hope these explanations help give a flavor of what is happening.  Perhaps next year, I will be able to post several weeks ahead of time that the fast is approaching, and you can stop by in your local Chaldean Church {or other Eastern Catholic Churches} and experience this service.

The Supplication of the Ninevites


The Begging of Ba’utha

In pain and tears and fervent prayer,
we cry to you, good Lord above!

Be our healer and our wise guide:
deep are our wounds; bitter our pain.

We have no right to plead to you:
our faults abound, our malice soars.

The sea and land, and all therein
have quaked and raged due to our sin.

In our own time, as Scripture says,
the end of days has come upon us.

In mercy, save us from distress,
for height and depth have been confused.

O Good Shepherd, come tend your flock,
for whose sake you endured the cross.

Make peace for us in Church and world,
that we may live a tranquil life.

May we be yours, as is your will:
Father, and Son, and Holy Ghost.

From age to age, amen, amen.


First Madrasha/Meditation

O God  Divine, O hear our pleading heard before you,
and in your mercies, answer the permitted request of our soul.

O Overflowing in his mercies, show forth your love as is your custom,
lest the hater of man mock your handiwork.
O Richer than all, open your treasury to our neediness,
lest we be impoverished and hire ourselves out to the deceiver.
O Mighty of ages, sustain your order by the force of your power,
for lo, it is shaken by the severity of pains and demons.

O Being of whose Essence heaven and earth are filled,
may your Will fill us, and in us your holy Name be hallowed.
O Hidden in his Nature from physical and spiritual,
reveal your power in us, and show forth the riches of your Sweetness.
O Fashioner of all, who created creation from nothing,
pity your product, lest it decay because of our sins.

O Free Sustainer, gracious Life-Giver to rational and irrational,
extend your right hand and fill us all with your Gift.
O Un-Wanting One, of whose Fullness his construction is filled,
open the door of your Will, which is closed in our face, to our pleading.
O Perfect in his Essence, whose constancy has no beginning,
perfect in deed the promise of your words to our race.


First Reading

O Painter of the world in the paint of spirit which does not dull,
scour the filth of ignorance from our mind.
O Fashioner of bodies and Breather of the soul into members,
tighten our disposition, lest we slacken before enticements.

O Honorer of man as surpassing all else due to his love,
have pity on your Honor’s image lest it be shamed.
You have named our composition after your Uncomposed Existence.
may your honored Name not be made dull by our dullness.

In us you have shown your great love toward your works,
show not in us a sign of wrath against your handiwork.
In us you concluded the great expansion of your workmanship,
and within our composition you have bound up earthly and heavenly.

In us you composed the height and the depth as one flesh:
irrational in our body, rational in our soul, in a great marvel!
May you not, O Lord, unravel this composition your love has composed,
and may the great bind your command has bound not slacken.

At this composition my weak rationality gazed,
and sought to journey through the rational path bound within it.
In this bind my meager mind was bound,
and wondered at the craft of the command that bound it.

Through this structure did my short thoughts wander,
to prepare words to relate the story before listeners.
In this hope did my rationality seek after words,
that I may go out and bring good tidings of your Name to your handiwork.

With this agreement I journeyed among the verses of your Scriptures,
to explain to men the great story of your workmanship.
In this way my mind painted with the pen of my tongue,
that I might paint, for everyone, the gorgeous image of your making.

I saw that the image of your composing was decorated wisely,
and I wished to uncover its gorgeous beauty before onlookers.
Within the image of our image I saw the whole creation tied,
and I called to man to come and see all in our nature.

Our nature pulls me to examine the natures that are tied up within it,
and how indeed this frail thing was able to hold everything!
In our very own nature, I saw the sciences of your Divinity,
and I reflected that there is hope for man, sinner though he is.

I saw the Name of your Essence dwelling in him  as in a temple,
and wonder seized me: how can the wretched suffice for the Hidden One?
He is wretched indeed, yet you honor him without measure,
and who would not marvel at this wretchedness you chose over all?

If your Love has chosen him from all and named him in its Name,
we can therefore be sure that you will not despise the one you have chosen.
And if your Lordship has made him lord over all that is,
who would not join himself to the yoke of his life’s work?

If your Knowledge has called and appointed him to a high position,
who would not confess that his position is true and his authority great?
If your Hiddenness reveals itself to your servants by his uncovering,
who would not gather his vision from all else toward his composition?

If you have shown in him the great mystery of Son and Spirit,
who would not approach the sciences hidden in his name?
If in him you have shown your sweetness to angels and men,
who would not take refuge in his living body and blood?

If that Word begotten of you unites with him,
who would not call him the emperor of height and depth?
If in him you have completed your provision for all,
who would not labor for his provision without weariness?

If through him you will judge the earth at the end of time,
who would not fear the trial that is in his hands?
If in him you will grant reward to the good and scourgings to the wicked,
who would not beg him to be an advocate for his debts?

If he is the one with authority over this world and that to come,
who would not believe that he is truly the Son of God?


Second Madrasha/Meditation

Your servants knock at the door of your mercies, who wills our life,
open to us, that we may enter and receive alms like the poor.
Poor and lacking is our miserable race of all good things:
sustain this miserable thing with a small crumb of your Gift.
He is far too weak to gather temporal sustenance,
and he is unable to work the land with his strength without your Strength.

His work is filled with great fear, as much as he works,
and there is no security for his sustenance, as much as it multiplies.
Sufferings and griefs accompany his toil summer and winter,
and all perils are constant for him – for him, and for what is his.

Much is his work, and little the reward returned to him;
great is his weariness, and miserable and lacking, the sustenance of his life.
He plants so much and harvests little of the much,
he is beaten and crushed, and by the time he enjoys himself, death has swallowed him.


Second Reading

In fear he plants, and in trepidation he gathers his produce,
and his heart does not rely on enjoying his labor or his gathering.
He casts his wheat upon his field, that it may be returned to him,
and he is afraid and distressed that perhaps he perish and his life pass away.

He works his land and he thinks that perhaps it may fail to produce;
he walks on the path, and Death sits and awaits him.
Like a mother, he awaits for produce like a newborn,
and the whips of Death strike at his discernment at every hour.

He stands in a contest of sufferings every day and night,
and there is no end to the battlefield of his emotions.
A great battle is poised at all times against his disposition,
and if he falls asleep, enticements enter and plunder his freedom.

The wretched one is cast before two calamities, each worse than the other:
the twofold scourgings of bodily passion and sustenance of life.
As if with leather cords, he beats himself with his inclinations,
and there is no place in him not filled with the scars of the passions.

He is suffering and weary regarding his life and regarding his labors,
and there is no time when he does not rest with bitterness.
If the sun grows hot, his mind grows hot regarding his crops,
and if the rain stops, his thoughts dry up with his plants.

If heat gains the upper hand, thirst has killed him;
and if cold increases, he is consumed by frost.
If he is impoverished, he conceives depression and begets complaining;
and if he is made wealthy, he puts on pride and arrogance of spirit.

If he is justified, he derides and mocks sinners;
and if he sins, he is weakened and decides there is no hope.
If he is made wise, he forgets the clay of his wretched nature;
and if he glorifies himself, he becomes a beast without understanding.

In great and in small, his sufferings increase and his malice grows,
and what can he do, where can he run, who has such a brief life?
He is stuck wanting between neediness and excess,
and so how is it possible for him to keep his life without harm?

It is exceedingly difficult for men to live well,
and the course of righteousness is not made easy for the bodily.
Flesh – he is flesh, as much as he desires spiritual things,
and even that desire is not his, but an Other’s.

An Other dwells in him, in a temple of corruptible clay,
and in his living, he blossoms a little before he decays.
He is corruption entirely, although there is in him a portion of life,
and even this life is small compared to his afflictions.

So if the living that is in him is less than life,
how can he live a life without corruption?


Third Madrasha/Meditation

May your mercies come, O Lord, to the aid of our miserable race,
for its life’s strength is burned away and wearied in the trial of suffering.

Stretch out your hand to the weak-hearted athlete,
for he realizes and admits openly that he cannot enter the match.
Cry out and encourage the mortal warrior,
for the fingers of his hands are too weak to hit the mark.

Command the intellectual natures to come and help him,
for his hand falls short of grasping even a straw of truth.
Call forth the heavenly legions to assist him,
before he falls and becomes a laughingstock to his enemy.

Write and send him an epistle of your Name above all,
that he may be strengthened to carry his pain through hope in your Name.
Lift your hand in writing of his life’s salvation,
and lo, sufferings and demons will be terrified to look upon him.


Third Reading

Rebuke the ranks of warriors who threaten him,
and lo, they will be dismayed by the command of your Essence’s Name.
Send a watcher, as in the time of the Assyrian,
and lo, the powers of the evil one who surround him will be scattered.

Send your command, as Isaiah toward Ezekiel,
and instead of figs, let it place mercies upon our wounds.
Let us hear the voice that was heard to Ezekiel,
“Instead of life, lo, I increase the forgiveness of iniquity.”

Yes, Lord, return us to health of body and soul,
lest we be torn apart by the wounds of our disgraces.
Come out in search of us, like the parable your Love composed,
and we will enter and graze in the sheepfold of spiritual life.

Brighten your Face, and seek our straying in your mercies,
lest the beauty of our clay, which is stamped in your Name, decompose.
Rejoice in our repentance, as in the story of the younger son,
and interpret, with us, the voice of hope that is signified in it.

With the deceitful one, we have worked for free and rejected our pay,
and have lived wickedly on the swine-pods of desires.
We have sinned and enraged you (though, in fact, you have never been angered, nor are even now);
and we are unworthy to call ourselves the sons of your Name.

Let us become as hired hands in service of your house,
and let us receive what is just from your table as poor men.
And, if it is possible, fulfill in action the meaning of the parable,
and bring to light the symbol you wrote for our sake.

Tell us, “From death, you now live,
and from the corruption of ignorance, you have turned to me.”
Command your pity to conceal our shame with a robe of glory,
and place a pledge of life on our hand as a ring.

Let your command persuade you and prepare us the Sacrifice of your Son,
and in eating it, may we banish the bitterness of death from our members.
And if there is one who envies our life’s salvation and our repentance,
let your love pacify his bitter disposition with the sweetness of life.

Call the angels and gladden them in our repentance,
that those once saddened by our sins may rejoice in our justification.
Please those who were angered because of our malice,
and turn them toward the service of our life’s needs.


Fourth Madrasha/Meditation

Do not, O Lord, turn away from the pleading of our poverty,
lest our hope in you be weakened by despair.

Do not, O Lord, turn your face away from us in a time of wrath,
lest tyrannical demons mock us, as is their custom.
Do not, O Lord, cast us away from your aid, as you do to the evil,
lest the evil be exalted in our abasement, as before.

Be not, O Lord, unmerciful, for you are the Merciful One,
(forgive me, Lord! You cannot be unmerciful; I spoke in weakness!)
Let not, O Lord, the Name of your Greatness be reduced by our malice,
(though it can never be reduced, even if we are wicked a million times!)

Be not, O Lord, lacking in help and poor in treasury,
(oh, what I said of your Essence is a lie!)
Be not, O Lord, as a sojourner in your creation,
nor like a guest who turns in to slumber in what is not his.


Fourth Reading

Be not, O Lord, like a human, for you are God,
and not like a man who cannot save, for you are the Savior.
And if our sins have prevailed more than the sins of every age,
may you forgive because of your honored Name upon which we call.

If our vices have made the face of the clear air vicious,
may you not show us an angry face which is unbecoming of you.
If our wickedness has withheld benefits because of our malice,
may you not, O Lord, change the Name of your Goodness, which is unchanging.

You are all Good, and you are all Just, and you hate evil;
and neither can your Goodness nor your Justice be measured.
No one knows how to call you by a name that fair to your Name,
for all names are small compared to the greatness of your Glory.

If we call you Good, the sound of your Justice thunders on earth;
but if Just, heaven and earth are filled with your mercies.
If we call you Hidden, your works are unveiled before all creatures;
if we call you Unveiled, there is none among products able to see you.

If we call you the Hearing One, our voice is heard to you before we call,
and the Gracious and Forgiving One, your Love precedes both us and our malice.
We know neither how to pray nor how to glorify,
and we are afraid to speak words that may not be proper to you.

How can we pray to one who needs nothing, and is completely perfect?
And how can we glorify him who exists in glory from eternity?
If he is glorified, does he then increase through the glory?
And if he increases, is he made perfect by praise from us?

If he is dishonored, is his dishonor greater than his glory?
If he is hallowed, does he increase his glory through our mouth?
If he is angered, was the wicked man’s shame hidden from him?
And if he is appeased, did we show him the way to reconciliation?

If he notices something in remorse after a time,
did time constrain him from knowing something he did not know?
If he did not know (a thing which is blasphemy to say),
what more did he gain in knowledge of his own construction?

No, earthly ones, do not be content with earthly things;
there is nothing in Existence lacking from Existence.
The name of every being is a declaration of his Essence’s Name,
and insofar as he is, his knowledge is with him.

He is before everything, and he is what he is,
and there is nothing missing from him, neither that was nor will be.
Thus should a product think of the Maker,
and thus is it owed by a rational creature to repay the Giver of rationality.

We owe a debt of love to our Constructor,
come, let us attempt to repay a little of so much.
But he does not need repayment from us like a needy person,
he arranges pretexts that we may be enriched from his treasures.

He possesses an unending treasure of life in his Nature,
and he longs greatly to give of it to the sons of his household.
He has called our nature as sons of the inheritance of the love of his Son,
because of this he chastises and instructs us lovingly.

Let us therefore endure the methods of discipline from his Lordship,
and never become weary of the scourgings of hunger and sickness.
If the name of “sons” truly applies to our mind,
let us be sure, then, that our discipline is also to our benefit.

Let us accept scourgings from our Maker without discouragement,
and let us encounter the struggle of seasons without arguing.
This alone do we ask of him in the time of scourgings:
do not, O Lord, reprove us in stern anger, according to our deeds.

Like the son of Jesse, let us plead thunderously regarding our wickedness,
and in the way of his words, let us proceed to the promise of repentance.


Fifth Madrasha/Meditation

Yes, Lord, let us be worthy for that word to David,
and let us turn back to the rank of forgiveness of sin in his likeness.

Yes, Lord, pass over the faults of your servants as with your servant,
and let them hear the voice of forgiveness as the just one did.
David was just, but the evil one envied him and made him evil;
but he admitted he sinned and erased the name of evil from his heart.

So if confession erases evil things and writes good ones,
then there is hope for the evil to become good.
O Kind One who forgave adultery and murder with a word of the mouth,
forgive our disgraceful crimes as you see fit.

It was you who forgave that lawless crime:
forgive now also the sins we have committed against love.
It was you who loosened the execution given to murderers,
stop now also the tortures prepared for our injustice.


Fifth Reading

You are the One who mixed mercy with wrath in every age,
and you gave no room for the haters of our people to mock us.
You are the One who reckoned the greatness of your Love upon the just,
and made them worthy to appease you though you do not require it.

By your Love, you absolved the faults of our people from the beginning,
and you gave the will of the righteous the reward of your Kindness.
Because of the just, you forgave the faults of the first generations,
indeed, you forgave before they persuaded your Kindness.

You cast out Justice that the sons of men may persuade you,
that when they persuade you, they may realize that they can defeat evil.
Moses prayed, and you forgave the sin of the calf-worship,
and you told him, ‘Lo, I have forgiven as you have persuaded.’

Joshua prayed, and you stopped the course of the sun and moon,
and placed in the book of Joshua that ‘Their course was stopped.’
Samuel prayed, and your command answered him in the sound of thunder,
and you responded to him through the unseasonal rain that came.

David prayed, for he saw the watcher that would destroy the people,
and the spirit stood in awe of his pleading as he stood in awe of you.
Elijah called to you, and you hardened the winds and they carried the rain,
and you aroused the people to zeal whom his words had bound.

Elisha called to you, and by his hands you turned a dead man alive,
and you reckoned his prophecy a victory from the mouth of death.
Ezekiel called to you, and you destroyed thousands of Assyrians,
and as this was happening, he won victory against the watcher’s destruction.

Daniel also, by the power of your aid, revealed hidden things,
and the Babylonians wove a crown of praises for his will.
In every age, the just ones prayed and you answered them;
in our age that is deprived of the righteous, may you persuade yourself.

The persuasion of your Kindness is greater than all the just,
and the treasury of your mercies is incomparable to that of products.
Your Love provoked the will of the just to persuade you,
so if there are no just, send your Will without the just.

Yours are persuasion and the words of persuaders,
whom would you load with your own grace to the sons of your household?
May Goodness be entirely yours, as it is,
and so grant us what you granted at the beginning of time.

Who convinced you to create creation when it did not exist?
And who advised you to bind up the world in the construction of man?
Who was such as advised you to call us your image?
And who showed you how to complete your work in our construction?

So if in our very existence, and all existence, you needed no help,
what help do you need regarding our wickedness – a miserable gnat?
Our wickedness is a gnat compared to the greatness of your Divinity,
and it is only a handful if compared to the sea of your mercies.

Your great Pity is a great sea, and greater than a sea,
and height and depth are quite small in proportion to its greatness.
‘Your Pity is great:’ thus do heaven and earth cry out,
for when they were not, you spoke and they came to be from nothing.

You created everything out of nothing for our sake,
and so how could you would turn away from us in a time of anger?
And, what is even greater and immeasurable by the rational,
we have put on your Love and our portion was raised to the height of your Name.

Our body is sitting at your right hand and clothed in glory,
may its glory not be shamed by the shame of our presumption.
May the rational natures not dishonor it because of its weakness,
for you have honored it with the great Name of your Divinity.


Sixth Madrasha/Meditation

O Lord, open the door to all our pleading
which we offer you in supplication, and have mercy on us.

May our prayer be a pure thurible filled with reconciliation,
in which your love may be pleased and contented.
May our assembly’s pleading enter before you, O Lover of mankind,
and answer the requests of your servants in your mercies.

O Lover of mankind, who delights in the life of men,
visit your creation by the gentle command of your kindness.
O Absolver of the sins and Forgiver of the faults of those who repent,
forgive our sins and erase our malice, and have mercy on us.

Pity, O Pitying One, the work of your hand, as is proper,
and erase, in your mercies, the list of our sins before it increases.
Scour our impurities, bandage our sores and heal our wounds,
and grant us to fulfill the will of your Love, and have mercy on us.



By your prayer, may the Lord grant in all the corners of the earth,
[Response “Yes, Lord!”] [kneel]

tranquil peace and calm serenity, by your prayer.
[Response “Amen.”] [stand]

By your prayer, may all kings in all territories,
live in love and harmony, by your prayer.

By your prayer, may the Church saved by the living Blood,
raise her head above all dread, by your prayer.

By your prayer, may the Patriarch, the high shepherd,
tend his flock with diligence, by your prayer.

By your prayer, may the Lord support with a mighty staff
Mar Sarhad Yawsip, our splendid father, by your prayer.

By your prayer, may the shepherds in every land
be adorned with every charism, by your prayer.

By your prayer, may the priests who serve the adorable Mysteries
have every blessing come upon them, by your prayer.

By your prayer, may the deacons who serve the altar
have every aid granted them, by your prayer.

By your prayer, may the Lord instruct all monks,
by the study of the Scriptures and understanding, by your prayer.

By your prayer, may this parish be protected
from all harm and malice, by your prayer.

By your prayer, may the Lord help all our leaders,
our pastors and elders, by your prayer.

By your prayer, may the Lord help all the faithful,
that they may be born as children of justice, by your prayer.

By your prayer, may the Lord Jesus bless
all husbands and wives beyond measure, by your prayer.

By your prayer, may the Lord exalt orphans and widows,
and provide for and enrich the hungry, by your prayer.

By your prayer, may the Lord take away mourning from mourners,
have pity on the needy, and heal the sick, by your prayer.

By your prayer, may the Lord give discipline
to children, that in it they may be delivered, by your prayer.

By your prayer, may the Lord save all the tempted,
and free them from the yoke of the evil one, by your prayer.

By your prayer, may there be rescue for all captives,
and release for all the imprisoned, by your prayer.

By your prayer, may those who are attacked by pains
be inspired by the Lord and find solace, by your prayer.

By your prayer, may those who travel on roads and seas
be guided to the path of peace, by your prayer.

By your prayer, may the right hand of the Lord rest upon you,
and the mercies of Jesus be with us, by your prayer.

By your prayer, be glory to the Lord who protects his servants,
and thanks to the Power who empowers our assembly, by your prayer.

By your prayer, may the one saying these blessings be aided,
and its author be made worthy for mercies, by your prayer.

By your prayer, may the Lord make all his blessings overflow,
and cast his mercies upon our souls, by your prayer.

By your prayer, may we all repent and sing praise,
to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, forever, amen.

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4 Responses to “Some more prayers from the Rogation of the Ninevites… Wednesday”

  1. Ian Says:

    Absolutely wondrous to have you blogging again: and, as always, it is a joy and blessings to read and meditate upon the rich hymnography and prayer life of the Chaldean Church / Church of the East.

    My prayers that the time of the Rogation of the Ninevites was a blessed time for you, with continued prayers as we all journey toward Lent and Easter [wonderfully celebrating it on the same day this year]. God bless.

  2. Chrissy Says:

    Wonderful goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff previous to and you are just extremely wonderful. I really like what you have acquired here, certainly like what you are saying and the way in which you say it. You make it entertaining and you still care for to keep it sensible. I can not wait to read far more from you. This is actually a terrific web site.

  3. Katharyn Rister Says:

    I truly find this is a great interesting subject. Never looked at this subject in this way. If you are going to write some more articles about this subject, I definitely will be back soon!

  4. aboriente Says:

    Thank you Ian, Chrissy, Katharyn

    As regards to the posts, I can’t take credit for most of it. With this site, I am trying to make available to people some of the spirituality of our Church in English, so for the most part, I am doing a lot of copying and pasting. 🙂

    I’m sorry that I am a miserable little blogger. I try to do better, but keep failing. I am working on a couple of more coming up, one of which I will post shortly. The other on our “Memorial of the Faithful Deceased” will take a bit more time, but should be finished up soon.

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