Fast of Nineveh

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Fast of Nineveh
138.Jonah Preaches to the Ninevites.jpg
Jonah preaches to the Ninevites
Official name ܒܥܘܬܐ ܕܢܝܢܘܝܐ
Observed by Syriac Christian Churches
Oriental Orthodox Churches
Type Christian
Celebrations Three days fast
Begins Monday of the third week before lent
2014 date 10-12 February
2015 date 26-28 January
Frequency annual

Fast of Nineveh also known as the Fast of Ba'utha (Classical Syriac: ܒܥܘܬܐ ܕܢܝܢܘܝܐ Baʻūṯá d-Ninwáyé, literally "Rogation of the Ninevites"),[1] is a three day fast commemorating the repentance of the Ninevites at the hands of prophet Jonah according to the bible. The fast is observed for three days starting Monday three weeks before Clean Monday.

The fast originated in Syrian Christian tradition and then spread to other oriental orthodox traditions, including the Coptic and Armenian Churches.[2]

This is one of the most strictly observed fasts in the Church of the East and the Syriac Orthodox Church tradition. This fast lasts for three days beginning on the Monday, the third week before the beginning of the Great Lent. The origin of this fast was to commemorate a miraculous cessation of plague which broke out in the region of Beth Garmai. When struck with disaster, the faithful of the place gathered in the Church to pray and began to do great acts of penance and the plague ceased suddenly. To remember this great mercy of the Lord, this fast came to be observed annually. Since it is observed for three days, it is commonly known as Moonnu Nombu (three days fast) in the Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church and the Malankara (Indian) Orthodox Church. It is also known as the fast of Jonah since it commemorates the conversion of Nineveh through the preaching of prophet Jonah. It is time for the penitential practice for the whole Church and the Church does her penance and prayers like that of Jonah in the belly of the big fish and that of the Ninevites.[3]

Traditionally, in the Syrian Orthodox Church, Holy Eucharist is celebrated only at the end of fast, and not during the three days of lent.


Fasting in the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Tradition[4]

  1. ^ "Rogation of the Ninevites". Retrieved 1 February 2012. 
  2. ^ "Three Day Fast of Nineveh". Retrieved 1 February 2012. 
  3. ^ "Fasting and abstinence". Retrieved January 19, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Malankara Orthodox Church". Retrieved 29 September 2014.