The Eyes of All Wait upon Thee

September 1, 2015
By Kassa Nigus 
The period consists of from August 10 – August 29 in Ethiopian Calendar.  This period is the third sub division of the Ethiopian rainy season comes halfway through the rainy season when the level of rainfall decreases and the   ground gets less moist.

 During this time, the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church remembers, in her liturgical services, all living things and islands enclosed by water bodies. This is the time when the soil becomes less moist; the volume of water decreases; the clean earth, the clear sky and the clean water appear; and the earth gets decorated with flowers.  

Ethiopians highlight in their sayings that this period almost signals the end of the rainy season. Birds which hid themselves in the warmth of their nests begin to re-emerge as the rain fades away. And as Solomon the Wise mentioned in his Song, this is a moment when the call of birds is heard: “The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land.” (Song 2:12)

During this season, the church praises God with different recitals from Psalms:

“The eyes of all wait upon thee; and thou gives them their meat in due season. Thou open thine hand, and satisfy the desire of every living thing.” (Psalms 145:15-16); “Who gives food to all flesh: for His mercy endures forever. O gives thanks unto the God of heaven: for His mercy endures forever.” (Psalms 136:25-26)
   Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is very ready to hear and answer the prayers of his people.  God will give us the rain of our land which is a precious gift for the existence of every creature in the due season.  He satisfies the desire of every living thing by the constant supply of all living creatures with their necessary. This period is recognized by the following names:


A. Egule Qu’at (The fowl of crow): This is nominated after the teachings of St. Yared in his hymn saying “… the fowl of crow praise God….”, and the church associates it to the fact that when the eagle has incubated her egg, the fowl appears in the form of flames devoid of tresses. So, being afraid of the color of her little fowl, the mother crow runs away from her fowl.
During this time, the fowl feels hungry and opens its mouth so that pests and other insects flow towards its mouth, and then it satisfies itself by eating the flying insects through the generosity of God as it is stated in the following readings: “Who provides for the raven his food? When his young ones cry unto God, they wander for lack of meat” (Job 38:41); “Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds  them. Are ye not much better than they?” (Matthew 6:26).
The fowl of crow symbolizes all flying creatures in the teachings of the genesis. Among the common readings of these days are sited from the verse “who executes judgment for the oppressed: who gives food to the hungry. The Lord looses the prisoners” (Psalms 146:7).

 B. Desseyat (Islands): This is also nominated after the teachings of St. Yared in his hymn saying “The islands are delighted in times of winter.”  Even if the islands are surrounded by water bodies, God saves them and all the creatures living in the islands from the calamities of winter, so they provide praise to their Lord. The church prays for the comfort of all creatures of islands as God saves Noah, his family, and a remnant of all the world’s animals from the flood through the ark, which is the symbol of the church.

 C. Ayne Kulu (The Eyes of All): Farmers patiently wait enduring all the temptations of winter to reap their harvest that is sown in pain (cold weather) of the winter, Christian farmers trust in Lord Jesus Christ that their hope of harvest will be fulfilled. So, the eyes of all wait upon the Lord Jesus Christ.


During this period, the church also commemorates the passing away of three of the 22 prominent fathers who lived in the era of the Old Testament. The passing away of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is particularly remembered from 27 August to 29.The list of the 22 prominent fathers of the Old Testament are: Adam, Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalalel, Jared, Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech, Noah, Shem, Arphaxad, Shelah, Eber, Peleg, Reu, Serug, Nahor, Terah, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They are called prominent because Jesus Christ was in their lines of generation. (Gen. 5:1-32; 11:10-29)
Hence, this period is also named after Abraham, the most prominent of all the fathers.  The church also highlights Abraham’s obedience and the salvation of Isaac after he was taken to a mountain where he was to be sacrificed.


• ‘Hamer’ magazine (5th year, No. 2), 1989 E.C. PP. 6-7

• The liturgical year of the Ethiopian church. Fr. Emmanuel Fritsch, cssp.      2001: 304-305.