26th May 11.00am
By kind permission of Douglas and Susannah Jacobsohn
Rogation Sunday is the day when the Church has traditionally offered prayer for God’s blessings on the fruits of the earth and the labours of those who produce our food.
The word “rogation” is from the Latin rogare, “to ask.” Historically, the Rogation Days (the three days before Ascension Day) were a period of fasting and abstinence, asking for God’s blessing on the crops for a bountiful harvest. Less of us today directly derive our livelihood from the production of food, yet it is good to be reminded of our dependence upon those who do and our responsibility for the environment. Traditionally a common feature of Rogation days was the ceremony of beating the bounds, in which a procession of parishioners, led by the minister and churchwardens would proceed around the boundary of their parish and pray for its protection in the forthcoming year. As it is no longer practical to follow exact boundaries many services will be held that have a focus on specific elements of creation such as livestock, fields, orchards and gardens.
Our tradition in Frant and Eridge is to hold a church service on a local farm, followed by a walk in the fields to see the work on God on our lands, and then to eat a picnic in the open air.
A prayer for Rogationtide:
Remember, Lord, your mercy and loving-kindness towards us.
Bless this good earth, and make it fruitful.
Bless our labour, and give us all things needed for our daily lives.
Bless the homes of our parish and all who live within them.
Bless our common life and our care for our neighbour.
Hear us, good Lord. Amen.