This Sunday we will be observing an old church tradition, Rogation Sunday. Rogation is an ancient church festival to seek blessing for a community and its sustenance. The word rogation comes from the Latin word rogare, meaning “to ask.” Traditionally, Rogation Sunday is the Sunday before Ascension Day (40 days after Easter, when we celebrate Jesus’ ascension into heaven). In England that has been the time to ask for God’s blessing on the year’s crops and harvests. Since medieval times there has been a tradition of “beating the bounds” of the parish with branches, praying for God’s blessing for the well-being of the crops and the parish. In more recent times that has been expanded to ask for blessings for a particular place; for all its inhabitants; and for everything that promotes the common good.
The beating of the bounds can be quite elaborate with a full procession including many stops. Ours will be much simpler. Sarah Hancock will bring branches and we will go to a couple of spots on the property to pray and ask God’s blessing on the work and plantings done by our grounds committee. Maybe next year, when I have not been away so much, we can do a more elaborate service and procession, But for this year, please join us immediately after church for a simplified service.
The service sheet for Sunday is attached. I look forward to seeing you.