Rogation Days are traditionally the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday before Ascension Day. They originated in Vienne, France, in the fifth century when Bishop Mamertus introduced days of fasting and prayer to ward off a threatened disaster. In England they were associated with the blessing of the fields at planting. The vicar "beat the bounds" of the parish, processing around the fields reciting psalms and the litany. In the United States they have been associated with rural life and with agriculture and fishing and, more recently, their scope has been widened to include commerce and industry and the stewardship of creation. The term is from the Latin rogatio, "asking."
We are especially mindful that something is wrong with our world right now during the Coronavirus Pandemic. So, in the coming week, let us offer special prayers for the healing of the world that sustains our lives. As we pray, so let us live, that we may be good stewards of creation. The following prayers are from The Book of Common Prayer.
For Fruitful Seasons
Almighty God, Lord of heaven and earth: We humbly pray
that your gracious providence may give and preserve to our
use the harvests of the land and of the seas, and may prosper
all who labor to gather them, that we, who are constantly
receiving good things from your hand, may always give you
thanks; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
For Stewardship of Creation
O merciful Creator, your hand is open wide to satisfy the
needs of every living creature: Make us always thankful for
your loving providence; and grant that we, remembering the
account that we must one day give, may be faithful stewards
of your good gifts; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with
you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever
and ever. Amen.
For Knowledge of God’s Creation
Almighty and everlasting God, you made the universe with
all its marvelous order, its atoms, worlds, and galaxies, and
the infinite complexity of living creatures: Grant that, as we
probe the mysteries of your creation, we may come to know
you more truly, and more surely fulfill our role in your
eternal purpose; in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
For the Conservation of Natural Resources
Almighty God, in giving us dominion over things on earth,
you made us fellow workers in your creation: Give us wisdom
and reverence so to use the resources of nature, that no one
may suffer from our abuse of them, and that generations yet
to come may continue to praise you for your bounty; through
Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
For the Harvest of Lands and Waters
O gracious Father, who openest thine hand and fillest all
things living with plenteousness: Bless the lands and waters,
and multiply the harvests of the world; let thy Spirit go
forth, that it may renew the face of the earth; show thy
loving kindness, that our land may give her increase; and
save us from selfish use of what thou givest, that men and
women everywhere may give thee thanks; through Christ
our Lord. Amen.
For the Future of the Human Race
O God our heavenly Father, you have blessed us and given us
dominion over all the earth: Increase our reverence before
the mystery of life; and give us new insight into your purposes
for the human race, and new wisdom and determination in
making provision for its future in accordance with your will;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Our prayers continue for all those impacted by the Coronavirus, for healthcare professionals, first responders, and scientists who are working so hard to protect others. Remember that my precautions protect you and your precautions protect me. This is an important way we can our neighbors as ourselves.
The Very Rev'd Ron Pogue
St. Martin-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church