Rogation and Ascension

My Dear Brethren,

The Rogation Days are upon us! Our Prayer Book calls the Rogation Days ‘days of solemn supplication’.

The Rogation Days originated in Vienne, France in AD 470 after a series of natural disasters had caused much suffering among the people. Archbishop Mamertus proclaimed a fast and ordered that special litanies and prayers be said as the population processed around their fields, asking God’s protection and blessing on the crops that were just beginning to sprout. The Latin word rogare means “to ask”, thus these were “rogation” processions. In an agricultural society, closely connected with the soil and highly vulnerable to the uncertainties of nature, this was an idea that took root quickly, and the custom spread around Europe and over to Britain. The Sunday before the Rogation Days came to be considered a part of Rogationtide (or “Rogantide”) and was known as Rogation Sunday. The Gospel appointed for that day was from John 16, where Jesus tells his disciples, “Amen, amen, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.”

More tomorrow….

Easter blessings,

Fr. WayneAdd New

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