Benedictus Deus

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Rogationtide

Filed under: Easter,Liturgical Calendar — April 24, 2007 @ 7:18 am

April 25th is the the Major Rogation on the old calendar. The word “rogation” comes from the Latin “rogare,” which means “to ask.” Rogation days are days to appease God’s anger, implore His mercy for our sins, and to pray for good weather and protection for crops. Since there is so much blasphemy in the world today it is disappointing that Rogation days are not better observed. The main prayer of Rogation days is the Litany of Saints which was usually prayed during processions. Rogation days are not obligatory anymore, but (as I have noted before) in 2003 the USCCB recommended this “pastoral” approach to Rogation days:

“Many already consider January 22nd (a day of penance for violations to human dignity as a result of abortion), July 4th (American Independence Day), Labor Day and thanksgiving Day as modern-day equivalents to Rogation Days. However, this does not preclude a diocese from observing other Rogation Days.”

However I am unaware of any bishop in the U.S. who has instituted any observance “Rogation Day equivalents.” So it seems reasonable to fall back on the traditional practice. Even though most of us are not farmers anymore, we are all still depend on those who are, and even non-farmers need God’s protection from calamitous weather.

Of course we all also need God’s mercy for our many sins and the sins of the world. The traditional customs for Rogation days are processions, praying the litany of Saints, and blessing crops. Fasting is also recommended.

Even if you have just a small garden, sprinkle it with holy water and pray for good produce. Even if you don’t have any garden at all, you can still join your prayers to those of others for a bountiful harvest, and fair weather. You could also try to organize a procession at your parish.

In addition to the Major Rogation there are three Minor Rogations which are observed Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday before the feast of the Ascension.

More good info at Fish Eaters.

4 Comments

  1. Peter Goodfelow:

    In our Thursday meditation on 10 May 2007 at Crownhill Methodist Church, Plymouth, England, UK, we will consider what Rogationtide means and will remember what it means in our prayers. We will pray for the UK’s farmers who provide many of our basic needs like milk and vegetables, and for farmers overseas who grow our “luxuries” and “essentials” such as bananas, oranges, tea and coffee.

    Even city-folk should remember Rogationtide.

  2. Benedictus Deus » Dropped the Ball:

    […] I forgot to post a reminder ahead of time, Monday through Wednesday this week are Rogation days.  Please pray for safety from calamities, and for good crops.  If there is a traditional community near by, you might even be able to join a procession!  Please consider some amount of fasting as well. […]

  3. Benedictus Deus » Rogation Day:

    […] next week).  The designation Major (or greater) is in relation to the solemnity of the litanies.  As I have noted before, these are days of penance to pray for God’s protection for our food supply and against […]

  4. Benedictus Deus » Forwards Not Backwards:

    […] it became the custom in a broader area, then passed from custom into liturgical law.  For example, The Minor Rogations started in Vienne, spread in popularity, and eventually (over 300 years later) became a universal […]

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