This past week the Episcopal Church marked Rogation Days, which fall just before the Feast of the Ascension that we will celebrate this Sunday, May 16. Traditionally, particularly in agrarian societies, Rogation Days were a time to ask for God’s blessing on the upcoming harvest. (“Rogation” means asking or beseeching.)
Some of us may actually be tending a garden right now (my mom and I are nurturing some basil seedlings with high hopes for some delicious pesto in a month or two!). And, as we will see this Sunday at our worship service, some of the children of the parish recently gathered to help do a little planting in our Holy Apostles garden. But many of us do not have a physical harvest for which to ask God’s blessing. Nevertheless, we might consider beseeching God to bless us in all our endeavors and in our faithful stewardship of our gifts.
Luckily, our Book of Common Prayer gives us three prayers for Rogation Days (pp. 258-9) – I trust that one or more will be a worthwhile addition to your daily prayers this week!
- 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 commerce and industry
Almighty God, whose Son Jesus Christ in his earthly life shared our toil and hallowed our labor: Be present with your people where they work; make those who carry on the industries and commerce of this land responsive to your will; and give to us all a pride in what we do, and a just return for our labor; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for 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.