Garden Blessings: A Rogation Day Liturgy

On Saturday we blessed our church community garden as we celebrated Rogation Day:

Rogation Day celebrations have their roots in church of fifth-century France. Special prayers were offered just before the Feast of the Ascension with hope of preventing earthquakes and the desire for healthy harvests. The early Roman church celebrated Rogation Days with a Christian procession around the fields on the Feast of St. Mark (April 25) to transferring the tradition of honoring the ancient pagan roman celebrations to the god “Mildew” and the goddess “Rust”.
Here are some photos and excerpts from the liturgy:
Leader:            Blessed be the source of all creation, the One Holy and Living God.
People:            We give thanks to God, our Creator, Redeemer, and Giver of Life.
Leader:            Let us pray.
Gracious God, our Creator, You show me the path of life. In your presence there is fullness of joy; in your right hand are pleasures for evermore (Psalm 16.11). Open our hearts that we with gratitude we may be thankful for your loving providence; use our hands for the good of your creation; use our spirit to further your desire of compassion and grace, that we may be faithful stewards of your good gifts; through Jesus Christ your love poured out in creation, and who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. 
People             Amen.

Second Procession Move around the garden toward the north, golf course, praying
  The Litany for Rogation Days
Leader             For the end of droughts throughout the earth
That all may know favorable weather, temperate rains and fruitful seasons,
We ask your blessing upon all the waters, may we do our part to keep them clean.
For sufficient clean water, that there may drink for plants, animals, and people.
let us pray to God, our creator 
People             God hear our prayer.
Leader             For the end of famine and starvation in every city, town, and nation
That no one will go hungry, and all will have enough healthy food.
We ask your blessing upon the lands and those who tend to the gardens.
                        For sufficient food that there may be sustenance for all creatures.
let us pray to our God. 
People             God hear our prayer.
Leader             For the end of air pollution and its impact on the health of creation
that all may breathe fresh air and live with healthy bodies
We ask your blessing upon the air, may we do our part to keep it clean
let us pray to our God. 
People             God hear our prayer.
Leader             Let us turn to the NORTH, the place of the cold winds and waiting,
that we may learn patience, stamina, and grace
to face the challenges of life
Bless our efforts that we, like newly fallen snow, may refresh the earth.
Use us to be your hand and heart, may we be a blessing in this world, may we be like a breath of fresh air.

Priest              God bless this garden

Rich and teeming with life
                        God bless our labor
                        As we dig, turn, and plant this soil
God bless these plants           
May they flourish like hope, transforming
                        God bless the rains
                        That water these plants and nourish our work
                        God bless the harvest
                        From the grace of God, grows our generosity,
                        God bless this garden
                        As you bless all creation with your love
 People                        Amen

About Terri C Pilarski

I am an Episcopal priest serving a delightfully progressive, interesting, creative congregation. I have been married more than half my life to the same man. We have two grown children, plus two dogs and two cats, although the number of four legged household members changes from time to time. I love to garden, knit, read, and play on Facebook or with my blog. I have been a practitioner of daily meditation since I was nineteen. I practice yoga five days a week and walk every where I am able too.
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5 Responses to Garden Blessings: A Rogation Day Liturgy

  1. Mary Beth says:

    this is wonderful. when I was a little girl we used to "beat the bounds" in a similar way by walking all the way around the property (which was large).

  2. Terri says:

    Mary Beth, at least one parishioner remembers this church doing the same, and was excited that it was "coming back" even though I am sure the prayers I wrote were vastly different than the prayers used then – at least in terms of language and theology…

  3. Purple says:

    How fun…hope that is appropriate…to bless the new growth in creation.

  4. RevDrKate says:

    I so love the idea of blessing our spaces…gardens, houses, whatever. This is lovely.

  5. Terri says:

    Purple – fun indeed!Kate – me too!

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