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Rogation Observance in Quarantine

Midweek Prayer, May 20-21, 2020

The Rogation Days are traditionally observed on the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday before Ascension Day. They may, however, be observed on other days, depending on local conditions and the convenience of the congregation.

Anciently, the observance consisted of an outdoor procession which culminated in a special celebration of the Eucharist. In more recent centuries, the procession has frequently taken place on a Sunday afternoon, apart from the Eucharist.

During the current quarantine, we will observe this ritual as a virtual prayer and blessing service from each of our homes, ending with a blessing of those homes, in lieu of the procession.

Presider Blessed be the one, holy, and living God, creator of the bounty of heaven and earth: give and preserve the harvests of the land and sea for the good of all creatures, that those who receive good things from your hand may always give you thanks and praise; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.   Amen.

Blessed are you, Lord God, maker of all things and giver of all life: grant your blessing upon us and our homes, that they may be places of peace, healing, and safety in a changing and troubled world. Preserve and protect them from all dangers, without and within and grant they it may serve to your glory and the welfare of your people; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Station: For those who labor 

Reading  Ecclesiasticus 38:27–32a

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 bring all workers satisfaction in what they do and a just return for their labor; through Jesus Christ our Redeemer.  Amen.

Station: For those who work the land and sea

Reading  Leviticus 19:9–10, Genesis 1:26a

Holy God, we thank you for the land and its soil, and for all those who bring forth food and necessities of life from it. Send a sustainable but abundant harvest to the farmers, ranchers, and fishers of the world, and to all who work the harvest, and make all your people loving, just, and generous in their life together and mindful of the needs of the poor; through Jesus Christ, our example.  Amen. 

Station: For scientists and explorers 

Reading  Ecclesiasticus 17:1–11

God of Wonders, you made the universe with its order and chaos, its atoms, worlds, and galaxies, and the complexity, resilience, and fragility of living creatures. We give you thanks for all who study your creation and ask that their work may increase our curiosity, wonder, and joy, that we may come to know you more truly and serve you more humbly; in the name of Jesus Christ, your Wisdom and your Word.  Amen. 

Station: For those who prepare and serve food 

Reading  Mark 6:35–44

Generous God, your hand is open wide to satisfy the needs of every creature: We give you thanks for all who prepare and serve the food we eat. Bless and protect them in their labor and bless and protect all who benefit from their service; through Jesus Christ, the Bread of Life.  Amen.

Station: For the gift and care of water 

Reading  Isaiah 41:17–20

God, whose Spirit moved over the deep: We thank you for the gift of water—the waters on the earth, and under the earth, the water above us, and within us. Make us mindful of the care of all the planet’s water and the systems that make it clean and bring it to us, that it may sustain life for us and for those who come after us; through Jesus Christ, source of living water.  Amen. 

Station: For the air and all who work to keep it clean

Reading  Ezekiel 37:9–10

Holy Spirit, breath of life: We give you thanks for the air and for all who work to keep it clean. Teach us to cherish the air we breathe and thwart the efforts of those who would fill it with poisons; in your power we pray.  Amen. 

Station: For those in positions of authority 

Reading  1 Timothy 2:1-2

Almighty God, we pray for all who serve and hold authority over the people of this fragile earth, our island home. Send upon them the spirit of wisdom, charity, and integrity, that they may foster the well-being of all creation and serve not their own interests and vanity, but the common good; for the sake of your love.  Amen. 

Station: For those who work to heal

Reading  Matthew 8:14–16

Merciful God, whose Son Jesus healed many who were sick: We commend to your care all who suffer, and those who care for them. By your grace lend compassion, protection, and skill to health and veterinary workers, and bring healing and comfort to those in need, that all may know your power and goodness and rise up to serve you, in the strength of your Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Station: For military workers 

Reading  Isaiah 2:2,4

God our strength and shield: Protect and defend all who offer their lives in military service for the sake of others and against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Grant us the grace, in your good time, to beat our swords into plowshares and our spears into pruning hooks, and dwell in peace with one another and with all creation.  Amen.

Station: For emergency and public safety workers 

Reading  Isaiah 21:6–8

God our rock and our refuge: Guard and bless all who work for the well-being and safety of our community. Grant courage, vigilance, and skill to those who rise night and day at our urgent call, that they may always find your grace quick to sustain, and your arm mighty to save.  Amen. 

Station: For those who have died 

Reading  Matthew 27:57–61

God of the living and of the dead, renew the face of the ground by your life-giving Spirit; grant that all who rest may be renewed in the joy of your eternal presence, who are resurrection and life.  Amen. 

Station: For the church

Reading  Isaiah 56:6b–7

Holy God, you give your people a desire to know and to worship you: bless all who gather in your church, whether in person or online, in your name, that they may find a welcome and lift their hearts and voices in praise of you, who makes us a new creation. Amen.

The Litany and the Collects

The Litany

That it may please thee to grant favorable weather, temperate rain, and fruitful seasons, that there may be food and drink for all thy creatures,

We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

That it may please thee to bless the lands and waters, and all who work upon them to bring forth food and all things needful for thy people,

We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

That it may please thee to look with favor upon all who care for the earth, the water, and the air, that the riches of thy creation may abound from age to age,

We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

A Collect for Recognition

O heavenly Father, you have filled the world with beauty: Open our eyes to recognize your gracious hand in all your works, that, rejoicing in your whole creation, we may learn to serve you with gladness; for the sake of the One through whom all things were made, Jesus Christ our Redeemer.  Amen.

A Collect for Creation

Creator, we give you thanks for all you are and all you bring to us for our visit within your marvelous works, this Sacred Circle through which all of creation is related. You show us the way to live a generous and compassionate life. Give us the strength to live together with respect and commitment as we grow in your Spirit, for you are God, now and for ever. Amen.[1]

Blessing of Homes and Gardens

Presider    Blessed be the God of all creation:

People      For in your goodness you make all things new. 

Presider    Let us pray.

Gracious God, you open wide your hand and give of your goodness to all things living: Renew the face of the earth and increase the safety of our homes, our gardens, and of all that sustains life, that the land may bring forth enough for all, and your people may share justly and give honor to you; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

The Prayers

Creator and cherisher of all you have made: Protect and sustain the creatures of our local habitat. Increase their well- being, watch over them with love, and give us wisdom to honor our kinship with them.  Amen. 

God, whose Spirit moved over the deep: We thank you for the gift of water. Bless the waters on the ground and under the ground, and the waters that fall from the sky, that this garden may flourish and bear good fruit.  Amen.

God, who alone provides seed for the sower and bread for the eater, you have taught us to ask of you our daily bread, though we live not by it alone: Bless the sowing of the seed, grant fertility to the soil, and strengthen the hands of the gardeners who till it, that through their labor your people may be nourished.  Amen. 

Holy God, you have blessed our plowing and preparing of the ground: Protect what we plant in your name, and grant that working late and early, we and others may enjoy a fruitful harvest.  Amen. 

The Blessing

Bless these our homes and gardens, and all who keep them. Strengthen and uphold us in our labor, in our shelter, and in our rest, that these places of our care and dwelling may bring forth good fruit and that our care for them, for each other, and for the whole earth may witness to your love and justice, mercy and peace.  Amen. 


The Dismissal

The Presider then dismisses the People with these words:

Presider:  To your homes return, and in your homes remain, as best as you are able. May you find, as you need them, solace, comfort, sustenance, and understanding; and may the peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep you in eternal life. Amen.

Let us bless the Lord.

People: Thanks be to God.

[1] Adapted from A Gathering Prayer adapted from Native American/Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Liturgies, prepared for the 76th General Convention of the Episcopal Church, Anaheim, California, July 2009.