With Synod finished, we return to our regular week. Thursdays we have Morning Prayer at 10:00 at the Church. Sundays we have Holy Communion each week also at 10:00. We especially thank Mr. Andrew Stinnett for representing St Mark’s Church at Synod this year. Please ask him about his experience.
Fr Napier is doing better. Please pray for complete recovery.
Rogation Days, like their distant cousins the Ember Days, are days set aside to observe a change in the seasons. Rogation Days are tied to the spring planting. There are four Rogation Days: the Major Rogation, which falls on April 25, the Feast Day of our own St Mark, and three Minor Rogations, which are held on the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday immediately before Ascension Thursday.
As the Catholic Encyclopedia notes, Rogation Days are “Days of prayer, and formerly also of fasting, instituted by the Church to appease God’s anger at man’s transgressions, to ask protection in calamities, and to obtain a good and bountiful harvest.”
Rogation is simply an English form of the Latin rogatio, which comes from the verb rogare, which means “to ask.” The primary purpose of the Rogation Days is to ask God to bless the fields and the parish (the geographic area) that they fall in. The Major Rogation likely replaced the Roman feast of Robigalia, on which) “the heathens held processions and supplications to their gods.” Since the practice itself was laudatory, just misdirected, Christians adopted it as their own. By the time of Pope St. Gregory the Great (540-604), it was already considered an ancient custom.
The Rogation Days were marked by the recitation of the Litany of the Saints, which would normally begin in or at a church. After Saint Mary was invoked, the congregation would proceed to walk the boundaries of the parish, while reciting the rest of the litany (and repeating it as necessary or supplementing it with some of the penitential or gradual Psalms). Thus, the entire parish would be blessed, and the boundaries of the parish would be marked. The procession would end with a Rogation Mass, in which all in the parish were expected to take part. We continue to pray for a good growing season and a great harvest.
Ascension Day was Thursday, May 13, 2010. We had Mass at Church at 10:00 am that day, at which the Pascal candle was extinguished following the reading of the Gospel.
Pentecost is on the way!!!!!