A message from our Chaplain, Revd Julie Nicholson
This week we are celebrating Rogation Sunday as a family service. Rogation thanksgiving sits like a opposite bookend to Harvest in the church’s year and takes place in the weeks between Easter and Ascension.
Once upon a time, priests and villagers would go on a sort of perambulation of the boundaries of the parish more commonly known as ‘beating the bounds’. Beating the bounds is not considered very practical these days so a newer custom has developed in walking the boundary of the churchyard, stopping at various points to sing a hymn and to pray for the areas of the parish in the direction of our view. The term rogation originally comes from the Latin – rogare – to ask, and reflects the beseeching of God for protection from calamities. We continue this today by asking God to bless agriculture, industry and to nourish every endeavour that enables people to flourish.
C17th Poet George Herbert in his A Priest to the Temple, written to offer practical advice to clergy, exhorts the parish priest to be diligent in encouraging Rogation processions: “a blessing of God for the fruits of the field” and “justice in the preservation of the bounds”.
With due diligence, here is my encouragement. Why not come along and join the perambulation around the churchyard? Accompanied by our resident wandering minstrels and maybe an animal or two.