Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Sunday, May 13 2007

In addition to Mother's Day, this coming Sunday, the Sixth Sunday of Easter, is also known as Rogation Sunday. The name comes from the gospel for the day, which includes the words "Whatever you ask the Father in my name, he will give to you". Rogation comes from the Latin word (rogare, I think) for ' to ask'. Traditionally, Rogation was when the priest, in full vestments and accompanied by all the villagers, went around the boundaries of each parish. Later this procession became known as the parish 'perambulation', or 'beating the bounds.' There were two reasons for walking the bounds. One was to learn where it was in the days when there were no maps. The other was to check that no one had moved any of the marker stones and therefore laid claim to your land.

These days, the purpose of Rogation Sunday (and the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of the coming week) is to give thanks to God for the blessings of land, produce, livestock, and, in our case, the bounty of the seas.

George Herbert, poet and priest, gave the following good reasons to beat the bounds: 1) a blessing of God for the fruits of the field; 2) Justice in the preservation of the bounds; 3) Charitie, in living, walking and neighbourliy accompanying one another, with reconciling of differences at that time, if they be any; 4) Mercie, in relieving the poor by a liberal distribution of largess which at that time is or oght be made.

For more on Rogation Days, read here.

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