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Catholic Prayer: Harvest Prayers and Blessings for the Feast of the Assumption

Description:

This is from the prayerbook The Rural Life Prayerbook, written and compiled by Alban J. Dachauer, S.J. and printed by the National Catholic Rural Life Conference in 1956 (it was recently reprinted).

"When this great feast of the Mother of God is celebrated, nature is still arrayed in her summer glories although the harvest has already begun. At this time the Church blesses herbs and fruits with gratitude for these gifts and for the new harvest. The fruits and grains added to the herbs are the first fruits of the farm. And if, by God's goodness, the farmer has received a rich harvest, he should remember what today's prayer tells him: that this temporal prosperity should prepare the way for eternal happiness." (from With the Blessing of the Church by Most Rev. J. H. Schlarman)

Prayer:

Arise! the cold blasts from earth have receded,
And in the fields are lovely flowers smiling,
For thee O gracious Mother, bearer of Life.
Arise, O Mary!

Beautiful Lily blooming 'mid the brambles,
Death's haughty author thou alone didst conquer,
Plucking the life-giving tree of fruits the fathers
By sin did not taste . . .

Thou handmaid, faithful to the Ruler of hearts,
Thy flesh cruel decay could never even touch,
Thy soul of Spirit partaking without end,
has winged to the stars.

Leaning on thy beloved, arise, go heav'nward!
Accept the crown with stars for thee bedecked,
List to the hymn thy children sing on this day,
Calling thee blessed.

Praise to the Triune Godhead everlasting.
Who hath caused thee, O Virgin, to be crowned,
And providently willed our queen thou shouldst be
Also our Mother. Amen.
--Hymn at Matins, Feast of the Assumption.

INTRODUCTION

"When this great feast of the Mother of God is celebrated, nature is still arrayed in her summer glories, although the harvest has already begun. At this time the Church blesses the finest grain, fruits, herbs, vegetables, and flowers.

"If by God's goodness there has been a rich harvest, we should remember that this temporal prosperity should prepare the way for eternal happiness."

God has richly blessed our nation. We have an abundance of food, sufficient clothing, and fine homes. However, thousands of young and old in other countries go hungry daily, have the poorest clothing, and hardly any shelter. The liturgy of the Church on this feast day offers us an opportunity to give thanks to our heavenly Father, for His beneficent blessings.

City and country people will surely join in these prayers, and present themselves and their finest grain, fruits, herbs, vegetables, and flowers for blessing.

As we utter a prayer of thanksgiving and beg continued blessings, may we also ask our Blessed Mother to help us overcome the problems that oft times prevent our sharing these good blessings with other peoples.

(Immediately preceding the Mass, the priest stands before the altar and faces the people, who present the sheaves of new grain, the finest fruits of the orchards, garden vegetables, flowers, and new herbs. The following prayers are said and the produce is blessed.)

V. Our help is in the name of the Lord.
R. Who has made heaven and earth.

Psalm 64

To you we owe our hymn of praise, O God, in Sion;
To you must vows be fulfilled, you who hear prayers.
To you all flesh must come because of wicked deeds.
We are overcome by our sins; it is you who pardon them.
Happy the man you choose, and bring to dwell in your courts.
May we be filled with the good things of your house, the holy things of your temple!
With awe-inspiring deeds of justice you answer us, O God our savior,
The hope of all the ends of the earth and of the distant seas.
You set the mountains in place by your power, you who are girt with might;
You still the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves and the tumult of the peoples.
And the dwellers at the earth's ends are in fear at your marvels; the farthest east and west you make resound with joy.
You have visited the land and watered it; greatly have you enriched it.
God's watercourses are filled; you have prepared the grain.
Thus have you prepared the land; drenching its furrows, breaking up its clods.
Softening it with showers, blessing its yield.
You have crowned the year with your bounty, and your paths overflow with a rich harvest;
The untilled meadows overflow with it, and rejoicing clothes the hills.
The fields are garmented with flocks and the valleys blanketed with grain.
They shout and sing for joy.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.
Amen.

V. The Lord will deal kindly.
R. And our land will bring forth its fruit.
V. You water the mountains from Your palace.
R. The earth will be filled with the fruit of Your works.
V. Raising grass for the cattle.
R. And vegetation for men's use.
V. So that You may produce bread from the earth.
R. And wine to gladden men's hearts.
V. So that his face may gleam with oil.
R. And bread may fortify the hearts of men.
V. He has sent His Word, and healed them.
R. And drawn them out from all their troubles.
V. Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry reach up to You.
V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with your spirit.

Let us pray.

Almighty, everlasting God, by Your Word You have created out of nothing heaven and earth, the sea and things visible and invisible. You have also directed that the earth bring forth herbs and trees for the use of men and animals, and that each plant should have fruit according to the seed that was planted. You have also been so very kind as to grant that herbs should be not only food for the healthy, but also medicine for the sick. With mind and lips we humbly beg You in Your mercy to bless + these herbs and fruits. Over and above the natural powers with which You have endowed them, pour upon them the grace of Your new blessing, so that, applied in Your name to the uses of man and beast, they may become a protection against all sicknesses and misfortune, through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and is King and God with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit for ever and ever.
R. Amen.

Let us pray.

O God, You commanded the sons of Israel, through Your servant Moses, to bring bundles of new fruits to the priests to be blessed, and to bring the fruit of the finest tree, and to be happy before You, their Lord and God. Kindly hear our prayers, and pour the richness of Your blessing + upon these bundles of fresh fruit, fresh herbs, and newly-gathered produce, which we offer to You with thanks. On this feast day we bless them in Your name. Grant that they may be a remedy for men, herds, flocks, and beasts of burden against all ills, plagues, sores, evils, curses, poisonous serpents, and the bite of other poisonous animals and beasts, and against every poison. Grant also that, in whatever place they may be put or carried, or where any part of them be kept, they may bring aid against all deceits, and tricks, and frauds of the devil. Grant, by the merits of the Blessed Virgin Mary, whose Assumption we celebrate, that we may, with our sheaves of good works, deserve to be received into that place to which she was taken, through our Lord Jesus Christ Your Son, who lives and is King and God with You in the unity of God the Holy Spirit for ever and ever.
R. Amen.

Let us pray.

O God, on this day You took the Rod of Jesse, the Mother of Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, to the very summit of heaven, so that You might, by her prayers and patronage, give the fruit of her womb, Your Son, to mortal men. We humbly pray You that by the power of Your Son and by His Mother's glorious patronage, we may by the help of these fruits of the earth, work out our eternal salvation by means of our temporal well-being, through the same Jesus Christ Your Son, our Lord, who lives and is King and God with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, for ever and ever. R. Amen.

Final Blessing

And may the blessing of almighty God, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, descend upon these things that He has made, and remain always.
R. Amen.

(And they are sprinkled with holy water, and incensed.)

Prayer Source: Rural Life Prayerbook by Alban J. Dachauer, S.J., National Catholic Rural Life Conference, 4625 Beaver Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa 50310 ncrlc.com, 1956
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