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Catholic Prayer: Blessing of Sprouting Seed, Rogation Days

Description:

All our work should begin and end with a prayer. Whether we are a farmer or weekend gardener, or window-sill plant grower, we should begin our planting season with a blessing over our "crops".

This corresponds to the Rogation Days, on April 25, and the three days before Ascension Thursday. These were days of prayer and fasting to implore God's mercy on our sins, to ask protection from calamities, and to obtain a good and bountiful harvest. Part of the rogation ceremony would be processions, blessing the fields. The Rogation Days are no longer obligatory on the universal Roman Catholic Calendar. The local ordinary (bishop) can choose to follow the observance.

Prayer:

There is a time to plant tangible seeds, and for most of us, it comes with the mild April weather. The church is there, ready to help, with the first of four Rogation, or Asking, Days on April 25th (the other three precede Ascension Thursday). These are days of asking God's protection from natural calamities and His blessing on our harvest. Before we gardeners, farmers, window-box putterers go to work with cultivators, powders, sprays, etc., our crops might grow a lot better if we asked God's help first:

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

V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with your spirit.

Let us pray. To Thee, O Lord, we cry and pray: Bless this sprouting seed, strengthen it in the gentle movement of soft winds, refresh it with the dew of heaven, and let it grow to full maturity for the good of body and soul.

Prayer Source: Family Liturgical Customs No. 4: Easter by Ethel Marbach, Abbey Press Publishing Division, St. Meinrad, Indiana, 1964
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