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Catholic Prayer: Blessing of Crosses Placed in Fields and Vineyards

Description:

The Church's liturgical year is interwoven in the agrarian life. We don't have to be farmers to appreciate the seasons. An old custom on May 3 (formerly the Feast of Finding the True Cross) was to place crosses in the fields or gardens. Here is an explanation and blessing for this custom. For the city-dwellers and suburbanites, you can do this even with potted plants or small gardens.

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:

Blessing of the Sprouting Seed

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.

Those lovely words might be applied to the human seedlings under our care also.

On May 3 (Feast of the Finding of the Holy Cross) [Editor's Note: This feast has been removed from the General Roman Calendar.] we nail small handmade crosses to special guardian-trees (those who seem to overlook fields and garden plots most protectively) and read the

Blessing of Crosses to be Placed in Fields and Vineyards:

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. Almighty, everlasting God, Father of goodness and consolation, in virtue of the bitter suffering of thy Sole-Begotten Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ, endured for us sinners on the wood of the Cross, bless these crosses which thy faithful will erect in their vineyards, fields, and gardens. Protect the land where they are placed from hail, tornado, storm, and every assault of the enemy, so that their fruits ripened to the harvest may be gathered to thy honor by those who place their hope in the holy Cross of thy Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ, Who liveth and reigneth with thee eternally. Amen.

And protect them from our dog, Rosie, who searches fruitlessly for the grail of last winter's bones, leaving drills of corn in her wake. She has a poor memory.

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