Sixth Sunday of Easter

SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER

Rogation Sunday

 

 

Readings for Sixth Sunday of Easter:

Acts 17:22-31

Psalm 66

1 Peter 3:13-22

John 14:15-21

 

Collect

God our redeemer,

You have delivered us from the power of darkness

and brought us into the kingdom of your Son:

grant, that as by his death he has recalled us to life,

so by his continual presence in us he may raise us to eternal joy;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

 

Rogation Sunday

 

 

To begin on a light note!

I will always have happy memories of our adventures on Rogation Day in Chilworth.

How could I forget Hilary’s lunches?

 

 

Hilary with Una and Marjorie (I hope you don’t mind!)

 

 

 

 

 

- and what about that caption competition of Linda’s, one year?!

 

 

And, yes, we did walk the complete boundary of our enlarged parish in 2016!

 

Happy Days!!

 

 

On Rogation Sunday – (rogation, from the Latin, rogare, meaning to ask) it was traditional to walk the boundary of the parish asking for God’s blessing on, primarily the growing crops,

but also, on all that lay within.

 

Of course, there was also the ‘beating’ of the bounds, which meant checking the boundary of the parish

that could, it is said, include taking the opportunity to beat the poor into the next parish

– and beat wayward choirboys, too!

 

Be that as it may, for many hundreds of years, today and the following three days, leading up to

Ascension Day, were devoted to  asking God’s blessing on growing crops that the harvest might be plentiful and also praying for safety and deliverance from natural disaster.

(This coming Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday are Rogation Days, traditionally,

days of special prayer for vocations)

 

I usually say at this point that in today’s world (or our place in it) our emphasis has expanded, away from the threat of natural disaster, to asking God’s blessing on all human creativity

taking place within the parish boundary.

 

On Rogation Sunday 2020, though, we are particularly mindful of threat beyond our control – a recognition of our human frailty in the face of the vastness and complexity of the created order

– and of our interconnectedness within it.

 

 

 

And so, to prayer, reflection and pondering:

 

We pray,

With one another, with every living creature and all on which we depend;

With all that is on earth and with earth itself;

With all that lives in the waters and with the waters themselves;

With all creatures of the air and with the air itself;

With all that is warm with life, and with the living fire itself.

 

 

 

And thinking of those creatures of the air, the birds, so busy – and noisy just now – a story I love from The Life of St Francis by his contemporary and one-time pupil, Bonnaventura:

 

 

                                                   

 

 

As St Francis went forth to preach, he found a great quantity of birds gathered together, and when he saw them he ran to them and saluted them, and with great joy he beheld them. And it was great marvel, for there was not one of them that removed from their place, but all stood in peace and bowed their heads and stretched their necks, and attentively beheld him. When the holy man saw this, he reasoned with them and urged them hear the word of God. Then he said to them in this wise,

‘Fair brother and sister birds, you ought greatly to praise God who is your maker, who has clothed you from the rain with feathers, who has given you wings to fly with, and has granted you your living in the purity of the air without labour, who sustaineth and feedeth and governeth you.’

When he had said many words to them the birds put out their necks and stretched their wings and opened their bills and beheld the man of God attentively, and with all their bodies made great joy after their fashion. And the holy man passed among them with great joy of spirit, and his coat touched them, and none of them moved from their place nor stirred their wings until he had given them his blessing and leave to depart from him. And when they had his blessing, they all flew away.

 

 

 

The idea of encircling a protected area calls to mind the early Celtic Christians

and their practice of making Cairns. A Cairn is a special prayer used to ward off danger,

threat and evil from within an area encircled by stones.

 

 

Prayer

 

Circle us, O God

keep hope within

despair without.

 

Circle us, O God

Keep peace within

Keep turmoil out.

Circle us, O God

Keep calm within

Keep storms without.

 

Circle us, O God

Keep strength within

Keep weakness out.

 

-

 

 

But what about this idea of boundaries – of checking and firming up our boundaries and the fences we build around ourselves and our communities??

 

Is this a tradition to keep??

 

Probably, like all important questions, the answer is both Yes and No.

 

How often was Jesus on the edge – on the boundary – walking the border between heaven and earth?

He could often be found on the edges of society with the am haretz, the ‘common people’ and with outcasts. And so, he was edged out of the Synagogue, edged out of the Temple, edged out of the city to be edged out of life beyond its walls…………….

 

 

The band, Iona, in 1990 sang:

 

It started with a dream, and I still recall

I see a bridge where there once was a wall of stone

 

And I hear you call

And I see you dancing, dancing on the wall

And I hear you call

And I see you dancing, dancing on the wall

 

 

 

Boundaries, thresholds, crossing places, dangerous places, edgy places,

places of encounter and of meeting…………………places to tread softly………….

 

 

 

 

And from the Rogation Country Service:

 

Alleluia.  Christ is risen.

He is risen indeed.  Alleluia

 

The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds

– and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind.

And God saw that it was good.

Amen.

 

While the earth endures, seed time and harvest, cold and heat,

summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.

Amen.

 

Creator Spirit, who broods everlastingly over the lands and the waters,

who endows them with forms and colours which

no human skill can copy; give us today, we ask you,

the mind and heart to rejoice in your creation.

 Amen.

 

Human beings began to exercise their long stewardship.

They gathered seed and sowed it for food. They diverted streams. They cleared trees.

They dug wells. They made their own selection of plants to grow and animals to rear.

 

Human beings, at times, have thought only of their own needs

and forgotten the particular good

that is in each created living thing.

 

Have mercy on us, O Lord,

according to your great goodness.

 

But still the seed is good; some sow it and tend it.

Others gather it, package it and distribute it.

And there are improved seeds: seeds that sown bear heavier heads of corn,

seeds that ground make better bread;

and this is the work of human skill.

 

So teach us, O Lord, to number our days

That we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

 

Farmers tend their flocks of sheep and with close attention breed a better lamb;

they tend their cattle and improve their herds, delighting in the promise of each calf.

 

So teach us, O Lord, to number our days

That we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

 

There are improved strains, improved cultivations,

but all the time the marvellous system of the created order

 is altering and shifting and adjusting.

 

So teach us, O Lord, to number our days

That we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

 

Help us with your grace, good Lord, to live

as true followers of your Son, Jesus Christ.

Grant this, O Lord.

 

That in all things we may hold to your will and purpose.

Grant this, O Lord.

 

That our hearts and minds may be open

to your holiness and truth.

Grant this, O Lord.

 

That we may rightly value the whole of your creation.

Grant this, O Lord.

 

That we may seek your righteousness

 in all our dealings with one another.

Grant this, O Lord.

 

That in all our time on earth we may work and live

 as citizens of your heavenly kingdom.

Grant this, O Lord.

 

O Lord, you surround with your love all things living,

we thank you for the companionship of animals and birds,

without which there would be for humankind

a great loneliness of spirit on the earth.

 

Bless all living things, O Lord.

Bless all living things, O Lord.

 

Almighty God, whose will it is that the earth

should bear its fruits in their seasons,

bless the labours of those who work in the fields,

bless the increase of crops and grain and fruit-bearing trees;

that bread and wine and wholesome food

may be shared and enjoyed by all your people.

 

God bless our parish, its farmers, its homes, and its people.

May God visit us with his mercy,

surround us with his love,

and make us perfect to do his will.

 

May God’s blessing shower upon all his creatures;

may peace pervade the whole creation;

may there be an abundance of all the plants we use;

may humankind prosper and animals flourish.  AMEN.

 

 

 

Stephanie Sokolowski            16/5/20

 

(ps please note that the above is not properly referenced.

It is sent to congregation members for personal use only!)

 SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER

Rogation Sunday

 

 

Readings for Sixth Sunday of Easter:

Acts 17:22-31

Psalm 66

1 Peter 3:13-22

John 14:15-21

 

Collect

God our redeemer,

You have delivered us from the power of darkness

and brought us into the kingdom of your Son:

grant, that as by his death he has recalled us to life,

so by his continual presence in us he may raise us to eternal joy;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

 

Rogation Sunday

 

 

To begin on a light note!

I will always have happy memories of our adventures on Rogation Day in Chilworth.

How could I forget Hilary’s lunches?

 

 

Hilary with Una and Marjorie (I hope you don’t mind!)

 

 

 

 

 

- and what about that caption competition of Linda’s, one year?!

 

 

And, yes, we did walk the complete boundary of our enlarged parish in 2016!

 

Happy Days!!

 

 

On Rogation Sunday – (rogation, from the Latin, rogare, meaning to ask) it was traditional to walk the boundary of the parish asking for God’s blessing on, primarily the growing crops,

but also, on all that lay within.

 

Of course, there was also the ‘beating’ of the bounds, which meant checking the boundary of the parish

that could, it is said, include taking the opportunity to beat the poor into the next parish

– and beat wayward choirboys, too!

 

Be that as it may, for many hundreds of years, today and the following three days, leading up to

Ascension Day, were devoted to  asking God’s blessing on growing crops that the harvest might be plentiful and also praying for safety and deliverance from natural disaster.

(This coming Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday are Rogation Days, traditionally,

days of special prayer for vocations)

 

I usually say at this point that in today’s world (or our place in it) our emphasis has expanded, away from the threat of natural disaster, to asking God’s blessing on all human creativity

taking place within the parish boundary.

 

On Rogation Sunday 2020, though, we are particularly mindful of threat beyond our control – a recognition of our human frailty in the face of the vastness and complexity of the created order

– and of our interconnectedness within it.

 

 

 

And so, to prayer, reflection and pondering:

 

We pray,

With one another, with every living creature and all on which we depend;

With all that is on earth and with earth itself;

With all that lives in the waters and with the waters themselves;

With all creatures of the air and with the air itself;

With all that is warm with life, and with the living fire itself.

 

 

 

And thinking of those creatures of the air, the birds, so busy – and noisy just now – a story I love from The Life of St Francis by his contemporary and one-time pupil, Bonnaventura:

 

 

                                                   

 

 

As St Francis went forth to preach, he found a great quantity of birds gathered together, and when he saw them he ran to them and saluted them, and with great joy he beheld them. And it was great marvel, for there was not one of them that removed from their place, but all stood in peace and bowed their heads and stretched their necks, and attentively beheld him. When the holy man saw this, he reasoned with them and urged them hear the word of God. Then he said to them in this wise,

‘Fair brother and sister birds, you ought greatly to praise God who is your maker, who has clothed you from the rain with feathers, who has given you wings to fly with, and has granted you your living in the purity of the air without labour, who sustaineth and feedeth and governeth you.’

When he had said many words to them the birds put out their necks and stretched their wings and opened their bills and beheld the man of God attentively, and with all their bodies made great joy after their fashion. And the holy man passed among them with great joy of spirit, and his coat touched them, and none of them moved from their place nor stirred their wings until he had given them his blessing and leave to depart from him. And when they had his blessing, they all flew away.

 

 

 

The idea of encircling a protected area calls to mind the early Celtic Christians

and their practice of making Cairns. A Cairn is a special prayer used to ward off danger,

threat and evil from within an area encircled by stones.

 

 

Prayer

 

Circle us, O God

keep hope within

despair without.

 

Circle us, O God

Keep peace within

Keep turmoil out.

Circle us, O God

Keep calm within

Keep storms without.

 

Circle us, O God

Keep strength within

Keep weakness out.

 

-

 

 

But what about this idea of boundaries – of checking and firming up our boundaries and the fences we build around ourselves and our communities??

 

Is this a tradition to keep??

 

Probably, like all important questions, the answer is both Yes and No.

 

How often was Jesus on the edge – on the boundary – walking the border between heaven and earth?

He could often be found on the edges of society with the am haretz, the ‘common people’ and with outcasts. And so, he was edged out of the Synagogue, edged out of the Temple, edged out of the city to be edged out of life beyond its walls…………….

 

 

The band, Iona, in 1990 sang:

 

It started with a dream, and I still recall

I see a bridge where there once was a wall of stone

 

And I hear you call

And I see you dancing, dancing on the wall

And I hear you call

And I see you dancing, dancing on the wall

 

 

 

Boundaries, thresholds, crossing places, dangerous places, edgy places,

places of encounter and of meeting…………………places to tread softly………….

 

 

 

 

And from the Rogation Country Service:

 

Alleluia.  Christ is risen.

He is risen indeed.  Alleluia

 

The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds

– and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind.

And God saw that it was good.

Amen.

 

While the earth endures, seed time and harvest, cold and heat,

summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.

Amen.

 

Creator Spirit, who broods everlastingly over the lands and the waters,

who endows them with forms and colours which

no human skill can copy; give us today, we ask you,

the mind and heart to rejoice in your creation.

 Amen.

 

Human beings began to exercise their long stewardship.

They gathered seed and sowed it for food. They diverted streams. They cleared trees.

They dug wells. They made their own selection of plants to grow and animals to rear.

 

Human beings, at times, have thought only of their own needs

and forgotten the particular good

that is in each created living thing.

 

Have mercy on us, O Lord,

according to your great goodness.

 

But still the seed is good; some sow it and tend it.

Others gather it, package it and distribute it.

And there are improved seeds: seeds that sown bear heavier heads of corn,

seeds that ground make better bread;

and this is the work of human skill.

 

So teach us, O Lord, to number our days

That we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

 

Farmers tend their flocks of sheep and with close attention breed a better lamb;

they tend their cattle and improve their herds, delighting in the promise of each calf.

 

So teach us, O Lord, to number our days

That we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

 

There are improved strains, improved cultivations,

but all the time the marvellous system of the created order

 is altering and shifting and adjusting.

 

So teach us, O Lord, to number our days

That we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

 

Help us with your grace, good Lord, to live

as true followers of your Son, Jesus Christ.

Grant this, O Lord.

 

That in all things we may hold to your will and purpose.

Grant this, O Lord.

 

That our hearts and minds may be open

to your holiness and truth.

Grant this, O Lord.

 

That we may rightly value the whole of your creation.

Grant this, O Lord.

 

That we may seek your righteousness

 in all our dealings with one another.

Grant this, O Lord.

 

That in all our time on earth we may work and live

 as citizens of your heavenly kingdom.

Grant this, O Lord.

 

O Lord, you surround with your love all things living,

we thank you for the companionship of animals and birds,

without which there would be for humankind

a great loneliness of spirit on the earth.

 

Bless all living things, O Lord.

Bless all living things, O Lord.

 

Almighty God, whose will it is that the earth

should bear its fruits in their seasons,

bless the labours of those who work in the fields,

bless the increase of crops and grain and fruit-bearing trees;

that bread and wine and wholesome food

may be shared and enjoyed by all your people.

 

God bless our parish, its farmers, its homes, and its people.

May God visit us with his mercy,

surround us with his love,

and make us perfect to do his will.

 

May God’s blessing shower upon all his creatures;

may peace pervade the whole creation;

may there be an abundance of all the plants we use;

may humankind prosper and animals flourish.  AMEN.

 

 

 

Stephanie Sokolowski            16/5/20

 

(ps please note that the above is not properly referenced.

It is sent to congregation members for personal use only!)