Sunday, May 17, 2009

Beating the Bounds on Rogation Sunday

After the service a group of Christ Church people braved a bitterly cold wind and beat the bounds of the church. We did not use boys and we didn't actually beat anything else.

We began on the steps with a prayer:
God of seed and growth and harvest, creator of need, creator of satisfaction, give us, we pray, our daily bread, sufficient and assured for all. Give us also, we pray, the bread of life, and we shall have a care to feed the hungry, and to seek for peace and justice in the world. Help us, then, to remember and to know that you are our life today and every day; you are the food we need, now and for ever. Amen.

We then walked to the first corner singing For the Beauty of the Earth (not us). At the first corner, Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 was read followed by a prayer:
God of creation, we thank you for the gift of the earth, and for the life which teems upon the land, in the waters, and in the air. Thank you for the wonder of life that you have entrusted to us in all its complexity, interconnectedness and biodiversity. Help us to conserve it well, use it sustainably, and endow it faithfully to our children's children.

We sang the first three verses to Canticle of the Sun (H86 406) on the way to the second corner. We then prayed:
Lord God, from your hand comes the mystery of life: the wonder of fertility, growth and harvest, and resistance to disease. We thank you for the gift of seed; bless the seeds we sow in our farms, allotments and gardens, that they may germinate well, flourish, and yield blessing to your children. Bless our efforts to feed others and ourselves.

We finished Canticle of the Sun as we walked up the alley and around the corner.
Lord God, from your hand comes all that nourishes life. We thank you for the gift of soil. Bless the soil in which our seeds are sown and our crops are planted; bless our efforts to use it well, to enrich it, and to sustain its fertility for the future.

We sang the first two verses of All Things Bright and Beautiful (very obviously not us) on the way to the final corner of the church property. Ezekiel 34:25-31 was read followed by:
Lord God, your rain is the most precious liquid on earth. We thank you for the gift of water. Bless our land and our crops with rain; bless our efforts to keep water unpolluted, to make it accessible, and to conserve it responsibly.
We finished All Things Bright and Beautiful on the way back to the church. The final prayer:
Almighty God, whose will it is that the earth and the sea should bear fruit in due season: bless the labors of those who work on land and sea, grant us a good harvest and the grace always to rejoice in your fatherly care; through Jesus Christ your Son, our Lord.

Inside we received the blessing then sang An Irish Blessing before the dismissal.

1 comment:

sharecropper said...

Services like these help keep our respect for the earth and our gratitude to God. Thanks for doing this.