Another C365 article, this one touching on the Rogation Days:
In any case, even apart from the ever-present potential for disaster, there is the ever-present question of food. Though modern fertilizers, chemicals, and industrial farming produces an enormous surplus (whatever else may be said of it), yet it remains farming. The food we eat comes from the earth; it cannot come from anywhere else. We therefore, disguise it as we will, remain dependent upon the harvest, and upon that harvest being able to reach us.
With all that in mind, the Church has traditionally had special observances related to the courses of the natural world; the changing of seasons and the course of harvest, and so on. Among these are the Rogation Days (from the Latin ‘Rogere’: to ask). These are days of fasting and penance in the midst of the Easter Season to ask God’s mercy and blessing with regards to the natural world, in particular for the aversion of natural disasters and blessings on the crops that are now being planted.
The Rogation Days have their origins in the chaos of the fifth and sixth centuries: Pope St. Gregory the Great instituted the Major Rogation day, observed on April 25th, in response to a plague that swept through Rome during Eastertide. The Minor Rogation Days, which are the three days immediately before Ascension Thursday, were instituted by St. Mamertus, the Bishop of Vienna in the 5th century, after facing a storm of earthquakes, lightning, plague, and other disasters. Pope St. Leo III – who crowned Charlemagne – made these observations universal in the Church.
Read the rest here.
One thought on “C365: The Rogation Days”
Interestingly, a friend just informed me that the ember days and rogation days weren’t supposed to be abrogated in the reformation – er, the liturgical/council reforms – but rather delegated to the bishops’ conferences to pick dates and manners of following them suitable to the particular culture and circumstances of their locale.
Of course, we’ve heard that story before with many another Catholic discipline that got watered down or downright scrapped in practice…
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