Friday, 29 April 2016

Beating the Bounds

Last Sunday, April 224th, we celebrated Rogation Day at St. John’s by-the-lake in Grand Bend.  The idea for the celebration originated with Lorna who is the gardener in the family.  Rogation Day is a celebration which is tied to the land.   Originally Rogation day was intended to mark the bounds of the parish.  As it occurs in the springtime and is connected to the land it is a natural connection to cultivating and caring for God’s earth.  As those who know me well know that I am not blessed with an interest in things of the land and especially gardening.    However, I do respond when necessary to appeals form Lorna to do the heavy lifting which gardening sometimes requires.   As Lorna notes I have an amazing ability to evaporate like the morning dew once my assigned task is completed and before she has an opportunity to think of something else for me to do.  We all have our crosses to bear and sometimes we do it gladly and at other times in a grouchy bear-like attitude.  For those of you who don’t get my obscure references think of the old hymn, “Gladly the Cross I’d Bear” which was interpreted by a young child to be about a bear named Gladly who was cross-eyed.  
The following is an introduction to Rogation Day by the Rev. Patricia Gillespie who developed the liturgy we used yesterday.
Rogation Day Processions trace their roots to the church of Fifth-Century France when special prayers were offered just before the Feast of the Ascension because of earthquake and poor harvests. The early Roman church celebrated Rogation Days with a Christian procession around the fields on the Feast of St. Mark (April 25) to suppress the ancient pagan roman celebrations honoring the god "Mildew" and the goddess "Rust".
The "Beating of the Bounds" began in medieval England. Written maps were rare and each year a procession marked the parish boundaries, which were beaten with willow rods. On occasion boys of the parish were also beaten or bumped on the ground at the boundary, which is certainly not part of the modern celebration.  The Rogation Procession moves from a recognition of the sacred earth and Christian roots, to hope for fruits of the earth and fruits of the Spirits.  + The Rev. Patricia Gillespie

We had our regularly scheduled service at St. Anne’s Port Franks yesterday and I have attached a copy of my sermon for that service.  Blessings,

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