So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter (2 Thess. 2:15). Guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid the godless chatter and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge, for by professing it some have missed the mark as regards faith (1 Tim. 6:21-22).

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

What and when are rogation days?

Rogation Days

Rogation days mark a change in the seasons. Rogation days are linked to the spring planting and beseech of God an abundant harvest.

There are four Rogation Days:
  • Major Rogation day: April 25th
  • Minor Rogation days: the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday immediately before Ascension Thursday.
Rogation Days are days of prayer and fasting "instituted by the Church to appease God's anger at man's transgressions, to ask protection in calamities, and to obtain a good and bountiful harvest."—Catholic Encyclopedia
rogation (n.) late 14c., from Latin rogationem (nominative rogatio) "an asking, prayer, entreaty," noun of action from past participle stem of rogare "to ask, question, propose, request," apparently a figurative use and meaning literally "to stretch out (the hand)," from PIE *rog-, variant of the root *reg- "move in a straight line"
Rogation days were the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday before Ascension Thursday, a time for processions round fields blessing crops and praying for good harvest, also blessing the boundary markers of each parish.—Online Etymological Dictionary
The pagan Romans prayed to a variety of gods for good weather and a good harvest. Christians adapted the custom by replacing polytheism with monotheism and directing their prayers to God.

The Christianized Rogation Days were already considered an ancient custom by the time of Pope Saint Gregory the Great (A.D. 540-604).
An excellent visual guide to the ember and rogation days by Fr Christopher Smith:

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