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Friday, April 25, 2014
Major Rogation Day 2014

Today is April 25, the Feast of St. Mark, and the Major Rogation. While no longer required after Vatican II, Rogation Days can still (and should) be observed by the faithful. I encourage my readers to observe these days. Fasting and penance were required, and the faithful would especially pray Litanies on this day.

Not until relatively recently, it was a requirement that this day was kept with two conventual Masses where choral obligation existed.  The first, post tertiam, was the festive Mass of St. Mark the Evangelist.  The second post nonam was the more penitential Mass formula of Rogation tide.  For those bound to the Divine Office, the Litany was mandatory today.

What are Rogation Days?

"Rogation Days are the four days set apart to bless the fields, and invoke God's mercy on all of creation. The 4 days are April 25, which is called the Major Rogation (and is only coincidentally the same day as the Feast of St. Mark); and the three days preceding Ascension Thursday, which are called the Minor Rogations. Traditionally, on these days, the congregation marches the boundaries of the parish, blessing every tree and stone, while chanting or reciting a Litany of Mercy, usually a Litany of the Saints" (1)

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"All we can do is worth nothing Unless God blesses the deed; Vainly we hope for the harvest-tide Till God gives life to the seed; Yet nearer and nearer draws the time, The time that shall surely be When the earth shall be filled with the glory of God As the waters cover the sea."
To the regular family prayers, which we say during the Easter season, we add the following:
Father: Praise the Lord; for He is good.
Family: His mercy endures forever.
Father: We beseech Thee, Almighty God, that because of our afflictions we may rely on Thy goodness, and with Thy protection may be defended against all adversities.
Family: And I say to you; ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it shall be opened. Alleluia.
Prayer Source: Family Customs: Easter to Pentecost by Helen McLoughlin, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minnesota, 1956


del_button April 25, 2014 at 10:30 AM
Matthew Rose said...

Thanks for posting about the Rogation Days, Matthew. I am curious about your source for a requirement of fasting today, though. Everything with which I am familiar states very strongly and in no uncertain terms that fasting is not permitted in Paschaltide whatsoever, especially within the Octave of Easter. Dom Gueranger, for example, says this, his argument being that it is contrary to the spirit of the season.

Thank you!

del_button April 25, 2014 at 11:03 AM
Matthew said...

Hello Matthew – Good to hear from you again. I have read several sources on the Rogation Days – fasting has come and gone. By 1962 fasting did not occur on Rogation days but as the Catholic Encyclopedia states, it was “formerly a fasting day”:

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