Home      Back to Rogation Sunday





A Rationale upon the Book of Common Prayer of the Church of England
By Anthony Sparrow, D.D.
first printed in London, 1655.
With thanks to the Project Canterbury Website for this contribution.
5th Sunday after Easter.

The Gospel before promised a Comforter. The Epistle and Gospel this day direct us what to do to obtain that promise. Two conditions are required on our parts for the receiving of that promised Comforter: First prayers or Rogations, this the Gospel teaches, Ask and ye shall receive that your joy may be full. Secondly to love God and keep his Comandments, S. John 14. 15. This the Epistle exhorts to, See that ye be doers of the Word, &c. The Collect prayes that we may feel the fruits and comforts of this holy Spirit in our hearts by good thoughts and abilities to perform them.

Of Rogation week.

This is called Rogation Sunday: because upon the three following days Rogations and Litanies were used, and Fasting, for these two reasons. 1. Because this time of the year, the fruits of the earth are tender and easily hurt: therefore Litanies extraordinary are said to God to avert this judgement. 2. Because our LORDS Ascension is the Thursday following, therefore these three days before are to be spent in prayers and fasting. Conc. Aurelian. that so the flesh being tamed, and the soul winged with fasting, we may ascend with Christ.

The Gospel is concerning Rogations, teaching us how to ask of God, so as we may obtain, and withal foretels his approaching Ascension.

The Fast this week is voluntary: for there is no Fast commanded betwixt Easter and Whitsunday, as hath been observed before.

The Service formerly appointed in the Rogation days of Procession was the 103 and 104. Psal. with the Litany, and Suffrages, and the Homily of Thanksgiving. Artic. Eliz. in the 7. year of her reign. The 2. Psalms were to be said at convenient places, in the common perambulation: the people thus giving thanks to God, in the beholding of Gods benefits, the increase and abundance of his fruits upon the Earth. At their return to the Church, they were to say the rest of the Service mentioned, Eliz. Injun. 18, 19.