The Rogation Days are traditional occasions of prayer that occur on April 25th (called the Major Rogation) and on the three days leading up to Ascension Thursday (called the Minor Rogations). Their purpose is to ask God to bestow His mercy on us, to make the harvest of the earth abundant, and to protect us from disasters. The word rogation comes from the Latin word rogare, which means “to plead.”
The Rogations are of ancient origin in the Church. The Major Rogation dates from her early centuries and the Minor were established not long afterward in the 6th century. They are no longer obligatory in the Church, but many parishes observe them in some way.
The ceremony of the Rogations includes a procession—traditionally around the territorial perimeter of the parish—and a blessing of the land, during which the Litany of the Saints is sung. A special Mass with the liturgical color of violet (the color of penance and supplication) follows.
These ceremonies are an impressive reminder of God’s care for us—and our dependence on Him—in all aspects of our lives, including practical, earthly things. The Rogations connect earth and Heaven for us, illustrating God’s authorship of all things and our reliance on His goodness and mercy. They recall the spiritual character of everything we do, even if that’s just plowing fields, going to work, doing the laundry, or tending the garden.
The Rogations are, moreover, a method of entrusting to God those things we rely on but can’t control—such as the clemency of the weather and freedom from pestilence. Without God, we would worry constantly about these things. The Rogation Days offer us a chance to offload our worry, to “cast all our cares upon Him,” as St. Peter says in his first letter, “because He cares for us.”
Keeping holy water on hand is a Church-encouraged way to spiritually protect and bless yourself, your family, your home—even your land, Rogation-style! Our bestselling Personalized Elegant Holy Water Bottle is the perfect way to keep it within arm’s reach. Fill it up at your parish church and let the blessings flow! Available today at The Catholic Company.