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I wore gaiters to church!

Our parish did the Rogation walk yesterday. Not, technically, Rogation Sunday (that would be April 25), but this service is one of the many that wadded up Roman customs with pagan rituals, put a little Jesus sauce on it and called it a Christian festival…so punctilious observance seems unnecessary.

“Rogation” comes from the Latin rogare — to ask. In rural areas (like what we are) the priest asks a blessing on the fields and the animals. It’s also associated with the ancient custom of beating the bounds — a ritual in which all the boys were marched along the parish boundaries while the men threw them into ponds and briar patches and slammed their heads on boundary rocks and markers.

Hey, no Google Earth. It was the best way to ensure they never, ever, ever forgot the property line.

Sadly, we didn’t have any boys. We didn’t even walk the whole boundary line. We did lead a whole herd of bluehairs across a good few fields of sheep (also, unexpectedly, cows) and we blessed the bejesus out of the lot.

We recited the Benedicite Omnia Opera at them.

Yeah. It was one wand short of a Harry Potter.

sock it to me

Comments


Comment from Pavel
Time: May 9, 2011, 8:25 pm

Interesting history about the teaching of the boundaries. I had never heard that, though it makes great sense. “Reputation of boundaries” is one of the ancient exceptions to the hearsay rule in Anglo-American jurisprudence, and I can understand why they would want the boys to get it right.

We always used to gather on the lawn next to the church on Rogation Sunday for what our priest called The Blessing of the Dandelions. I think the Benedicite Omnia Opera is one of the loveliest hymns in all Christendom.

 


Comment from Mark Matis
Time: May 9, 2011, 9:08 pm

Cows? No bull!

 


Comment from Mono The Elderish
Time: May 9, 2011, 9:37 pm

“a ritual in which all the boys were marched along the parish boundaries while the men threw them into ponds and briar patches and slammed their heads on boundary rocks and markers.”

um. Damn? No wonder it was called the dark ages. they all got their retinas smashed on a frickin boundary marker.

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: May 9, 2011, 10:00 pm

Yes, I thought it was really beautiful, Pavel. I had to scramble all along the web to find it, though, because I couldn’t remember the name at first.

I read somewhere the boundaries were regarded as so important, the whole procession marched through the middle of houses and destroyed hay ricks and such, if anyone was stupid enough to build things across the line.

 


Comment from Mike C.
Time: May 9, 2011, 10:34 pm

In the true Irish tradition, we celebrate this day by drinking.

Of course, we celebrate every day by drinking, but no matter…

 


Comment from Sven in Colorado
Time: May 10, 2011, 1:35 pm

Rogation Sunday here is marked by prayers for and over all manner of property. We do walk the bounds of the Church property complete with incense, prayers and hymns….and yes, the “BENEDICITE OMNIA OPERA”.

 


Comment from Mark Matis
Time: May 10, 2011, 2:59 pm

For Mike C.:
But do the Irish not celebrate SOME days more than others? And so is Rogation Sunday one of the more celebrated days? Or merely one of the lesser?

 


Comment from Deborah
Time: May 10, 2011, 6:13 pm

Nothing starts a war faster than not knowing where the boundaries are!

Off subject: I was looking at your artwork—thinking about stealing something. But there are no badgers! Won’t Uncle Badger sit still and let you draw him?

 


Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: May 10, 2011, 9:23 pm

Which is a significant reason “Good fences make good neighbors.”

 


Comment from Mark Matis
Time: May 10, 2011, 9:36 pm

For Can’t hark my cry:
Especially if YOU get to place the fence, and your neighbor does not REALLY know where the boundary is…

}:-]

 


Comment from Nina from GCP
Time: May 10, 2011, 10:17 pm

I’ve never heard of this, but it sounds charming. 🙂

 


Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: May 10, 2011, 10:45 pm

Mark M: Mm. That only works until someone decides to sell their property, and the buyer decides to have a survey done. But until then. . .yeah! Oh, the stories I could tell! 😉

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: May 10, 2011, 10:47 pm

Here you go, Deborah. I found this while I was backing up an old hard drive:

 


Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: May 10, 2011, 11:26 pm

Oh, that is splendid! Thank you Swease–and Deborah, for having asked!

 


Comment from Mark Matis
Time: May 10, 2011, 11:33 pm

For Can’t hark my cry:
What? No squatters’ rights? If you use the property without protest by its REAL owner for a certain number of years, you do not get to keep it merely because a surveyor says it’s not yours???

How positively un-Progressive!

 


Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: May 10, 2011, 11:40 pm

Mark Matis–
Adverse Possession. Yup. Still works in New York (where I practice) and, I believe, all the 49 other states. HOWEVER. . .it’s not entirely straightforward and, um. . .well. You know. You have to go to court to prove it. Or, come to that, to disprove it if the one asserting it is being sufficiently obstreperous. Not by any means an ideal way to acquire title. But it can happen that way.

 


Comment from Deborah
Time: May 11, 2011, 12:36 am

Oh how funny—I can’t stop laughing. Poor Uncle Badger! Thank you Weasel!

 


Comment from Nina from GCP
Time: May 11, 2011, 2:48 am

Who is up to writing a children’s book about a stoat and a badger? I know someone who can do the art. 🙂

 


Comment from Lipstick
Time: May 11, 2011, 3:48 am

That stoat hanging from the badger’s ear — perfect! It looks just like my ferret Sophie in that position, down to the belly fat.

Coincidentally, I just read a sort of step-by-step process of someone who wrote a wrote a children’s book and how the illustrations came to be:

http://thepioneerwoman.com/blog/2011/04/twenty-steps-to-writing-a-childrens-book/

 

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