Common Prayer

Seasons and harvests are featured throughout the Book of Common Prayer because they provide a divine and sacramental language by which God express His goodwill toward us. A relationship to the land helps convey God’s majestic purpose, both beautiful and terrifying.  While God’s work is always complete and total, ours is never so.  Therefore, the land is a sign of both necessity and bounty, reminding men how our sustenance is not from diligent hands but the gift of the Lord. And, by grace, we’ve received plenty, that we might know this infinite kindness, returning to our Maker a true affection, deep-felt thanks, obedient works, and even giving our wealth so Christ’s Blessed Virgin might duly raised with oil, meal, and bread. All things come of thee, O LORD, and of thine own have we given thee.  Chron. xxix. 14.

Here are some prayers to keep in mind as we tend our gardens and work for a harvest:

A BIDDING PRAYER
¶ To be given before the Sermon or upon special occasion.

Ye shall also praise God for rain and sunshine; for the fruits of the earth; for the products of all honest industry; and for all his good gifts, temporal and spiritual, to us and to all men.

PRAYERS
¶ To be used before the Prayer for all Conditions of Men, or, when that is not said, before the final Prayer of Thanksgiving or of Blessing, or before the Grace

For Fruitful Seasons.  To be used on the Rogation-days.
ALMIGHTY God, who hast blessed the earth that it should be fruitful and bring forth whatsoever is needful for the life of man, and hast commanded us to work with quietness, and eat our own bread; Bless the labours of the husbandman, and grant such seasonable weather that we may gather in the fruits of the earth, and ever rejoice in thy goodness, to the praise of thy holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

¶ Or this.
O GRACIOUS Father, who openest thine hand and fillest all things living with plenteousness; We beseech thee of thine infinite goodness to hear us, who now make our prayers and supplications unto thee. Remember not our sins, but thy promises of mercy. Vouchsafe to bless the lands and multiply the harvests of the world. Let thy breath go forth that it may renew the face of the earth. Show thy loving-kindness, that our land may give her increase; and so fill us with good things that the poor and needy may give thanks unto thy Name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

For Rain.
GOD, heavenly Father, who by thy Son Jesus Christ hast promised to all those who seek thy kingdom, and the righteousness thereof, all things necessary to their bodily sustenance; Send us, we beseech thee, in this our necessity, such moderate rain and showers, that we may receive the fruits of the earth to our comfort, and to thy honour; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.<

For Fair Weather.
ALMIGHTY and most merciful Father, we humbly beseech thee, of thy great goodness, to restrain those immoderate rains, wherewith thou hast afflicted us. And we pray thee to send us such seasonable weather, that the earth may, in due time, yield her increase for our use and benefit; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

In Time of Dearth and Famine.
GOD, heavenly Father, whose gift it is that the rain doth fall, and the earth bring forth her increase; Behold, we beseech thee, the afflictions of thy people; increase the fruits of the earth by thy heavenly benediction; and grant that the scarcity and dearth, which we now most justly suffer for our sins, may, through thy goodness, be mercifully turned into plenty; for the love of Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with thee and the Holy Ghost, be all honour and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

THANKSGIVINGS.
¶To be used after the General Thanksgiving, or, when that is not said, before the final Prayer of Blessing or the Benediction.

A Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the Fruits of the Earth and all the other Blessings of his merciful Providence.
MOST gracious God, by whose knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew; We yield thee unfeigned thanks and praise for the return of seed-time and harvest, for the increase of the ground and the gathering in of the fruits thereof, and for all the other blessings of thy merciful providence bestowed upon this nation and people. And, we beseech thee, give us a just sense of these great mercies; such as may appear in our lives by an humble, holy, and obedient walking before thee all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with thee and the Holy Ghost, be all glory and honour, world without end. Amen.

For Rain.
GOD, our heavenly Father, by whose gracious providence the former and the latter rain descend upon the earth, that it may bring forth fruit for the use of man; We give thee humble thanks that it hath pleased thee to send us rain to our great comfort, and to the glory of thy holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For Fair Weather.
LORD God, who hast justly humbled us by thy late visitation of us with immoderate rain and waters, and in thy mercy hast relieved and comforted our souls by this seasonable and blessed change of weather; We praise and glorify thy holy Name for this thy mercy, and will always declare thy loving-kindness from generation to generation; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For Plenty.
O MOST merciful Father, who of thy gracious goodness hast heard the devout prayers of. thy Church, and turned our dearth and scarcity into plenty; We give thee humble thanks for this thy special bounty; beseeching thee to continue thy loving-kindness unto us, that our land may yield us her fruits of increase, to thy glory and our comfort; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

THE LITANY. or General Supplication
¶ To be used after the Third Collect at Morning or Evening Prayer; or before the Holy Communion; or separately. 

That it may please thee to give and preserve to our use the kindly fruits of the earth, so that in due time we may enjoy them;
We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

PROPER COLLECTS. ¶ Are used during the Ante-Communion

The Rogation Days. ¶ Being the Three Days before Ascension Day.
ALMIGHTY God, Lord of heaven and earth; We beseech thee to pour forth thy blessing upon this land, and to give us a fruitful season; that we, constantly receiving thy bounty, may evermore give thanks unto thee in thy holy Church; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Thanksgiving Day
O MOST merciful Father, who hast blessed the labours of the husbandman in the returns of the fruits of the earth; We give thee humble and hearty thanks for this thy bounty; beseeching thee to continue thy loving-kindness to us, that our land may still yield her increase, to thy glory and our comfort; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

CANTICLES ¶ Sung during Morning Prayer

Benedicite, omnia opera Domini.

O ALL ye Works of the Lord, bless ye the Lord: * praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Showers and Dew, bless ye the Lord: * praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye winds of God, bless ye the Lord: * praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Fire and Heat, bless ye the Lord * praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Winter and Summer, bless ye the Lord: * praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Dews and Frosts, bless ye the Lord: * praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Frost and Cold, bless ye the Lord: * praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Ice and Snow, bless ye the Lord * praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Nights and Days, bless ye the Lord: * praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Light and Darkness, bless ye the Lord: * praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Lightnings and Clouds, bless ye the Lord * praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O LET the Earth bless the Lord: * yea, let it praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Mountains and Hills, bless ye the Lord: * praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O all ye Green Things upon the earth, bless ye the Lord: * praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Wells, bless ye the Lord: * praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Seas and Floods, bless ye the Lord: * praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Whales, and all that move in the waters, bless ye the Lord: * praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O all ye Fowls of the air, bless ye the Lord: * praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O all ye Beasts and Cattle, bless ye the Lord: * praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Children of Men, bless ye the Lord: * praise him, and magnify him for ever.
LET us bless the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost: * praise him, and magnify him for ever.

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