Home Church Resources – Easter6 – Sunday 17th May (Rogation)

Theme: ‘Rogation Sunday’:

“Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you and pray to the Lord on its behalf for in its welfare you will find your welfare” JEREMIAH 29.7


History of Rogation Sunday

Combining the blessing of the crops with the old Roman festival of ‘Terminalia’ (or ‘boundaries’) served a practical purpose. In days before Ordnance Survey maps, the lines of demarcation between the parishes were not always clear, especially where there were open field systems. During the Rogation Sunday procession, boys were bumped on prominent marks and boundary stones, or rolled in briars and ditches, or thrown in the pond to ensure they never forgot the boundaries. This gave rise to the term “beating the Parish bounds”. The Victorians made it more civilised by beating objects rather than people in their processions.


As we come to this service we are mindful of the pressures and challenges that face rural communities in every nation – there are issues to do with irrigation, but more generally water is, at a global level becoming a rare commodity; issues with use of land, competing claims between growing food for a rising population, distributing it wisely and justly and paying fair prices to all those involved in the production process.

More recently Covid19 has caused economic havoc and cities are as endangered as rural communities with alarming poverty statistics. These and other related concerns form the basis of our prayer as we worship together in this service.

Opening Prayer

We come before you our God, remembering that you are the Creator and the source of all being. Out of your love the universe was born. From primordial darkness you put in place all that is needed for life and growth and saw that it was ‘good’….  You have put this world into our hands: may we recognize your Spirit within it, disturbing and challenging us to care for creation, for the weak and the deprived. Lord we remember that we are called by you to nourish the earth and its diversity of life, to share the gifts you have given, with one another and with the poor of the world. Amen.

Deuteronomy 8:7 Keep the commandments of the Lord your God, to walk in his ways. For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs that flow out of valleys and hills; a land of wheat and barley…..a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing. When you have eaten and are full, then you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land which he has given you.

Opening Hymn : 251 All things bright and beautiful


Facing NORTH
Fields and Crops and Vineyards

Isaiah 28:24-29   Will the ploughman spend his whole time ploughing, breaking up the ground and harrowing  it ?  Does he not put in the wheat and the barley in rows ….

As a man sows so shall he reap
those who sow in tears shall reap in joy.
Except a grain of wheat fall into the ground and die
it remains a single seed.
But if it dies it produces many seeds.
And give life to humankind and beast,
Lord give us a good harvest that your children may not go hungry
but feed us also with yourself the true and eternal bread.

 Let us pray….

May the blessing of God be upon these fields and vineyards and on all crops and harvests of our countryside. May they receive rain to swell grape and grain and sun to ripen them. May those who make decisions about sale and distribution and allocation make wise and just decisions that all in our world will one day have enough to eat and share in the blessing that God gives. Amen.

Gardens and Balconies and Parks everywhere

Genesis 2  The Lord God planted a garden in Eden and there he put the people, whom he had formed, to till it and keep it and treasure it. And the Lord God walked in the garden at the time of the evening breeze.

God has made so many different kinds of plants for gardens.
God has made so many different kinds of people for his world.
Some plants need to be in the sun; some like to be in the shade.
Some of us need to be at the centre; some of us are more reserved.
Some plants hug the ground and others reach for the sky.
Some of us have a modest role in life and others have great ambitions.
Some plants grow in rich soil and
bring forth flowers, seeds and fruit in abundance.     
Some of us are full-nourished and
produce marvellous ideas or creations that enrich the lives of many.
Some plants do best in poor soil but it takes all their strength to survive.
Some of us are so straitened in our lives that survival is our only achievement.

Let us pray….

O Lord we need to accept that you made us all so different, with our own temperaments and talents.  Like plants we cannot change our nature, yet you rejoice in each one of us being special. Help us to come to terms with who we are and what we are called upon to do; wherever our lives are planted, grant that we may praise you and glorify your name. Amen.

Facing EAST
St Catherine’s and Churches and Churchyards everywhere

A poem by Wilf Ward ‘wild flowers’ 


This will be followed by silence in which we give thanks for the faithful generations who have worshipped and prayed in this place and we pray for the many visitors who pass through these doors that they might find here God’s welcome, his love, his presence and his peace…..

Schwäbische Alb

 A Reading from The Wind in the Willows 

This will be followed by silence in which we pray for the many holiday makers and visitors who come to rest and be refreshed and find something beyond home and work and life…..

Facing SOUTH
Pasture and Fields and Crop Hohenheim

The Lord is my shepherd: I shall lack nothing
He makes me lie down in green pastures                                                                       
He leads me beside quiet waters
He restores my soul
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.

 Let us pray….

O Lord who sends the rain and the sun so the grass may grow, giving food for the animals; bless these fields that they may glorify you by giving abundant nourishment to the animals pastured here. Give love and wisdom to those who look after our animals and through their care of the fields pass them onto the next generation. We pray too for those who study here so that our world may be fed sustainably.  Amen.

University and Schools everywhere

Deuteronomy 11:19-21 You shall teach these words of mine to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.….that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land.

Let us pray….

We thank you Lord for our University where learning and research continue to flourish. We pray especially for the many who travel a very long way to study here and pray that the skills and qualifications they take back to their homelands will bless the communities there. We thank you Lord for all who work and play and learn in our schools even in these strange times. We thank you for its atmosphere of welcome and generosity that enables them to flourish. We thank you for all those among parents and decision makers who give tirelessly in their support. We ask for your blessing especially on those young people who are getting ready to move on to a bigger school. Amen.

Facing WEST
Bärenschlößle im Rotwildpark and all places of Hospitality

A reading from John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress. 

 Let us pray….

We thank you Lord that just as Mary and Martha welcomed you into their home after your weary travelling, so all those who offer hospitality welcome and care for those in need of refreshment and rest. We bless you for the dedication of some of these small and now vulnerable businesses and pray that you will strengthen and support them, assuring them that in welcoming the stranger, they welcome you. Amen.

Industry Schwieberdingen and Schillerhöhe
Building work Hauptbahnhof

Deuteronomy 8:9 For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land whose stones are iron and out of whose hills you can dig copper and rocks.

Lord for all who transform raw materials you have supplied
Glory be to you
Lord for all who work with mind and eye to design and to create
Glory be to you
Lord for all who work with their hands to shape and join and build
Glory be to you

Facing OUT
St Catherine’s globally and the communities and nations they call home

Revelations 21:3 and 22:2   And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “See, the home of God is among mortals, He will dwell with them; they will be his people, and God himself will be with them.”
On either side of the river (of the water of life) is the Tree of Life …. and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.

Let us pray….

We thank you Lord for the world-wide St Catherine’s family, those who pray for us, those who keep in touch with us, those who are now able to worship with us online, those who support us financially. We pray for our hurting and damaged and bewildered world. We pray especially for the most vulnerable – medically, mentally , economically…. Grant us your compassion and generosity of heart in such measure that despite our own struggles we would care for our ‘neighbour’. We look in faith to the promises of your healing and your abiding presence.
Glory be to you. Amen.

Facing IN
St Catherine’s Chaplaincy Stuttgart

A Reading from Scripture:

Behold how good and joyful a thing it is
brothers and sisters to dwell together in unity.

From petty feuds and jealousies from talking too much about our neighbours
good Lord deliver us. 

From forming into groups that exclude others from lack of proper trust and sharing
good Lord deliver us.

For the pleasure of having friends nearby for the opportunities to plan and play together
we thank you Lord.

For those who spend their time and talents to improve and beautify our surroundings
we thank you Lord.

Let us pray….

O God whose son was content to share the life of a home in Nazareth,
help us to bring his peace into every house and every enterprise.
May we be good neighbours,
thinking more of what unites us than what separates us.
Give us the love to comfort the sorrowful and offer help to those in trouble.

Choir Anthem : Ubi Caritas

We covenant together to live more simply and responsibly

Brothers and sisters we covenant today with one another:
With every living creature and all on which we depend
With all that is on the earth and with earth itself
With all that lives in the waters and with the waters themselves
With all the creatures of the air and with the air itself
With all that is warm with life and with living fire
We commit ourselves today to put away all selfishness and greed
and to embrace one another in love and joy and peace

The Peace of our Lord be with you
and also with you
(for those who do not live alone – we offer one another a sign of peace)


God bless this city, its leaders, its industry and the countless other places of employment, its university and schools, its places of worship and the communities they care for, its places of Culture, its Hospitals and Clinics, its homes and its people, its challenges and its many strengths and opportunities to serve and care for all. May God visit us with his mercy, surround us with his love, and make us perfect to do his will.  Amen. 

Closing Hymn: 373 All who love and serve your city

Organ Voluntary:


Pilgrim’s Progress

There was a very stately palace before him, the name of which was Beautiful, and it stood just by the highway-side. So I saw in my dream that he made haste and went forward, that if possible he might get lodging there, and went on till he came and stood before the gate where the porter was. Then said Christian to the porter, Sir, what house is this? And may I lodge here tonight? The porter answered, This house was built by the Lord of the hill and He built it for the relief and security of pilgrims. So Watchful, the porter, rang a bell, at the sound of which came out of the door of the house a grave and beautiful damsel, named Discretion, who ran to the door and called forth two or three more of the family; and many of them meeting him at the threshold of the house, said, Come in, thou blessed of the Lord. Then he bowed his head, and followed them into the house.

Wild Flowers 

The old church stands down Old Church Lane, where it has stood for years.
It’s seen the people come and go, their laughter and their tears.
It’s hard to think that fine old church once colourful and new,
But long before the church was built, the wild flowers grew.

The village folk all gather down upon the village green,
To have a fete and celebrate and crown the village queen.
To have a joke and have a laugh of how things used to be,
Village without village folk, it wouldn’t be the same.
But long before the village folk, the wild flowers came.

Lorries, heavy lorries all thunder through the lanes,
Revving up their engines and leaving diesel stains;
Tainting wayside verges, with tar and oil and grease,
Rumbling, shifting noises of now-forgotten peace.
But with the help of sunshine, and early morning rain,
The never failing cycle, wild flowers bloom again.

Wind in the willows 

On either side of them, as they glided onwards, the rich meadow grass seemed unsurpassable. Never had they noticed the roses so vivid, the willow-herb so riotous, the meadow-sweet so odorous and pervading. Then the murmur of the approaching weir began to hold the air, and they felt a consciousness that they were nearing the end, whatever that might be, that surely awaited their expedition.

A wide half-circle of foam and glinting lights and shining shoulders of green water, the great weir closed the backwater from bank to bank, troubled all the quiet surface with twirling eddies and deadened all other sounds with its solemn and soothing rumble. In midmost of the stream, embraced in the weir’s shimmering arm-spread, a small island lay anchored, fringed close with willow and silver birch and alder. Reserved, shy, but full of significance, it hid whatever it might hold behind a veil, keeping it till the hour should come and with the hour, those who were called and chosen.

Slowly, but with no doubt or hesitation whatever, and in something of a solemn expectancy, the two passed through the broken tumultuous water and moored their boat at the flowery margin of the island. In silence they landed and pushed through the blossom and scented herbage and undergrowth that led up to the level ground, till they stood on a little lawn of a marvellous green, set round with nature’s own orchard trees – crab-apple, wild cherry, and sloe.

‘This is the place of my song-dream, the place the music played to me’ whispered the Rat, as if in a trance, ‘Here in this holy place, here if anywhere, surely we shall find Him!’ Then suddenly the Mole felt a great Awe fall upon him, an awe that turned his muscles to water, bowed his head, and rooted his feet to the ground.