Plough Sunday January 12th

Plough Sunday January 12th

In medieval times some ploughs were kept in the parish church, and some churches kept a ‘plough-light’. In days when work was scarce in winter, the observance looked forward to the time of sowing with the promise of a harvest to come.

Although the nature of farming has changed over the centuries, Plough Sunday is seen as a way of generally celebrating. Some church communities have also reintroduced it as a focus for asking a blessing on human labour near the start of the calendar year. It is an opportunity to cherish the land and human labour, and to remind us all of our dependence upon it and upon God.

Why not hold a Plough Sunday service in your church to celebrate farming and the work of farmers, at the same time recognising the real challenges that face farmers and rural communities.

If you can’t devote a service please, at least include these prayers in your time of prayer.

Plough Sunday Prayer:
Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation:
for in your abundant care you have given us fertile land, rich soil, the seasons
in their courses.
You provide seed for sowing, water, light and warmth to bring forth the
miracle of growth.
You give us skill to work the land, to prepare and nourish it, that it may be fruitful.
Prosper the work of our hands, and provide abundant crops for your people to share.
Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
God speed the plough.

 

The Blessing of Seed

Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation:

in your goodness you have given us this seed to sow.

In it we perceive the promise of life,

the wonders of your creative love.

By your blessing,

let this seed be for us a sign of your creative power,

that in sowing and watering,

tending and watching,

we may see the miracle of growth,

and in due course reap a rich harvest.

As this seed must die to give life,

reveal to us the saving power of your Son,

who died that we might live,

and plant in us the good seed of your word.

Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Blessed be God for ever.

By itself the earth produces:

first the stalk, then the ear, then the full grain shall appear.

 

Readings

Genesis 1.9-13 or Genesis 8.20 – 9.3 or Isaiah 55.6-11

or Ecclesiasticus 38.25-end

Psalm 37.22-38

1 Corinthians 9.6-14

Matthew 6.25-end

There is a time to sow, and a time to reap.

cf Ecclesiastes 3.2

A sower went out to sow, and some seed fell into good soil.

cf Mark 4.3,8

Those who sow bountifully will also reap bountifully.

2 Corinthians 9.6

 

Blessing

May God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

who is the source of all goodness and growth,

pour his blessing upon all things created,

and upon you his children,

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