A prayer procession?
At least 1,500 years ago, long before land surveying equipment, churches in ancient England and elsewhere were given the task of leading the town in walking the boundaries of their parish (like our city limits or county lines). There was no distinction between church and state, so knowing the exact parish boundaries was important for both civil and religious reasons. As they went, they would pray for their agriculture and industry. This walking parade became known as a Rogation Procession.
‘Rogation’ comes from the Latin verb rogare, meaning ‘to ask’ — a reference to the prayers they would offer for their community. Over time, when the need for a memory-making procession faded, a smaller procession developed. The Episcopal Church is the American descendant of the Church of England, and we believe our rich tradition offers a wealth of devotion in this world of fleeting fads. The Rogation Procession is one way we offer our tradition broadly, creating opportunity for our whole community to come together to pray for God’s blessing on all that impacts our lives here in Excelsior Springs.
As we walk and pray, we will ask God's blessing on our businesses and public services. We will sing hymns and pray psalms. We will see the beautiful place where God has called us to be through eyes of expectant hope - walking with a vision of God's blessing for our whole community.