Saint Paul-Without-The-Walls, Rome. Author: Herbert Weber, Hildesheim. Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence. Wikimedia Commons.

06 May 2021

The Rogation Days. The Lesser Litanies. The Greater Litanies. Chestnut Sunday. The Litany Of The Saints.

Text from The Saint Andrew Daily Missal,
unless stated otherwise.

In 2021, “The Rogation Days” are:

Rogation Sunday (“Chestnut Sunday”), 9 May 2021.

“The Lesser Litanies”.

Rogation Monday, 10 May 2021.
Station: At Saint Mary Major;

Rogation Tuesday, 11 May 2021.
Station: At Saint John Lateran;

Rogation Wednesday, 12 May 2021.
Station: At Saint Peter's.

Indulgence of 30 Years and 30 Quarantines each day.

Violet Vestments.

The Rogation Days in 2021 are followed by
Ascension Day on Thursday, 13 May 2021.

The Ancient Custom of Blessing the Fields.
“Rogation Sunday”.
Hever, Kent, England.
Photo: 9 February 1967.
Source: From
Author: Ray Trevena
(Wikimedia Commons)

The Greater Litanies.

25 April.
The Station is at Saint Peter's.

Violet Vestments.

The Church Celebrates, on 25 April, two Solemnities, which have nothing in common: “The Greater Litanies”, so called on account of their Roman origin, and “The Feast of Saint Mark”, which is of later date. The word “Litany” means “Supplication”.

In ancient Rome, on 25 April, used to be celebrated the pagan feast of “Robigalia”. It consisted, principally, of a Procession, which, leaving the City by The Flaminian Gate, went to The Milvian Bridge and ended in a suburban Sanctuary situated on The Claudian Way.

There, a ewe was sacrificed in honour of a god or goddess of the name Robigo (god or goddess of frost). “The Greater Litany” was the substitution of a Christian, for a pagan, Ceremony. Its itinerary is known to us by a convocation of Saint Gregory the Great. It is, approximately, the same as that of the pagan Procession.

“Ember Days”
“Rogation Days”.
Sermon By: Fr Ripperger.
Available on YouTube at

All The Faithful in Rome betook themselves to the Church of Saint Laurence-in-Lucina, the nearest to The Flaminian Gate. Leaving by this Gate, the Procession made a Station at Saint Valentine's, crossed The Milvian Bridge, and branched off to the Left towards The Vatican.

After halting at a Cross, it entered The Basilica of Saint Peter for the Celebration of The Holy Mysteries.

This Litany is recited throughout The Church to keep away calamities, and to draw down The Blessing of God on the harvest. “Vouchsafe to grant us to preserve the fruits of the Earth, we Pray Thee, hear us”, is sung by the Procession through the Countryside.

The whole Mass shows what assiduous Prayer may obtain, when in the midst of our adversities (Collects, Offertory) we have recourse with confidence to Our Father in Heaven (Epistle, Gospel, Communion).

If The Feast of Saint Mark is Transferred, The Litanies are not Transferred, unless they fall on Easter Sunday. In which case, they are Transferred to the following Tuesday.


See “The Litany Of The Saints”, Page 1888, The Saint Andrew Daily Missal, and “The Rogation Mass”, Page 673, The Saint Andrew Daily Missal (see, below).

“Rogation Days”.
Available on YouTube at

“The Lesser Litanies”.

In consequence of the public calamities that afflicted the Diocese of Vienne, Dauphiny, France, in the 5th-Century A.D., Saint Mamertus instituted a Solemn Penitential Procession on The Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, before Ascension Thursday.

Under an Order of The Council of Orleans, in 511 A.D., the Devotion spread to the rest of France. In 816 A.D., Pope Leo III introduced it in Rome and, soon after, it became a general observance throughout The Church.

“The Litany of The Saints”, and The Psalms and Collects sung in Procession, on these days, are Supplications; hence, the term “Rogations” is applied to them. The object of these Devotions is to appease The Anger of God and avert the scourges of His Justice, and to draw down The Blessings of God on the fruits of the Earth.

Violet is used as a token of Penance, and The Paschal Candle is left unlighted. “The Litany of The Saints”, consisting of ejaculations in the form of a dialogue, is an admirable manner of Prayer, which it should be our purpose to cultivate.

The Celebrant wears a Violet Stole and Violet Cope. All in the Choir stand as they sing the first Antiphon “Exsurge, Domine”.

Mass Of Rogation.


Rogation Monday. At Saint Mary Major.

Rogation Tuesday. At Saint John Lateran.

Rogation Wednesday. At Saint Peter's.

Indulgence of 30 Years and 30 Quarantines each day.

Violet Vestments.

The Mass, throughout, points to the efficacy of The Prayer of The Just Man, when humble, sure, and persistent. Elias, by Prayer, closed and opened the heavens (Epistle), and Our Lord shows us by two Parables that God gives His Holy Spirit to whomever asks Him, because He is good (Gospel, Alleluia). In our afflictions, let us place our trust in God and He will hear our Prayers (Introit, Collect).

The following Mass is said during, or after, the Procession of both “The Greater Litanies” and “The Lesser Litanies”.

Mass of Rogation: Exaudivit de templo.
Gloria: Is not said.
Preface: Of Easter.

“Litany of The Saints”.
Available on YouTube at

“Litany Of The Saints”.

The “Litany Of The Saints” is used in connection with:

Holy Mass on “The Greater Litanies” (25 April);

“The Lesser Litanies”
(“Rogation Monday”) and
(“Rogation Tuesday”) and
(“Rogation Wednesday”)
(The Rogation Days)
immediately before Ascension Thursday;

Holy Saturday;

The Vigil of Pentecost;

Masses of Ordination, before the conferring of Major Orders.

On Saint Mark’s Day (25 April) and “Rogation Days”, if the Procession is held, the Litany is preceded by the Antiphon, “Exurge, Domine”, (Psalm XLIII. 26), and all Invocations are sung by the Cantors and repeated in full by the Choir [i.e., “Doubled”].

If the Procession cannot be held, the Invocations are not repeated.

On The Vigils of Easter and Pentecost, the Invocations marked with an asterisk (*) in The Missal are omitted; all the remaining Invocations are repeated, either there be a Font and a Procession from The Baptistry, or not.

At Masses of Ordination, only The First Five Invocations are repeated.

“Litany of The Saints”
at the Funeral of Pope Saint John Paul II.
Available on YouTube at

The following Text is from Wikipedia - the free encyclopædia.

Rogation Days are, in The Calendar of The Western Church, observed on 25 April (“The Major Rogation”) and the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday immediately preceding Ascension Thursday (“The Minor Rogations”).

The first Rogation, “The Greater Litanies”, has been compared to the ancient Roman religious festival of The Robigalia, a ritual involving prayer and sacrifice for crops held on 25 April. The first Rogation is also observed on 25 April, and a direct connection has sometimes been asserted, with the “Christian substitute” following the same processional route in Rome. If Easter falls on 24 April or on this day (the latest possible date for Easter), “The Rogations” are transferred to the following Tuesday.

The second set of “Rogation Days”, “The Lesser Litanies”, or, “Rogations”, introduced about 470 A.D. by Bishop Mamertus of Vienne, and eventually adopted elsewhere, are the three days (Rogation Monday, Rogation Tuesday and Rogation Wednesday) immediately before Ascension Thursday in The Christian Liturgical Calendar.

The word “Rogation” comes from the Latin verb “Rogare”, meaning “to ask”, and was applied to this time of The Liturgical Year because the Gospel Reading for the previous Sunday included the passage: “Ask, and ye shall receive” (Gospel of John 16:24).

The Sunday, itself, was often called Rogation Sunday, as a result, and marked the start of a three-week period (ending on Trinity Sunday), when Roman Catholic and Anglican Clergy did not Solemnise marriages (two other such periods of marital prohibition also formerly existed, one beginning on The First Sunday in Advent and continuing through The Octave of Epiphany, or 13 January, and the other running from Septuagesima until The Octave of Easter, the Sunday after Easter). In England, Rogation Sunday is called “Chestnut Sunday”.

The Faithful typically observed The Rogation Days by Fasting in preparation to Celebrate The Ascension, and farmers often had their crops Blessed by a Priest at this time. Violet Vestments are worn at The Rogation Litany and its associated Mass, regardless of what Colour Vestments were worn at the ordinary Liturgies of The Day.

A common feature of Rogation Days, in former times, was the Ceremony of “Beating The Bounds”, in which a Procession of Parishioners, led by The Minister, Churchwarden, and Choirboys, would proceed around the boundary of their Parish and Pray for its protection in the forthcoming year. This was also known as “Gang-Day”.

The reform of The Liturgical Calendar for Latin Roman Catholics, in 1969, delegated the establishment of Rogation Days, along with Ember Days, to The Episcopal Conferences. Their observance in The Latin Church subsequently declined, but the observance has revived somewhat, since 1988, (when Pope Saint John Paul II issued his Decree Ecclesia Dei Adflicta), and especially since 2007 (when Pope Benedict XVI issued his Motu Proprio, called “Summorum Pontificum”), when the use of older Rites was encouraged.

Churches of The Anglican Communion reformed their Liturgical Calendar in 1976, but continue to recognise The Three Days before Ascension Day as an Optional Observance.

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