The week in which they occur is sometimes called Rogation Week.
In 511 the first Council of Orleans ordered that the three days preceding Ascension Day should be celebrated as rogation days with fasting and rogationes.
(pope 795-816) introduced rogation days, but without the fasting, at Rome.
The Council of Clovesho in 747 confirmed Augustine's injunction, and ordered that the rogation days be kept up "according to the way of our fathers."
The place-name "Gospel Oak," which occurs in London and elsewhere, is a relic of these rogation processions, the gospel of the day being read at the foot of the finest oak the parish boasted.
Angilbert, abbot of St Riquier (c. 814), records that it was sung by his school in procession on rogation days.
The Christian festival which seems to have taken the place of these ceremonies is the Rogation or Gang week of the Roman Church.
46 Days Rogation Sunday.
Thus at Leighton Buzzard on Rogation Monday, in accordance with the will of one Edward Wilkes, a London merchant who died in 1646, the trustees of his almshouses accompanied the boys.
However this may be, the Commonwealth made an end of them, and they seem never to have been revived; Sparrow, in his Rationale upon the Book of Common Prayer (London, 1668), speaks of "the service formerly appointed in the Rogation days of Procession."
This was until Charles II.'s time a regular rogation, the choristers in surplices, the gentlemen of the royal chapel in copes, and the canons and other clergy in copes preceding the knights and singing the litany.
The following are simply days of abstinence, that is to say, days on which flesh at all events must not be eaten: - The Sundays in Lent, the three Rogation days, the feast of St Mark (unless it falls in Easter week), and all Fridays which are not days of fasting.
In the Anglican Church, the " days of fasting or abstinence " are the forty days of Lent, the Ember days, the Rogation days, and all the Fridays in the year, except Christmas day.
The boundaries of the old ecclesiastical parishes are usually identical with those of the township or townships comprised within its precinct; they are determined by usage, in the absence of charters or records, and are evidenced by perambulations, which formerly took place on the "gang-days" in Rogation week, but are now, where they still survive, for the most part held triennially, the Poor-Law Act of 1844 permitting the parish officers to charge the expense on the poor-rate, "provided the perambulations do not occur more than once in three years."
In former times when maps were rare it was usual to make a formal perambulation of the parish boundaries on Ascension day or during Rogation week.
Beating the bounds had a religious side in the practice which originated the term Rogation, the accompanying clergy being supposed to beseech (rogare) the divine blessing upon the parish lands for the ensuing harvest.
Rogation Days >>