Countryside Matters

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Plough Sunday

Rural Matters

A service of Prayer, Dedication and Blessing
for those involved in and concerned for Agriculture.

After the entrance of the clergy (and choir), all remain standing

Minister:Praise the Lord, O my soul: O Lord my God, you are become exceeding glorious;
you are clothed with majesty and honour.
ALL:you deck yourself with light, as it were with a garment:
and spread out the heavens like a curtain.
Minister :He waters the hills from above: the earth is filled with the fruit of your works. He brings forth grass for the cattle: and green herbs for the service of man; that he may bring food out of the earth, and wine that makes glad the heart of man: and oil to make him a cheerful countenance, and bread to strengthen man's heart.
ALL: Lord, how manifold are your works; in wisdom have you made them all;
the earth is full of your riches.

[All sit while the choir sing an Introit / Anthem]

There follows a short reading from Isaiah
(Chapter 40 verses 21-23 and chapter 57 verse 15)

HYMN: Praise to the Lord

FIRST LESSON: Genesis chapter 1 verse 26 - chapter 2 verse 2

HYMN/CANTICLE: (Benedicite verses 1 & 2, 18-26 and the Gloria)

SECOND LESSON: St Matthew chapter 13 verses 3-9 and 18-23

HYMN/CANTICLE: (Deus Misereator; Psalm 67)



Minister: Let us Pray.
ALL:Our Father, who art in heaven
Minister: Through our love of the countryside,
Through our care for animals,
Through our respect for property and tools,
ALL: Hallowed be your name
Minister: On our farms and in our homes,
In our training colleges and schools,
Where machinery is made, and where policy is planned,
ALL:your kingdom come
Minister: By our seeking your guidance,
By our keeping your commandments,
By our living true to our consciences,
ALL:your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Minister: For the millions who live in poverty and hunger,
For our own needs, and the requirements of our neighbours,
By co-operation, sympathy, and generosity,
ALL: Give us this day our daily bread
Minister: Because we have broken your commandments, doing what we ought not to do, and neglecting what we ought to do,
ALL: Forgive us our trespasses
Minister: If any have injured us by injustice, double dealing or exploitation,
ALL: As we forgive those who trespass against us
Minister:When we consider doing to others what we would dislike done to us,
When prosperity lulls us to false security, or adversity prompts us to despair,
When success makes us boastful, or failure makes us bitter,
ALL: Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil
Minister:In the assurance of faith,
In the confidence of hope,
In the will to serve,
Help us to love Christ as Lord, and our neighbours as ourselves.
ALL: For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

HYMN: Through all the changing scenes of life

(During the hymn, the plough is brought up to the centre of the church.


At the end of the hymn, members of the farming community gather round the plough.)

Farmer:Reverend Sir, we ask you to pray for God's blessing on the work of the farmers of our country, of which this plough is a sign and token.
Minister : I will gladly do so; and I ask you all to pray with me.

The Lord be with you.

ALL: And with your spirit.
Minister : Our help is in the name of the Lord;
ALL: Who has made heaven and earth.
Minister : The eyes of all wait upon thee, O Lord.
ALL: And you give them their meat in due season.
Minister : you open your hand;
ALL: And fill all things living with plenteousness
Minister :

O Holy Spirit, bestow upon all who till the ground wisdom to understand your laws, and to co-operate with your wise ordering of the world; and grant that the bountiful fruits of the earth may not be hoarded by the selfish or squandered by the foolish, but that all who work may share abundantly in the harvest of the soil; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

O Lord Jesus Christ, you warned your disciples, having put their hand to the plough, not to look back; Bless this plough and the skill of the ploughman for the service of mankind. Amen.

God speed the plough and the ploughman, the farm and the farmer.

ALL: God speed the plough.
Minister :

God speed the plough, on hillside and in valley; on land which is rich, and on land which is poor; in countries beyond the seas, and in our homeland.

ALL: God speed the plough.
Minister :

God speed the plough, in fair weather and in foul, in success and disappointment, in rain and wind, in frost and sunshine;

ALL: God speed the plough.
Minister :

Almighty God, you fill the earth with your riches for the use of your children: remember the impoverishment of the nations: and on all who are in authority bestow your gifts of wisdom and goodwill, that, being lifted above self-regard, they may establish a new order, wherein the needs of all men shall be supplied; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

May the ploughman's hope be fulfilled in a plentiful harvest. Amen.

(The Farming Community return to their places.)

HYMN: We plough the fields and scatter

(During this hymn, the collection is taken)

Minister : O praise the Lord of heaven:
ALL: Praise him in the height.
Minister : Praise him, all his angels:
ALL; Praise him, all his host.
Minister: Praise him, sun and moon;
ALL: Praise him, all the stars and light.
Minister: Praise him, all the heavens;
ALL: And the waters that are above the heavens.
Minister: Let them praise the name of the Lord;
ALL; For he spoke the word, and they were made;
he commanded, and they were created.
Minister: He has made them fast for ever and ever;
ALL: He has given them a law which shall not be broken.

Almighty and everlasting God, who governs all things in heaven and earth; mercifully hear the supplications of your people, and grant us your peace all the days of our life; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

ALL: Amen.
The Minister gives the Blessing

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