VNO 27: At Seedtime

Europe was a collection of agrarian cultures for most of its history. Farming was also important in the ancient Middle East. So we’ll have a large collection of Scripture and tradition from which to draw.

In the Lectionary for Mass, the close approximation is VNO Mass #19 “For Productive Land.” The Scripture suggestions are these:

  • From the Old Testament, a small bit of the Creation narrative, Genesis 1:11-12 or a portion of the Easter Vigil reading (Isaiah 55:6-13) that advises the listener to seek God and note the watering of the Earth and its productivity.
  • From letters, 2 Corinthians 9:8-11 (Paul advising thankfulness for blessings, including at planting) or Saint James writing of patience in farming (5:7-8, 16c-18).
  • For the Gospel, one can choose one of two parables of the sower and the seed: Matthew 13:1-9 or Mark 4:26-29

Music choices for the Liturgy of the Word include three psalms, the 65th (naturally), the 104th (a temple hymn used for Pentecost in the Christian liturgy) and the 107th, favored by mariners for its references to the seas.

Entrance Antiphon Cf. Psalm 90:17

May your favor, O Lord, be upon us, and may you give success to the work of our hands.

Communion Antiphon Psalm 85:13

The Lord will bestow his bounty, and our earth shall yield its increase.

These texts aren’t the only ones in the Psalter with agricultural themes. As for this Mass, it may never have the reach these days that the special colored celebrations, red, white, or blue would have in cities and major metro areas. Americans simply don’t live rural as much as they did a few generations ago, and many of those that do, have long distances to drive for Mass. Still, if a traveling priest were making rounds during springtime, this might be a good option for a weekday Mass, especially in a community somewhat adrift from the regular daily cycle of readings.

Some years ago, we blogged on Masses And Prayers For Various Needs And Occasions. In the GIRM, sections 368-378 cover the universal regulations on their use. You can check our brief comments here and here and here. The USCCB’s unannotated text on the matter is here.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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