6: June ~ Blessing of the Land

Land and life go hand in hand. Our daily bread comes from land as well as much else that sustains us. The land is beautiful for its mountains and plains; its beauty resounds in the canyons and draws. Its goodness thrives in the forests and fields; every plant emerges from it.

Do we take for granted how precious and fragile the land is? How grateful we should be! Only in rich soil do roots grow deep; if we deplete the soil, we risk everything. Our lives and the great variety of life on the earth depend upon the land and its vitality.

Let us thank God the Creator: He shares this land with us as a promise of His goodness, now and for eternity.

Opening Prayer

Loving Creator, show us how to be good stewards of the land; give your blessing on every part of it — the soil, waterways and landscape. Together these contain the elements of life entrusted by You to our care.

Remind us of your constant love. Bless us with favorable weather, abundant crops and a vigorous community of life around us in all directions: East, West, North and South.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Recite the Lord’s Prayer: Our Father, who art in heaven…

 

READING: Deuteronomy 28:1-6, 8-9

Let us be mindful that the land is God’s gift — a Promised Land expressing God’s love for us.

“Now it shall be, if you diligently obey the LORD your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you if you obey the LORD your God:

Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country.

Blessed shall be the offspring of your body and the produce of your ground and the offspring of your beasts, the increase of your herd and the young of your flock.

Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.

Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.

The LORD will command the blessing upon you in your barns and in all that you put your hand to, and He will bless you in the land which the LORD your God gives you. The LORD will establish you as a holy people to Himself, as He swore to you, if you keep the commandments of the LORD your God and walk in His ways.”

 

The Prayer of Directions

Leader: Let us face the East and raise our hands in blessing: there the sun rises, the winds begin to blow, and life begins anew each day.

Reader 1: O God, we give thanks for the blessings of birth, for the gift of rain to sprout the seeds, for the dawn that brings each day, for the wisdom that guides us.

We promise to respect all living species in the east, and to care for your precious gift of the land. Bless all creatures, fields and people who live in the east.

Response: In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Leader: Let us face the South with arms outstretched and raise our hands in blessing: see there, warm breezes come and spring time awakes.

Reader 2: O God, we give thanks for the blessings of life: the abundance of green growth and of summer life. We give thanks for the medicines that heal our bodies, and for mothers who bring forth the gift of new life.

We promise to respect all living species in the south, and to care for your precious gift of soil. Bless all creatures, fields and people who live in the south.

Response: In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Leader: Let us face the West and raise our hands in blessing: there strong winds begin to sweep towards us, but the sun finds rest.

Reader 3: O God, we give thanks for our diverse cultures and common heritage, for these sustain us as much as food and water. We give thanks for death itself, when life and light leave us as does the sun at the end of each day. Death is the companion of all creatures and the door through which you lead us to new life.

Help us care for all living species and your precious gift of the land. Bless all creatures, fields and people who live in the west.

Response: In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Leader: Let us face the north with arms outstretched and palms opened to receive the blessings of the Spirit.

Reader: Let us face the north and raise our hands in blessing: To the north, from which comes winter and trial, that leads us to courage.

We give thanks for the mothers and fathers who face harsh winds and trials to provide for their families. We promise to respect all living things, and to care for your precious gift of light and life.

Bless all creatures, fields and people who live in the north.

Response: In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Leader: Let us look up and raise our arms toward the heavens.

Reader 5: Oh Great Spirit of all that is Above, of everything that soars, of all that flies, of all high visions, all that is above the earth, we honor you and glorify you for the power that you are. Lift our minds and our hearts above the earth so that we may see it as one place, one land, one home for all. Oh Spirit of All that is Above, put us on the your wings so that we may know this world as You know it.

Response: In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Leader: Let us place our arms at our sides and look down at the earth.

Reader 6: Oh Great Spirit of All that is Below, of everything we stand upon, of all that pulls us to deeper places, to the depths of ourselves, we turn to you in the memory of all that returns to dust. We ask you to give us the strength and the courage to face death. When people leave us in this life to share life with You, let there not be a grief that is untrue. When we experience losses and changes in our lives, let us see them as your revelation. Oh, Spirit of All that is Below, purify us.

Response: In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Leader: Let us pray once more, Our Father, who art in heaven…

Amen.