Episcopal Diocese of Virginia
The Episcopal Church »  |  The Diocese of Virginia

Rector's Reflection

Rev. Georgia C. DuBose, Bridge Interim Rector - Clarke Parish

Apri

l 25, 2018

 “The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; I have a goodly heritage.”

The beauty of Clarke Parish, and the sense that we are on holy ground when we stand (or sit, or

kneel) at St. Mary’s, or at Grace Church, has come upon all of us who have the privilege of worshiping or serving God here from time to time.

On Rogation Sunday, the sixth Sunday of Easter, we will enact together an ancient practice called “Beating the Bounds.” However, we will call it “Blessing the Bounds.” We will bring staffs and walking sticks, and walk around the perimeter (mostly the sidewalk on Buckmarsh) of St. Mary’s at the 9 a.m. service, and around the perimeter of Grace at the 11 a.m. service. (Technically, we should be walking around the entire campus, including the chapel and the parish hall; however, that would take more time than we normally have on a Sunday.)

The purpose of such a practice used to be to define the boundaries of the parish, and to literally “beat the bushes” to drive out evil spirits. In our day, the purpose is to give thanks for the blessings we have in the land and buildings of Clarke Parish, and to ask God to bless all our efforts to serve God and God’s people here in Berryville, and in the lar

To learn more about the Beatings of the Bounds, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beating_the_boundsger world. Another purpose is to put us in touch with our Anglican heritage. Traditionally, Rogation days serve the purpose of asking God for successful planting and good harvest; they are very appropriate for a county that is still largely agricultural. So, we will ask blessings for all growing things, our own and our neighbors’.

Peace be with you