Plough Sunday7 Dec 2017 By Sam Setchell
Plough Sunday is on 7 January in 2018
The observance of Plough Sunday on the First Sunday of Epiphany goes back to Victorian times, but behind it there is a much older observance, associated with the first working day after the twelve days of Christmas, hence ‘Plough Monday’ in some places.
In medieval times some ploughs were kept in the parish church, and some churches kept a ‘plough-light’. In days when work was scarce in winter, the observance looked forward to the time of sowing with the promise of a harvest to come.
Although the nature of farming has changed over the centuries, Plough Sunday is seen as a way of generally celebrating farming and the work of farmers. Some church communities have also reintroduced it as a focus for asking a blessing on human labour near the start of the calendar year. It is an opportunity to cherish the land and human labour, and to remind us all of our dependence upon it and upon God.
Plough Sunday Prayer:
Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation:
for in your abundant care you have given us fertile land, rich soil, the seasons
in their courses.
You provide seed for sowing, water, light and warmth to bring forth the
miracle of growth.
You give us skill to work the land, to prepare and nourish it, that it may be fruitful.
By your blessing, let this plough be a sign of all that you promise to us.
Prosper the work of our hands,and provide abundant crops for your people to share.
Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
God speed the plough.