THE Latin names for the Sundays in Easter are from the first word of the Introit, with the exception of today.
Rogate comes from the Latin rogare which means “to ask,” a reference to the strong theme of prayer in the Propers for today. In ancient practice, the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday prior to the Ascension of Our Lord were known as Rogation Days. These days of early summer were times of special prayer for the protection of the crops. The Major Rogation was on April 25, also the Feast of St. Mark. The rite used in the ancient church was derived from the litanies of St. Mamertus of Vienne (d. 470), when that region (then called Gaul) was threatened by volcanic activity. The Introit for Rogate, “With the voice of singing declare ye, and tell this: utter it even to the end of the earth…” is from Isaiah 48.20, a joyful proclamation of the freedom of Israel from the Babylonian captivity, and of God’s gracious deliverance of His people. The Gospel for Rogate, like those for the preceding Sundays—Cantate and Jubilate, all point to the Ascension, and hence point the eyes of the faithful to our risen Lord’s eternal reign in heaven.