Plough Sunday was celebrated in the Langfords and at Great Wishford in special services on Sunday 12th January.
The observance of Plough Sunday (often 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.
Although the nature of farming has changed greatly since 1945, Plough Sunday can still be a way of celebrating farming, the work of farmers and the rural economy and way of life. These special services, along with a third service at Berwick St James on 19th January, are opportunities to cherish the land and human labour, and to remind us all of our dependence upon it and upon God. As a member of the congregation notes “All in all a very relevant and lovely local village country service.”
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.