Since the beginning of time we have been dependent on the earth to sustain ourselves with her bounty. Since the time of the ancients, in gratitude, honor has been bestowed throughout the year with festivals in thanks to Mother Earth’s goodness. Various religions and traditions have named it differently yet the intention was the same. The Wheel keeps turning. The cycle of life and seasons repeat. A reflection of our own life cycle.For those in Biblical times, the harvest was a most important event. The gathering of things planted, a natural time of reaping in joy what has been sown and produced during the year.
“Celebrate the Festival of Harvest with the firstfruits of the crops you sow in your field.” “Celebrate the Festival of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you gather in your crops from the field.”
The Sun is now beginning to wane. It is a time of change and shift. Active growth is slowing down and the darker days of winter and reflection are beckoning…
Lammas Celebrated the beginning of August.
The word Lammas evolved from Old English “hlāfmæsse” (hlāfmeaning “loaf” and mæssse meaning “mass”). It originated from the fact that on August first of each year, the early English church celebrated the harvesting of the first ripe grain by consecrating loaves made from it – hence, “loaf mass.”
In many parts of England, tenants were bound to present freshly harvested wheat to their landlords on or before the first day of August.
In the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, where it is referred to regularly, it is called “the feast of first fruits”. The blessing of new fruits was performed annually in both the Eastern and Western Churches on the first, or the sixth, of August.
On Loaf Mass Day, it is customary to bring to a Christian church a loaf made from the new crop, which began to be harvested at Lammastide, which falls at the halfway point between the summer solstice and autumn September equinox.
Lammastide was also the traditional time of year for craft festivals. The medieval guilds would create elaborate displays of their wares, decorating their shops and themselves in bright colors and ribbons, marching in parades, and performing strange, ceremonial plays and dances for the entranced onlookers.
For more: (source Wikipedia
Shakespeareans will be sure to add that the eve of Lammas is Juliet’s birthday, as her nurse tells us in Romeo and Juliet, “Come Lammas Eve at night shall she be fourteen.” In addition, the phrase “latter Lammas” was used humorously to refer to a day that will never come, as in “he will pay at latter Lammas.”
On mainland Europe and in Ireland many people continue to celebrate the holiday with bonfires and dancing. On this day it was/is customary to bring to church a loaf made from the new crop.
As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter,
day and night will never cease.’
From Faith and Worship
Music: Deora Ar Mo Chroi by Enya
Prayer for Lammas
Now is the time of the First Harvest,
when the bounties of nature give of themselves so that we may survive.
O God of the ripening fields,
Lord of the Grain,
grant me the understanding of sacrifice as
You prepare to deliver Yourself under the sickle of the Goddess and journey to the lands of eternal summer.
O Goddess of the Dark Moon,
teach me the secrets of rebirth as the Sun loses its strength and the nights grow cold.
Scott Cunningham Author.
Wishing you a bountiful Lammas.