All Saints Hérault Harvest Lunch - 2017
As we enjoy the fruits of our region on this August day, we must spare a thought for, and thank, all the producers and their employees for their tireless toiling in all weathers. Above all, we must thank our Maker for casting His all-seeing eye over this hallowed ground to ensure that every year is a year of plenty and that it is safely harvested.
Following our Harvest Service on 24th September, the Church is planning a bring and share lunch in the hall across the road, where there will also be a bumper Bring and Buy Stall, a Cake and Produce Stall and a great raffle, etc. All proceeds will go to the Restos du Coeur and Secours Populaire.
If you have items for the Bring and Buy, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
This will be a great day to celebrate a wonderful event with much-needed aid going to those less fortunate than ourselves, so do put this date in your diary.
Musings on Harvest Festival's in the christian church
Harvest is a great opportunity for the church to connect in imaginative ways with their communities and to bring God to the people at the same time as we enable the community to bring praises and thanks to Him.
"Harvest is one of the two festivals in the Christian church that is easily under stood by non-churchgoers. Very often a community will support church harvest celebrations with as much enthusiasm as they do Christmas carol services. It marks a turning point in the calendar, a seasonal change, in a world where we have lost touch with so much of the natural world around us.
In the countryside the date of harvest is critical. Farmers do not want to celebrate ‘the feast of in-gathering’ until they have completed the process on the farm. For urban communities it may be tied in with a convenient time for bringing into church the products of local businesses, or be linked to the school year to involve more families.
However for all of us harvest festival is a time when we can reconnect with God’s creation by bringing together the produce from our gardens, allotments and farms with the skills of our communities and with the natural world around us. Giving thanks for all God’s gifts, whether through soil, water and grain or through tins of peas and packets of biscuits or through arts, crafts and music or indeed pictures and symbols of work and the skills of the community, encourages us to pause and listen to God. Special liturgy and prayers can help us to acknowledge our complete dependence on Him for everything we have.
The marked contrast between what we have to celebrate and that of poorer communities across the world could be made a central part of any celebration and provide an opening for discussion about what actions to take to make a difference to other people’s lives.”
The above article was written by Elizabeth Gentil, a Reader at Baddiley, Burleydam and Wrenbury C of E Church.
Prayer for Harvest time
At harvest time we thank you for the changes in the seasons which bring the beautiful colours of the world.
When the golden, brown , green and yellow crispy leaves that fall of that grow on the trees.
We thank you for the dazzling sun which shines down from the azure sky and the smell of the fresh Autumn air.
Thank you for the clean rain that helps nourish the crops.
We thank you for the special time of year. Amen (anon)
Short History of the harvest festival
Harvest Festival used to be celebrated at the beginning of the Harvest season on 1 August and was called Lammas, meaning 'loaf Mass'. Farmers made loaves of bread from the new wheat crop and gave them to their local church, which was then used as the Communion bread during the special mass to thank God for the harvest.
At the start of the harvest, communities would appoint a strong and respected man of the village as their 'Lord of the Harvest'. He would be responsible for negotiating the harvest wages and organising the fieldworkers.
The end of the harvest was celebrated with a big meal called a Harvest Supper, eaten on Michaelmas Day. The 'Lord of the Harvest' sat at the head of the table. A goose stuffed with apples was eaten along with a variety of vegetables.
This custom ended after Henry VIII broke away from the Catholic Church. In the , and nowadays we have harvest festivals at the end of the season.
The modern British tradition of celebrating Harvest Festival in churches began in 1843, when the Reverend Robert Hawker invited parishioners to a special thanksgiving service at his church at Morwenstow in Cornwall.
Victorian hymns such as “We plough the fields and scatter”, "Come ye thankful people, come" and "All things bright and beautiful" but also Dutch and German harvest hymns in translation helped popularise his idea of harvest festival and spread the annual custom of decorating churches with home-grown produce for the Harvest Festival service.
As people became to rely less heavily on home-grown produce, there was a shift in emphasis in many Harvest Festival celebrations. Increasingly, churches have linked Harvest with an awareness of and concern for people in the developing world for whom growing crops of sufficient quality and quantity remains a struggle.
Development and Relief organisations often produce resources for use in churches at harvest time, which promote their own concerns for those in need across the globe.