The Agricultural Year

Contents

Introduction

Creation

Invitations to Confession

Kyrie Confessions

Gospel Acclamation

Intercession

Introduction to the Peace

Prayers at the Preparation of the Table

Prefaces

Extended Preface

Blessings and Ending

Acclamations

Short Passages of Scripture

Plough Sunday

The Blessing of the Plough

The Blessing of Seed

Readings

Blessing

Dismissal

Short Passages of Scripture

Rogationtide

Invitation to Confession

Kyrie Confession

Gospel Acclamations

Intercessions

Introduction to the Peace

Prayers at the Preparation of the Table

Preface

Extended Preface

Blessing and Dismissal

Acclamation

The Rogationtide Procession

Short Passages of Scripture

Lammastide

The Gathering

Resources

    Readings

    Prayers at the Preparation of the Table

    Post Communion

    Blessing

    Dismissal

Harvest Thanksgiving

Invitation to Confession

Kyrie Confessions

Confessions

Gospel Acclamation

Thanksgiving

Intercessions

Introduction to the Peace

The Bringing Forward of Symbols of the Harvest

Prayer at the Preparation of the Table

Preface

Extended Preface

Blessings and Endings

Acclamation

Short Passages of Scripture

Prayer in Times of Agricultural Crisis

A Prayer in Times of Crisis

For Favourable Weather in Time of Need

Introduction

The Jewish and Christian Scriptures give eloquent expression to the creative power and wisdom of God. It is therefore a natural instinct for worshipping communities to develop patterns of worship and prayer around the agricultural year. Of course, there were dangers, and the same Scriptures bear witness to concerns about the idolatry of fertility cults and the worship of created things rather than the creator. Nevertheless, ancient society lived close to the land, and it is no surprise that the ancient Jewish festivals of Passover and Unleavened Bread, Weeks and Tabernacles all have agrarian roots. The Christian tradition, too, has assimilated, but with differing emphases and in different times and places, particular agricultural festivals. Much of this is bound up with the need to provide food to sustain human life, and the accompanying sense of a proper humility before God as source of all things, gratitude for his goodness, and responsibility in stewarding the resources of the earth. In more recent years, urban congregations have explored ways of adapting traditional creation-based festivals for their own contexts. This provision is not intended to limit such adaptation.

The material in this section is organized under various headings. However, much of it can be adapted for any occasion in which a local church wishes to explore creation themes, or issues such as the environment, Christian stewardship or ‘One World’ concerns.

Creation

A bank of resources is provided for use at Holy Communion or with a Service of the Word on particular occasions. The resources provided may appropriately be used on the Second Sunday before Lent, when the Common Worship Lectionary readings explore biblical traditions concerning creation. Further material can be found in New Patterns for Worship (2002).

Plough Sunday

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. Some Christian communities have reintroduced it as a focus for asking a blessing on human labour near the start of the calendar year.

Forms are provided here for the blessing of a plough and the blessing of seed. Lectionary material is also provided.

Rogationtide

The Rogation Days (from the Latin rogare, ‘to ask’) are the three weekdays before Ascension Day. However, in practice, many churches have observed Rogation on the preceding Sunday (Easter V in the Prayer Book, the Sixth Sunday of Easter in Common Worship). The Prayer Book Gospel includes the words of Jesus, ‘Whatsoever ye shall ask for in my Name, he will give it you’ – words associated with the heavenly intercession of the ascended Christ.

Originally, the Christian observance of Rogation was taken over from Graeco-Roman religion, where an annual procession invoked divine favour to protect crops against mildew. The tradition grew of using processional litanies, often around the parish boundaries, for the blessing of the land. These processions concluded with a mass. The Rogation procession was suppressed at the Reformation, but it was restored in 1559. The poet George Herbert interpreted the procession as a means of asking for God’s blessing on the land, of preserving boundaries, of encouraging fellowship between neighbours with the reconciling of differences, and of charitable giving to the poor. The tradition of ‘beating the bounds’ has been preserved in some communities, while others maintain the traditional use of the Litany within worship. In more recent times, the scope of Rogation has been widened to include petition for the world of work and for accountable stewardship, and prayer for local communities, whether rural or urban.

The provision here includes resource material for Rogationtide worship, litanies for the Rogationtide procession, and patterns of readings. The material is to be used with flexibility according to local circumstances.

Lammastide

Lammas or ‘Loaf-mass’ (derived from the Anglo-Saxon Hlafmaesse) is an English feast in origin, held on 1 August as a thanksgiving for the first-fruits of the wheat harvest. Traditionally, a newly baked loaf from the wheat harvest was presented before God within the mass of that day. While the ceremony ceased at the Reformation, reference to Lammas Day continued in the Prayer Book calendar, and the practice has been revived in some places in more recent years. The tradition of giving thanks for the first-fruits need not be limited to 1 August, and churches are at liberty to decide when to hold such a celebration. Here, material is provided to form the Gathering rite of the eucharist. The Lammas loaf should ideally be baked by members of the congregation, using local produce wherever possible. Other small loaves or buns, in the tradition of ‘blessed bread’, may be distributed to the congregation. Part of the Lammas loaf may be used as the eucharistic bread on this occasion. Two patterns of readings are suggested, the first concerning the offering of the first-fruits and the second concerning the bread of life.

Harvest Thanksgiving

Harvest Thanksgiving is a more modern addition to the church calendar. Its origins are usually traced to the adaptation in 1843 of Lammas Day by the Revd R. S. Hawker, a parish priest in Cornwall. He chose the first Sunday in October as a Christian response to coincide with the traditional but largely secular ‘harvest home’ celebration, but there is some evidence to suggest that a thanksgiving for the harvest was already a relatively widespread practice. An annual church celebration of the harvest certainly established itself rapidly with great popularity and was first recognized officially in the Church of England in 1862. Since then, many local traditions for the celebration have developed and many liturgical resources are available. Here, a bank of resource material is provided for use at Holy Communion or a Service of the Word. An Act of Thanksgiving is provided, which may accompany the tradition of bringing to church gifts of fresh produce and other foodstuffs.

Prayer in Times of Agricultural Crisis

Two forms of prayer are provided. The first is a prayer that can be used as a basis for corporate response to a time of crisis. The second is for seasonable weather, and may be used in times when heavy rain or flooding or indeed lack of rain prejudices the crops, or when severe or extreme weather endangers the harvest and the welfare of animals.

Creation

Invitations to Confession

A1

God’s whole creation groans.

The land produces thorns and thistles and longs to be set free.

Our sin affects all around us.

We confess our sins in penitence and faith.

A2

Human sin disfigures the whole creation,

which groans with eager longing for God’s redemption.

We confess our sin in penitence and faith.

cf Romans 8.22,23

Kyrie Confessions

B1

Your righteousness, Lord, is like the strong mountains,

and your judgements are like the great deep.

Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

With you is the well of life,

and in your light shall we see light. Christ, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.

Save us, Lord.

Continue your steadfast love to those who love you,

and your salvation to the upright of heart.

Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

B2

Consider the birds of the air;

they do not sow or gather into barns,

yet our heavenly Father feeds them.

Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow;

they do not toil nor spin,

yet even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Christ, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.

How little faith we have.

Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.

Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

Matthew 6.26,28-30,33

B3

You delight in creation, its colour and diversity;

yet we have misused the earth

and plundered its resources for our own selfish ends.

Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

You have brought order out of chaos,

light in darkness, good out of evil,

but we have preferred darkness

in words and deeds which dishonour God’s holy name. Christ, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.

You have showered us with blessings,

but we have been grudging towards others

and lacking in generosity in word and deed.

Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

Gospel Acclamation

G1

Alleluia, alleluia.

God has spoken to us through his Son,

through whom he created the worlds.

cf Hebrews 1.2

Alleluia.

Intercession

H1

Let us pray to God the almighty, the King of creation.

God said, ‘Let there be light.’

Eternal God, we thank you for your light and your truth.

We praise you for your fatherly care

in creating a universe which proclaims your glory.

Inspire us to worship you, the creator of all,

and let your light shine upon our world.

God of life:

hear our prayer.

God said, ‘Let there be a firmament in the midst of the heavens.’

We thank you for the vastness of the universe

and the mysteries of space.

We pray for all scientists and astronomers

who extend the boundaries of our knowledge.

As we contemplate the wonder of the heavens,

confirm us in the truth that every human being is

known and loved by you.

God of life:

hear our prayer.

God said, ‘Let the waters be gathered together,

and let dry land appear.’

We thank you for the beauty of the earth,

for the diversity of land and sea,

for the resources of the earth.

Give us the will to cherish this planet

and to use its riches for the good and welfare of all.

God of life:

hear our prayer.

God said, ‘Let there be lights in the sky

to separate the day and the night.’

We thank you for the warmth of the sun,

the light of the moon, the glory of the stars.

We praise you for the formations of clouds,

the radiance of dawn and sunset.

Save us from wasting or abusing the energy

on which all life depends.

Open our eyes to behold your beauty,

and our lips to praise your name.

God of life:

hear our prayer.

God said, ‘Let the waters bring forth living creatures,

and let birds fly across the sky.’

We thank you for the teeming life of the seas,

and the flight of the birds.

Help us to protect the environment

so that all life may flourish.

God of life:

hear our prayer.

God said, ‘Let the earth bring forth living creatures of every kind.’

We rejoice in the variety of animal life.

Grant us grace to treat all animals with respect and care;

to protect endangered species,

to preserve the variety of habitats,

and to honour the delicate balance of nature.

God of life:

hear our prayer.

God said, ‘Let us create human beings in our own image.’

We pray for the human family.

We exult in its diversity and giftedness,

we repent of its sins, divisions and violence.

By the power of your Spirit, restore your image within us,

through Christ who came to remake us

by his death and resurrection.

God of life:

hear our prayer.

Heavenly Father, you have filled the world with beauty:

open our eyes to behold your gracious hand in all your works;

that, rejoicing in your whole creation,

we may learn to serve you with gladness;

for the sake of him through whom all things were made,

your Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Introduction to the Peace

J1

You shall go out in joy and be led back in peace;

the mountains and the hills before you shall burst into song,

and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

Isaiah 55.12

Prayers at the Preparation of the Table

K1

As the grain once scattered in the fields

and the grapes once dispersed on the hillside

are now reunited on this table in bread and wine,

so, Lord, may your whole Church soon be gathered together

from the corners of the earth

into your kingdom.

Amen.

K2

Blessed be God,

by whose grace creation is renewed,

by whose love heaven is opened,

by whose mercy we offer our sacrifice of praise.

Blessed be God for ever.

Prefaces

L1

And now we give you thanks

because in him, our risen Lord,

the new creation is being brought to perfection,

a broken world is being renewed,

and creation itself will share

in the glorious liberty of the children of God.

L2

And now we give you thanks

because all things are of your making,

all times and seasons obey your laws,

but you have chosen to create us in your own image,

setting us over the whole world in all its wonder.

You have made us stewards of your creation,

to praise you day by day

for the marvels of your wisdom and power:

so earth unites with heaven

to sing the new song of creation:

Holy, holy, holy Lord …

Extended Preface

M1

It is indeed right, it is our duty and our joy,

always and everywhere to give you thanks,

holy Father, almighty and eternal God.

For you have created the heavens and the earth,

and formed us in your own image.

In the fullness of time you sent forth your Son, your eternal Word,

who laid down his life for our salvation

and rose from the grave, the first-fruits of your new creation.

You send forth your holy and life-giving Spirit

to give life to our mortal bodies

and to renew the face of the earth.

Therefore with all the heavenly hosts,

we give voice to everything that you have made,

and sing the eternal hymn of praise.

Blessings and Ending

P1

May God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

who is the source of all goodness and growth,

pour his blessing upon all things created,

and upon you his children,

that you may use his gifts to his glory and the welfare of all peoples;

and the blessing …

P2

May God the Father,

who clothes the lilies of the field

and feeds the birds of the air,

provide us with all we need for life in its fullness.

Amen.

May God the Son,

who fed the five thousand and turned water into wine,

feed us with his life and transform us in his love.

Amen.

May God the Holy Spirit,

who hovered over the waters of creation

and formed the world from chaos,

form us in the likeness of Christ and renew the face of the earth.

Amen.

And the blessing …

P3

Tend the earth, care for God’s good creation,

and bring forth the fruits of righteousness.

Go in the peace of Christ.

Thanks be to God.

Acclamations

R1

Blessed are you, Lord God, King of the universe.

Your word brings on the dusk of evening.

Your wisdom creates both night and day.

You determine the cycles of time.

You arrange the succession of seasons

and establish the stars in their heavenly courses.

The Lord of hosts is your name.

Living and eternal God, rule over us always.

Blessed be the Lord, whose word makes evening fall.

R2

Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth

and established its boundaries?

Lord, you can do all things; your purpose stands for ever.

Where were you when the morning stars sang together

and all the heavenly beings shouted for joy?

Lord, you can do all things; your purpose stands for ever.

Who shut up the sea behind doors

when it burst forth from the womb,

when I made the clouds its garment?

Lord, you can do all things; your purpose stands for ever.

Have you commanded the morning

and caused the dawn to know its place?

Lord, you can do all things; your purpose stands for ever.

From whose womb does the ice come forth

and who gives birth to the hoar-frost of heaven?

Lord, you can do all things; your purpose stands for ever.

Who has endowed the heart with wisdom,

and given understanding to the mind?

Lord, you can do all things; your purpose stands for ever.

cf Job 38; 42.2

Short Passages of Scripture

S1

God saw everything that he had made,

and indeed, it was very good.

Genesis 1.31

S2

O Lord, how manifold are your works!

In wisdom you have made them all;

the earth is full of your creatures.

Psalm 104.26

S3

In Christ all things in heaven and on earth were created,

things visible and invisible –

all things have been created through him and for him.

Colossians 1.16

S4

You are worthy, our Lord and God,

to receive glory and honour and power,

for you created all things,

and by your will they existed and were created.

Revelation 4.11

Plough Sunday

Note

Forms of prayer are provided for the blessing of a plough and the blessing of seed, along with lectionary provision. The material can be incorporated into Holy Communion or a Service of the Word. Other resource material from Seasons and Festivals of the Agricultural Year may be used or adapted appropriately.

The Blessing of the Plough

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.

Blessed be God for ever.

God speed the plough.

God speed the plough.

The Blessing of Seed

Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation:

in your goodness you have given us this seed to sow.

In it we perceive the promise of life,

the wonders of your creative love.

By your blessing,

let this seed be for us a sign of your creative power,

that in sowing and watering,

tending and watching,

we may see the miracle of growth,

and in due course reap a rich harvest.

As this seed must die to give life,

reveal to us the saving power of your Son,

who died that we might live,

and plant in us the good seed of your word.

Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Blessed be God for ever.

By itself the earth produces:

first the stalk, then the ear, then the full grain shall appear.

Readings

Genesis 1.9-13 or Genesis 8.20 – 9.3 or Isaiah 55.6-11

or Ecclesiasticus 38.25-end

Psalm 37.22-38

1 Corinthians 9.6-14

Matthew 6.25-end

Blessing

P1

May God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

who is the source of all goodness and growth,

pour his blessing upon all things created,

and upon you his children,

that you may use his gifts to his glory and the welfare of all peoples;

and the blessing …

Dismissal

Tend the earth, care for God’s good creation,

and bring forth the fruits of righteousness.

Go in the peace of Christ.

Thanks be to God.

Short Passages of Scripture

S1

There is a time to sow, and a time to reap.

cf Ecclesiastes 3.2

S2

Sow for yourselves righteousness;

reap steadfast love;

break up your fallow ground;

for it is time to seek the Lord,

that he may come and rain righteousness upon you.

Hosea 10.12

S3

A sower went out to sow, and some seed fell into good soil.

cf Mark 4.3,8

S4

Those who sow bountifully will also reap bountifully.

2 Corinthians 9.6

Rogationtide

Invitation to Confession

A1

Let us ask God to have mercy on our tired land,

and to prosper the work of our soiled hands.

Let us ask God to forgive our delusion of self-sufficiency

so that we may praise him for his provision and goodness.

Kyrie Confession

B1

Lord, you give us this good earth,

yet we take your generous gifts for granted.

Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

Lord, you give us this good earth,

but we squander its rich resources.

Christ, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.

Lord, you give us this good earth,

but we fail to share your bounty with all of your children.

Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

Gospel Acclamations

G1

Alleluia, alleluia.

‘Ask and you will receive,’ says the Lord,

‘so that your joy may be complete.’

John 16.24

Alleluia.

G2

Alleluia, alleluia.

‘The seed is the word of God,’ says the Lord.

Luke 8.11

Alleluia.

Intercessions

H1

Let us ask the God of creation to send a blessing upon us.

Upon the rich earth send a blessing, O Lord.

Let the earth be fruitful

and its resources be hallowed.

We ask in faith:

we ask you to hear us, good Lord.

Upon human labour send a blessing, O Lord.

Prosper the work of our hands;

may all find dignity and just reward in their work;

free the exploited and oppressed.

We ask in faith:

we ask you to hear us, good Lord.

Upon the produce of the earth send a blessing, O Lord.

Guide us into a sustainable future,

and give us the will to share the fruits of the world.

We ask in faith:

we ask you to hear us, good Lord.

Upon the seas and waters send a blessing, O Lord.

Teach us to cherish the water of the earth,

and to conserve the seas, lakes and rivers.

We ask in faith:

we ask you to hear us, good Lord.

Upon aid agencies send a blessing, O Lord.

Where the earth is parched and the well has run dry;

where war brings want, and children go hungry;

where the poor cry out for bread and for justice,

give hands to care and heal, and compel us to be generous.

We ask in faith:

we ask you to hear us, good Lord.

We ask you to hear us, good Lord,

for the sake of your Son,

our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Amen.

H2

Let us pray to God our creator,

who has given us the earth’s goodness for our delight,

and entrusted it to our care and tenderness.

For all who live in captivity to debt,

whose lives are cramped by fear

from which there is no turning

except through abundant harvest;

Lord, we pray:

may those who sow in tears

reap with shouts of joy.

For all who depend on the earth for their daily food and fuel,

whose forests are destroyed for the profit of a few;

Lord, we pray:

may those who sow in tears

reap with shouts of joy.

For those who labour in poverty,

are oppressed by unjust laws,

are prevented from speaking the truth,

and long for a harvest of justice;

Lord, we pray:

may those who sow in tears

reap with shouts of joy.

For all who are captive to greed and waste and boredom,

whose harvest joy is choked

with things they do not need;

Lord, we pray:

may those who sow in tears

reap with shouts of joy.

Save us from all that holds us captive,

restore our vision,

that our mouth may be filled with laughter

and our tongue with songs of joy.

Amen.

Introduction to the Peace

J1

By prayer and supplication with thanksgiving,

let your requests be made known to God.

And the peace of God,

which passes all understanding,

will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4.6,7

Prayers at the Preparation of the Table

K1

Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation:

through your goodness we have this bread to set before you,

which earth has given and human hands have made.

It will become for us the bread of life.

Blessed be God for ever.

Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation:

through your goodness we have this wine to set before you,

fruit of the vine and work of human hands.

It will become for us the cup of salvation.

Blessed be God for ever.

K2

Blessed be God,

by whose grace creation is renewed,

by whose love heaven is opened,

by whose mercy we offer our sacrifice of praise.

Blessed be God for ever.

Preface

L1

And now we give you thanks

for your ancient promise

that while the earth endures,

seedtime and harvest, cold and heat,

summer and winter, day and night,

will never cease.

Extended Preface

M1

It is indeed right and good

to give you thanks and praise,

almighty God and Father,

through Jesus Christ your Son.

Through him you have created us in your own image,

and made us stewards of your good creation.

Through him you teach us to exult in the birds of the air,

the lilies of the field, the precious and life-giving crops of the earth.

Through him you free us from the slavery of sin,

giving him to die upon the cross

and to rise again for our salvation.

Through him, you begin your work of new creation,

as we look for a new heaven and a new earth

in which your righteousness dwells.

Therefore, we join with angels and archangels,

and give voice to every creature under heaven,

for ever praising you and saying:

Blessing and Dismissal

The blessing and dismissal here may be used.

Acclamation

R1

God be gracious to us and bless us:

and make his face to shine upon us.

Let the peoples praise you, O God:

God be gracious to us and bless us.

Judge the peoples righteously and govern the nations upon earth.

God be gracious to us and bless us.

Let the earth bring forth her increase:

God be gracious to us and bless us.

God be gracious to us and bless us:

and make his face to shine upon us.

cf Psalm 67

The Rogationtide Procession

Note

This may be a procession within the church building or in the open air, whether the traditional beating of the bounds or a specified procession in part of the parish. Prayers and readings may be used at suitable places. The following resources may be used according to circumstances.

A

The Litany in The Book of Common Prayer or the Common Worship Litany (Common Worship: Services and Prayers for the Church of England, pages 111–121) may be said or sung.

In the Prayer Book Litany the following petitions may be inserted after the petition ‘That it may please thee to give and preserve to our use the kindly fruits of the earth, so as in due time we may enjoy them. We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.’

That it may please thee to grant favourable weather,

temperate rain and fruitful seasons,

that there may be food and drink for all thy creatures,

we beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

That it may please thee to bless the lands and waters,

and all who work upon them,

to bring forth food and all things needful for thy people,

we beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

That it may please thee to look with favour

upon all who care for the earth, the water and the air,

that the riches of thy creation may abound from age to age,

we beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

In the Common Worship Litany, the following may be inserted in Section V, following the petition ‘Give us the will to use the resources of the earth to your glory, and for the good of all creation. Hear us, good Lord.’

Grant favourable weather, temperate rains and fruitful seasons,

that there may be food and drink for all creatures.

Hear us, good Lord.

Bestow your blessing upon the lands and waters,

and all who work upon them,

to bring forth food and all things needful for your people.

Hear us, good Lord.

Prosper all who care for the earth, the water, and the air,

that the riches of your creation may abound from age to age.

Hear us, good Lord.

B

All or parts of the following litany may be said or sung

I

Let us pray.

God the Father, Lord of creation,

have mercy upon us.

God the Son, through whom all things were made,

have mercy upon us.

God the Holy Spirit, who renews the face of the earth,

have mercy upon us.

Holy, blessed and glorious Trinity, creating and saving God,

have mercy upon us.

Remember, Lord, your mercy and loving-kindness towards us.

Bless this good earth, and make it fruitful.

Bless our labour, and give us all things needful for our daily lives.

Bless the homes of this parish and all who live within them.

Bless our common life and our care for our neighbour.

Hear us, good Lord.

II

For all cities, towns and villages,

and for their well-being and prosperity,

let us pray to the Lord.

Lord, have mercy.

For the rural economy and for its regeneration,

let us pray to the Lord.

Lord, have mercy.

For those who tend the countryside

and preserve its order and beauty,

let us pray to the Lord.

Lord, have mercy.

For traditional rural skills and crafts

and for those who exercise them,

let us pray to the Lord.

Lord, have mercy.

For all farms, all who work them,

and for the whole farming industry,

let us pray to the Lord.

Lord, have mercy.

For those who make farming policy,

and for all with authority in government,

let us pray to the Lord.

Lord, have mercy.

III

For a blessing on our land we pray.

Hear us, good Lord.

For healthy crops and abundant harvests we pray.

Hear us, good Lord.

For the care and welfare of animals

and for the veterinary profession we pray.

Hear us, good Lord.

For the harvest of the soil

and for the fruits of the earth in their seasons we pray.

Hear us, good Lord.

For seasonable weather we pray.

Hear us, good Lord.

For protection from blight, pestilence and disease we pray.

Hear us, good Lord.

For those engaged in agricultural research we pray.

Hear us, good Lord.

For the service industries that support rural life we pray.

Hear us, good Lord.

For the ministry of your Church in rural areas we pray.

Hear us, good Lord.

For parts of the world where the harvests have failed we pray.

Hear us, good Lord.

For charities, aid agencies and overseas development we pray.

Hear us, good Lord.

IV

For our daily bread:

we pray to you, O Lord.

For all who work on the land to bring us our food in due season:

we pray to you, O Lord.

For all who fish the rivers, lakes and seas:

we pray to you, O Lord.

For all who process foods and prepare them for distribution and sale:

we pray to you, O Lord.

For all supermarkets and shops, and for all who work in them:

we pray to you, O Lord.

For those who work in food research:

we pray to you, O Lord.

For those who distribute food to those in need:

we pray to you, O Lord.

For the will to share your bounteous gifts:

we pray to you, O Lord.

V

For the world of work in all its diversity:

hear us, good Lord.

For the industry and workplaces of this parish/community:

hear us, good Lord.

For the right ordering of work in time of technological change:

hear us, good Lord.

For communities that have lost traditional industries,

and for their regeneration:

hear us, good Lord.

For all expanding industries and for the promise of new jobs:

hear us, good Lord.

For small businesses and co-operatives:

hear us, good Lord.

For local trade and commerce:

hear us, good Lord.

For all service industries that provide for our daily needs:

hear us, good Lord.

For the unemployed and for those living in poverty:

hear us, good Lord.

For school leavers and all who are seeking to enter employment:

hear us, good Lord.

For the retired and those unable to work:

hear us, good Lord.

For all who work as volunteers:

hear us, good Lord.

VI

Almighty and everlasting God,

you are always more ready to hear than we to pray

and to give more than either we desire or deserve:

pour down upon us the abundance of your mercy,

forgiving us those things of which our conscience is afraid

and giving us those good things

which we are not worthy to ask

but through the merits and mediation

of Jesus Christ your Son our Lord.

Amen.

C

The following readings may be used at suitable points in the procession. A selection may be made from either Table A or Table B, according to circumstances. Suitable hymns or songs may be used in place of the psalmody.

Table A 1 Deuteronomy 26.1-11 2 Job 38.1-11,16-18 3 Ezekiel 47.6-12 4 Ecclesiasticus 38.27-32 5 Acts 14.8-18 6 2 Corinthians 9.9-11a 7 Philippians 4. 4-7 8 Mark 11.22-24 or Matthew 6.7-15   Psalmody 1 Psalm 147.1-12 2 Psalm 104.25-end 3 Psalm 107.23-32 4 Psalm 107.1-9 5 Psalm 107.33-end 6 Psalm 112 7 Benedicite   Table B 1 Genesis 8.13-end 2 Leviticus 26.1-13 3 Deuteronomy 8.1-10 4 Hosea 2.18-end 5 James 4.7-11 6 Romans 8.18-25 7 1 Corinthians 3.10-14 8 John 6.22-40 or John 12.23-26
Short Passages of Scripture

S1

Let the peoples praise you, O God;

let all the peoples praise you.

Then shall the earth bring forth her increase,

and God, our own God, will bless us.

Psalm 67.5,6

S2

May the gracious favour of the Lord our God be upon us;

prosper our handiwork; O prosper the work of our hands.

Psalm 90.17

S3

The Lord will indeed give all that is good,

and our land will yield its increase.

Psalm 85.12

S4

Sow for yourselves righteousness;

reap steadfast love;

break up your fallow ground;

for it is time to seek the Lord,

that he may come and rain righteousness upon you.

Hosea 10.12

S5

Do not worry about anything,

but in everything

by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving

let your requests be made known to God.

Philippians 4.6

Lammastide

Note

As the word ‘Lammas’ suggests, the setting for this material is the Holy Communion. The Lammas loaf, or part of it, may be used as the bread of the Eucharist, or the Lammas loaf and the eucharistic bread may be kept separate. To avoid any possible confusion, the rite of the presentation of the Lammas loaf should form part of the Gathering in Holy Communion Order One. Suitable patterns of readings are suggested.

¶    The Gathering

At the entry of the ministers a hymn may be sung.

The president may say

In the name of the Father,

and of the Son,

and of the Holy Spirit.

All   Amen.

The Greeting

The president greets the people

The Lord be with you

All   and also with you.

The Presentation of the Lammas Loaf

The president introduces the service with these or other suitable words

Brothers and sisters in Christ, the people of God in ancient times presented to the Lord an offering of first-fruits as a sign of their dependence upon God for their daily bread. At this Lammastide, we bring a newly baked loaf as our offering in thanksgiving to God for his faithfulness.

Jesus said, ‘I am the bread of life; those who come to me shall never be hungry and those who believe in me shall never thirst.’

John 6.35

The Lammas loaf is brought to the president.

Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation;

you bring forth bread from the fields

and give us the fruits of the earth in their seasons.

Accept this loaf, which we bring before you,

made from the harvest of your goodness.

Let it be for us a sign of your fatherly care.

Blessed are you, Lord our God,

worthy of our thanksgiving and praise.

All   Blessed be God for ever.

Prayers of Penitence

As those who know the generosity of God,

let us confess our sins,

especially the ways in which we take his good gifts for granted.

Lord, you give us this day our daily bread.

Forgive us our trespasses.

Lord, have mercy.

All   Lord, have mercy.

Lord, you give us this day our daily bread.

Let us not be led into temptation.

Christ, have mercy.

All   Christ, have mercy.

Lord, you give us this day our daily bread.

Deliver us from evil.

Lord, have mercy.

All   Lord, have mercy.

The president says

Almighty God,

who forgives all who truly repent,

have mercy upon you,

pardon and deliver you from all your sins,

confirm and strengthen you in all goodness,

and keep you in life eternal;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

The Gloria in excelsis may be used.

The service continues with the Collect of the day.

¶    Resources

The following resources may be used during the Liturgy of the Word, the Liturgy of the Sacrament and the Dismissal.

Readings

The Offering of First-fruits

Leviticus 23.9-14

Psalm 126

1 Corinthians 15.12-20 or James 5.7-9

Matthew 15.32-39 or John 4.31-38

The Bread of Life

Exodus 16.11-15

Psalm 104.10-15

2 Corinthians 9.6-11

John 6.28-35

Prayer at the Preparation of the Table

K1

Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation:

through your goodness we have this bread to set before you,

which earth has given and human hands have made.

It will become for us the bread of life.

Blessed be God for ever.

Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation:

through your goodness we have this wine to set before you,

fruit of the vine and work of human hands.

It will become for us the cup of salvation.

Blessed be God for ever.

Post Communion

N1

O God,

your Son made himself known to his disciples in

the breaking of bread:

open the eyes of our faith,

that we may see him in his redeeming work,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

Amen.

Blessing

P1

May God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

who is the source of all goodness and growth,

pour his blessing upon all things created,

and upon you his children,

that you may use his gifts to his glory and the welfare of

all peoples;

and the blessing …

Dismissal

Tend the earth, care for God’s good creation,

and bring forth the fruits of righteousness.

Go in the peace of Christ.

Thanks be to God.

Harvest Thanksgiving

Invitation to Confession

A1

Let us confess our forgetfulness of the needs of the poor,

and repent of the ways in which we waste the resources of

the world.

Kyrie Confessions

B1

Lord, you give justice to those who are suffering

and bread to those who hunger.

Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

Lord, you loose those who are bound

and open the eyes of the blind.

Christ, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.

Lord, you watch over the stranger in the land

and uphold the orphan and the widow.

Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

cf Psalm 146.6,7,9

B2

God has blessed us,

but still God’s children go hungry.

Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

God has blessed us,

but still the poor cry out for justice.

Christ, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.

God has blessed us,

but still we see inequality and oppression in the earth.

Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

B3

We confess to you

our lack of care for the world you have given us.

Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

We confess to you

our selfishness in not sharing the earth’s bounty fairly.

Christ, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.

We confess to you

our failure to protect resources for others.

Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

Confession

C1

We confess our sin, and the sins of our society,

in the misuse of God’s creation.

God our Father, we are sorry

for the times when we have used your gifts carelessly,

and acted ungratefully.

Hear our prayer, and in your mercy:

forgive us and help us.

We enjoy the fruits of the harvest,

but sometimes forget that you have given them to us.

Father, in your mercy:

forgive us and help us.

We belong to a people who are full and satisfied,

but ignore the cry of the hungry.

Father, in your mercy:

forgive us and help us.

We are thoughtless,

and do not care enough for the world you have made.

Father, in your mercy:

forgive us and help us.

We store up goods for ourselves alone,

as if there were no God and no heaven.

Father, in your mercy:

forgive us and help us.

Gospel Acclamation

G1

Alleluia, alleluia.

Lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are ripe for harvesting.

Gather the fruit for eternal life.

cf John 4.35,36

Alleluia.

Thanksgiving

Let us give thanks to God,

the God of all peoples of the earth.

For the colour and forms of your creation

and our place within it,

we bring our thanks, good Lord:

your mercy endures for ever.

For our daily food,

and for those whose work and skill

bring your good gifts to us,

we bring our thanks, good Lord:

your mercy endures for ever.

For the gifts and graces inspired in human minds and hearts;

for insight and imagination,

for the skills of research

which bring healing and fulfilment to the lives of many;

we bring our thanks, good Lord:

your mercy endures for ever.

For the light and shades of the changing seasons,

and their variety and dependability;

for new life and growth out of barrenness and decay;

we bring our thanks, good Lord:

your mercy endures for ever.

For new hope and strength in our communities,

especially in your Church and among all you call to serve you,

we bring our thanks, good Lord;

your mercy endures for ever.

For all in whose lives we see

goodness, kindness, gentleness, patience and humility,

and all the fruit of the Spirit,

we bring our thanks, good Lord:

your mercy endures for ever.

For the life we have been given,

and for all those whom you have given us to share it,

we bring our thanks, good Lord:

your mercy endures for ever.

Intercessions

H1

Let us offer our prayers to God for the life of the world

and for all God’s people in their daily life and work.

God, the beginning and end of all things,

in your providence and care

you watch unceasingly over all creation;

we offer our prayers

that in us and in all your people your will may be done,

according to your wise and loving purpose in Christ our Lord.

Lord of all life:

hear our prayer.

We pray for all through whom we receive sustenance and life;

for farmers and agricultural workers,

for packers, distributors and company boards;

as you have so ordered our life that we depend upon each other,

enable us by your grace to seek the well-being of others before

our own.

Lord of all creation:

hear our prayer

We pray for all engaged in research to safeguard crops against disease,

and to produce abundant life among those who hunger

and whose lives are at risk.

Prosper the work of their hands

and the searching of their minds,

that their labour may be for the welfare of all.

Lord of all wisdom:

hear our prayer.

We pray for governments and aid agencies,

and those areas of the world where there is disaster, drought

and starvation.

By the grace of your Spirit,

touch our hearts

and the hearts of all who live in comfortable plenty,

and make us wise stewards of your gifts.

Lord of all justice:

hear our prayer.

We pray for those who are ill,

remembering those in hospital and nursing homes

and all who are known to us.

We pray for all who care for them.

Give skill and understanding

to all who work for their well-being.

Lord of all compassion:

hear our prayer.

We remember those who have died,

whom we entrust to your eternal love

in the hope of resurrection to new life.

Lord of all peace:

hear our prayer.

We offer ourselves to your service,

asking that by the Spirit at work in us

others may receive a rich harvest of love and joy and peace.

Lord of all faithfulness:

hear our prayer.

God of grace,

as you are ever at work in your creation,

so fulfil your wise and loving purpose in us

and in all for whom we pray,

that with them and in all that you have made,

your glory may be revealed

and the whole earth give praise to you,

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

H2

Let us pray to God, the Lord of the harvest,

that he will bring to fruition all that he desires for his creation.

Lord of creation,

we see that the fields are ripe for harvesting:

we pray for your Church,

that it may be ready to gather fruit for eternal life.

Lord of the harvest,

in your mercy hear us.

You have created the universe by your eternal Word,

and have blessed humankind in giving us dominion over the earth:

we pray for the world,

that we may honour and share its resources,

and live in reverence for the creation

and in harmony with one another.

Lord of the harvest,

in your mercy hear us.

Your Son has promised that the Spirit will lead us into all truth:

we pray for the community in which you have set us,

for one another and for ourselves,

that we may bring forth the fruit of the Spirit

in love and joy and peace.

Lord of the harvest,

in your mercy hear us.

You have given your people a rich land,

yet by sin we have made a world of suffering and sorrow:

we pray for those who bear the weight of affliction,

that they may come to share the life of wholeness and plenty.

Lord of the harvest,

in your mercy hear us.

Your Son Jesus Christ is the first-fruits of the resurrection

and will reap the harvest of the dead at the end of time:

we pray that he will gather us all together

with those who have gone before

in the banquet of the age to come.

Lord of the harvest,

in your mercy hear us.

Source of all life

and giver of all that is good,

hear our prayers and grant us all that is in accordance with your will;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Introduction to the Peace

J1

The harvest of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,

patience, kindness, goodness,

faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

cf Galatians 5.22,23

The Bringing Forward of Symbols of the Harvest

Let us bring forward symbols of the harvest,

gifts that God has created and his sun and rain have nurtured.

Thanks be to God.

Bring forward the harvest of the cornfields,

the oats and the wheat, the rye and the barley.

Thanks be to God.

Bring forward the harvest of roots,

the swedes and mangolds, turnips and sugar beet.

Thanks be to God.

Bring forward the harvest of seeds for next year’s crops,

for clover, for hay and for corn.

Thanks be to God.

Bring forward the harvest of vegetables,

peas, potatoes, beans and hops.

Thanks be to God.

Bring forward the harvest of pears and apples, berries and herbs.

Thanks be to God.

Bring forward the harvest of flowers,

the finest blooms from our gardens and our fields.

Thanks be to God.

Bring forward the grain and the grape,

for our Saviour took bread and wine

to feed us with his body and his blood,

given and shed for the life of the world.

Let us feed on him by faith with thanksgiving.

Thanks be to God.

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow,

praise him, all creatures here below,

praise him above, ye heavenly host,

praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Amen.

Prayer at the Preparation of the Table

K1

Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation;

you bring forth bread from the earth.

Blessed be God for ever.

Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation;

you create the fruit of the vine.

Blessed be God for ever.

Preface

L1

And now we give you thanks

because you make us stewards of your creation,

to praise you day by day

for the marvels of your wisdom and power.

Extended Preface

The Extended Prefaces for Creation and Rogation may be used (here and here).

Blessings and Endings

P1

May God our creator,

who clothes the lilies and feeds the birds of the air,

bestow on you his care

and increase the harvest of your righteousness;

and the blessing …

P2

God the Father, who created the world,

give you grace to be wise stewards of his creation.

Amen.

God the Son, who redeemed the world,

inspire you to go out as labourers into his harvest.

Amen.

God the Holy Spirit, whose breath fills the whole of creation,

help you to bear his fruits of love, joy and peace.

Amen.

And the blessing …

P3

Freely you have received, freely give.

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

in the name of Christ. Amen.

P4

Tend the earth, care for God’s good creation

and bring forth the fruits of righteousness.

Go in the peace of Christ.

Thanks be to God.

Acclamation

R1

The earth has yielded its harvest;

God, our God, has blessed us.

You visit the earth and water it;

you make it very plenteous.

You soften the ground with showers;

and bless the increase of it.

You crown the year with your goodness;

and your paths overflow with plenty.

The meadows are clothed with sheep;

the valleys stand so thick with corn,

they shout for joy and sing.

The earth has yielded its harvest;

God, our God, has blessed us.

cf Psalm 65.8,10,11,13; 67.7

Short Passages of Scripture

S1

Then shall the earth bring forth her increase,

and God, our own God, will bless us.

Psalm 67.6

S2

O give thanks to the Lord, for he is gracious,

for his steadfast love endures for ever.

Psalm 107.1

S3

As long as the earth endures,

seedtime and harvest, cold and heat,

summer and winter, day and night

shall not cease.

Genesis 8.22

S4

He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food

will supply and multiply your seed for sowing

and increase the harvest of your righteousness.

2 Corinthians 9.10

S5

The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few;

therefore ask the Lord of the harvest

to send out labourers into his harvest.

Matthew 9.37b,38

Prayer in Times of Agricultural Crisis

A Prayer in Times of Crisis

God of compassion,

we rejoice in the unity that is at the heart of your creation;

look upon our land and heal it,

and from …,

good Lord, deliver us.

As we stand before you in prayer for all who are suffering,

grant that your light may shine in their darkness,

and that we may bear one another’s burdens

and so fulfil your law of love.

This we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

For Favourable Weather in Time of Need

O God, heavenly Father,

who by your Son Jesus Christ

have promised to all those who seek your kingdom

and its righteousness

all things necessary to sustain their life:

send us, we entreat you, in this time of need,

[such moderate rain and showers]

[such favourable weather]

that we may receive the fruits of the earth,

to our comfort and to your honour;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.