Festivals

Harvest

How do Christians celebrate harvest?

BIBLE-OT-CREATION-DAY3

Harvest festivals have been celebrated since ancient times and although they are not part of the traditional church year, many churches now celebrate harvest some time in the autumn.

Where does harvest come from?

One tradition teaches that the harvest festival used to be celebrated on 1st 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 where they were then used as the communion bread during a special thanksgiving service. This custom seems to have ended when Henry VIII broke away from the Catholic Church.

On 1st October 1843, Rev. Robert Hawker held the first Harvest Thanksgiving Service in his Anglican church at Morwenstow in Cornwall. He wanted people to say ‘thank-you’ to God for the harvest – this has remained a tradition ever since.

Although it isn’t an exclusively Christian festival, the tradition of giving at harvest-time is found in the Bible. The Jews would give a tenth of the harvest to God. This was known as a tithe (see Leviticus 27: 30). In this country, farmers used to give a tithe of everything that came from the ground. They would give their crops, wool, or milk, which totalled an agreed amount of their yearly profits.  Tithes were often given to help support the local church and its clergy (i.e. church workers). Grain was stored in huge tithe barns, many of which can still be seen today. Although this law no longer exists, many Christians still choose to give a tithe of the money they earn – 10% or more – to help with the work of the church.

How do churches celebrate Harvest today?

Today, most U.K. churches have a Harvest Thanksgiving service. The church building may be decorated with a display of flowers and food, perhaps including a large loaf in the shape of a wheat sheaf. Often people bring more gifts of food to add to the display during the church service.

Afterwards, the food will be sold to raise money for charity, or given directly to those in need. At harvest-time, the sharing of food helps Christians to remember that all good gifts come from God. Giving is a way of saying thank you to God in a practical way whilst remembering that He commanded all people to love and care for others.

Bookmark

Related Items

abcdefg

The Beginning of Lent

What happens on Ash Wednesday?

  • Festivals
  • Text

Ash Wednesday is the day after Shrove Tuesday and signals the start of Lent. It is called ‘Ash Wednesday’ because Lent is a time when people are sorry for the wrong things in their lives and ashes are used in the Bible as signs of […]

Giving

What does the Bible say about giving?

  • Life
  • Text
LIFE-HOWCWORSHIP-GIVING

Giving

What does the Bible say about giving?

  • Life
  • Text

The Bible has a lot to say about giving. Not only is it an act of worship for God, it is very practical too! Jesus taught that the greatest commandment was to ‘Love God… and love your neighbour as yourself’ (Matthew 22:37-38). One way of […]

Maundy Thursday in the Church

How do churches mark Maundy Thursday?

  • Festivals
  • Text
last_supper feet washing

Maundy Thursday in the Church

How do churches mark Maundy Thursday?

  • Festivals
  • Text

Even if a church does not hold a specific Maundy Thursday service, the Last Supper is remembered regularly in the majority of Christian churches through the communion service or shared meal. these can be held as often as once a week by some. A Maundy […]

Ascension Day

What is remembered on Ascension Day?

  • Festivals
  • Text
Jesus Appears_3

Ascension Day

What is remembered on Ascension Day?

  • Festivals
  • Text

Easter is the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection – when he came back to life after being crucified. But the gospel story does not end there. The next chapter comes on the day known as ‘Ascension Day’. It is the day when Christians believe Jesus returned […]

Christmas

What makes Christmas so special?

  • Festivals
  • Video
Gold_star_christmas_ornament

Christmas

What makes Christmas so special?

  • Festivals
  • Video

Christmas is probably the most popular of all Christian festivals. From the beginning of September shops and restaurants are getting ready for the ‘Christmas rush.’ Most schools will put on Christmas plays, in towns Christmas lights decorate the streets and Christmas trees can be seen everywhere. […]

Good Friday

What do Christians remember on Good Friday?

  • Festivals
  • Video gallery
P&P-CHURCH HISTORY-COL CROSS

Good Friday

What do Christians remember on Good Friday?

  • Festivals
  • Video gallery

Good Friday is the Friday of Holy Week, the Friday before Easter Day. It is thought that the name Good Friday is an altered form of God’s Friday. But many people say that ‘Good’ Friday is an appropriate name: on this special day, God showed […]

Easter Sunday

What is the Resurrection?

  • Festivals
  • Video
Prayer

Easter Sunday

What is the Resurrection?

  • Festivals
  • Video

It is on Easter Sunday that the fasting and sadness of Lent turns to joyful celebration as Christians celebrate the Resurrection and declare that death is defeated and Jesus is alive. Jesus had told the disciples before he was arrested that he would be crucified […]

Good Friday

How do Christians remember Jesus' death on Good Friday?

  • Festivals
  • Video gallery
Good Friday Walk of Witnesses

Good Friday

How do Christians remember Jesus' death on Good Friday?

  • Festivals
  • Video gallery

Good Friday is both a time of sadness and a time of thankfulness. Sadness as Christians remember the suffering that Jesus endured but thankfulness as they think about how he suffered and died as a sign of God’s love for all people. Some Christians will […]

Pentecost

What do Christians celebrate at Pentecost?

  • Festivals
  • Text
festivals-pentecost-dove fire

Pentecost

What do Christians celebrate at Pentecost?

  • Festivals
  • Text

Before Jesus returned back to heaven he set out for the disciples the work he now expected them to do: ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name […]

All Saints Day

What is All Saints Day?

  • Festivals
  • Text
St_Chad_Bensham

All Saints Day

What is All Saints Day?

  • Festivals
  • Text

All Saints Day is when Christians celebrate the lives of Saints – or Christians whose example is inspirational or important. They think about the good things that they said and did. All Saints Day falls on 1st November, and is a ‘Holy Day of Obligation’ […]

Remembrance Sunday

What happens on Remembrance Sunday?

  • Festivals
  • Text
Remembrance_Cross_Laying_on_Poppies_MOD_45153382

Remembrance Sunday

What happens on Remembrance Sunday?

  • Festivals
  • Text

What is Remembrance Sunday? On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918 the fighting of the First World War stopped. It was known as the Great War, because of the size and scale of it. Over 16 million people […]

PALM SUNDAY

What is remembered on Palm Sunday?

  • Festivals
  • Video

PALM SUNDAY

What is remembered on Palm Sunday?

  • Festivals
  • Video

Palm Sunday is the beginning of Holy Week – a celebration of the final week of Jesus’ life on earth. On Palm Sunday, Christians remember the time when Jesus went into Jerusalem, Israel’s capital city, riding on the back of a donkey. This occasion is […]

  • Festivals
  • Text
FESTIVALS-LENT-JESUSTEMP

LENT – a time of preparation and fasting

What happens during Lent?

  • Festivals
  • Text

Lent is a special time in the Church’s calendar that takes place each spring in the run up to Easter. It begins in either late February or early March with Ash Wednesday. Lent lasts for 40 days (not including Sundays) and ends the day before […]

Dedication

What happens in a dedication service?

  • Life
  • Video

Dedication

What happens in a dedication service?

  • Life
  • Video

Some churches believe that being baptised is something people should decide to do when they are old enough. But they still think that welcoming children into the church is important. In these churches, you might find a ‘dedication’ or ‘thanksgiving’ service. Infant dedication is a […]

Celebrating Easter

Why is the Resurrection so important to Christians today?

  • Festivals
  • Video gallery
Screen Shot 2013-06-13 at 16.34.29

Celebrating Easter

Why is the Resurrection so important to Christians today?

  • Festivals
  • Video gallery

If the first question about the Resurrection – Jesus’ return from death – is ‘Did it happen?’, the second is ‘Does it really matter?’ Take a look at these films to find out how Christians have responded to that question.

The Easter Story: Doubtless

Is the idea that Jesus came back to life too much to believe?

  • Festivals
  • Video

The Easter Story: Doubtless

Is the idea that Jesus came back to life too much to believe?

  • Festivals
  • Video

Would you believe that a dead person could come back to life? It would be understandable to doubt it. One of Jesus’ disciples, Thomas, has gone down in history as the one who doubted the reports of Jesus’ resurrection. This film is based on that […]

The Easter Story: Talk of the morning

What happened on the first Easter Sunday?

  • Festivals
  • Video

The Easter Story: Talk of the morning

What happened on the first Easter Sunday?

  • Festivals
  • Video

The gospels say that Jesus didn’t stay dead. Lots of witnesses saw Jesus die on a cross on Friday – but by the Sunday there were rumours that the tomb was empty and that he had appeared to some of his followers – Mary Magdalene […]

The Easter Story: The Centurion’s story

What happened when Jesus was on the cross?

  • Festivals
  • Video
Salvation

The Easter Story: The Centurion’s story

What happened when Jesus was on the cross?

  • Festivals
  • Video

The Bible says that Jesus died by being crucified by the Romans – that is, being nailed to a cross and left to die. The gospels quote a Roman soldier who watched Jesus die as saying ‘Surely this man was the Son of God.’ This […]

The Easter Story: Undeniable

What happened to Jesus' disciples after he was arrested?

  • Festivals
  • Video

The Easter Story: Undeniable

What happened to Jesus' disciples after he was arrested?

  • Festivals
  • Video

On the night before Jesus died – the night of his arrest – Jesus’ disciples ran away, scared for their lives. Peter was one of Jesus’ closest friends, but even he let Jesus down. During the Last Supper, which happened only hours before his arrest, […]

Christian Festivals

What are the big events that happen during the year?

  • Festivals
  • Timeline
FESTIVALS-CMASTRAD-tree1

Christian Festivals

What are the big events that happen during the year?

  • Festivals
  • Timeline

Our calendar year is divided into four seasons – Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. Each season has its special characteristics, colours and associations. For example Autumn is often associated with harvest, and the orange and yellow leaves that blow around in the blustery wind. It […]