Festivals

Harvest Festival

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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 Anglicanchurch at Morwenstow in Cornwall. He wanted people to say ‘thank-you’ to God for the harvest – this has remained a tradition ever since.

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Harvest is a time when Christians say, ‘thank you’ for all of God’s provisions. In this sheet the children are encouraged to think about those things that they should be thankful for. Click here to download the Harvest Thanksgiving sheet  

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