Festivals

Harvest

How is Harvest celebrated?

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.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. (Leviticus 27: 30). In this country, farmers used to give a tithe of everything that came from the ground. Tithes were payments in kind (crops, wool, milk etc.) which were an agreed proportion of the yearly profits of cultivation or farming. Tithes were often given to help support the parish church and its clergy. 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 some of their income, a tithe, to help with the work of the church.

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

Christingle

What is the significance of a Christingle

  • Festivals
  • Video
christingle

Christingle

What is the significance of a Christingle

  • Festivals
  • Video

Click here a ‘Make a Christingle’ Sheet The origins of Christingle services are unknown but the word means ‘Christ Light’ and celebrates Jesus coming as the light of the World to show people the way to God. The orange is round like the world. It […]

Traidcraft – Harvest

To find more great resources for schools visit Traidcraft

  • RE:quest Recommends
  • Text
Traidcraft LogoHorizBlackStrap

Traidcraft – Harvest

To find more great resources for schools visit Traidcraft

  • RE:quest Recommends
  • Text

This is a tradecraft lesson

Harvest Festival

How do we say thank you?

  • Festivals
  • Text
Harvest ks1 sheet

Harvest Festival

How do we say thank you?

  • Festivals
  • Text

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  

Harvest Festival

What happens during a harvest festival?

  • Festivals
  • Text

Harvest Festival

What happens during a harvest festival?

  • Festivals
  • Text

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 […]

What is celebrated at Harvest?

Use these sheets to explore Harvest as a thanksgiving festival and the idea of why saying thank you is important.

  • Festivals
  • Text
harvest

What is celebrated at Harvest?

Use these sheets to explore Harvest as a thanksgiving festival and the idea of why saying thank you is important.

  • Festivals
  • Text

  Click here to download sheet 2 Click here to download sheet 2 Click here to download Traidcraft Schools harvest resources