On the 6th August our Benefice Service at All Saints’ Cuddesdon was a special celebration to give thanks for the first fruits of the Harvest or 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 firstfruits 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 Ist August, and churches are at liberty to decide when to hold such a celebration.
It seemed appropriate to us to keep this special feast at our Benefice service when we come together to worship as a local community. We were also joined by members of the local farming community who were able to tell us how the weather had halted their work in the fields. At the beginning of the service a Lammas loaf, kindly donated by Cornfields bakery in Wheatley, was presented along with some wheat. Katie had also baked some rolls from local flour to use as our communion bread.
Prayers were said for our local farmers and a collection taken for the Farming Community Network, which helps those farmers in financial difficulty. Our thanks goes to all who brought cakes and attended the service. If you would like to read the sermon that was given by Emma then please go to the sermons.