Lammas – Poetry of the Harvest
Summer heat is at its peak
The energy of a waning sun
The blessed union’s first fruits
Abundant and awaiting
The one of the three
An eternal thankfulness
The fullness of the moment
True by unrealized,
Twice providing for mankind
Sustenance for the frigid months ahead
And seed for the next rebirth
The Celebration Ceremony
The sun God surrenders his life
Freely and without remorse
So his earthly children may survive
Never really abandoning us,
His spirit consumed in the bread
And stored in the planting grain
For the many, so goes the one
Yet fear not for the dying
Instead think towards the resurrection
Celebrate the first fruits
Give thanks to the land
Give thanks to the Goddess
Summon her strength as your own
Stay the course of all that is noble
Share without reward
Embrace in the plenty
August 1 is Lammas (Anglo-Saxon hlaf-mas, or “loaf-mass”) – it’s the first of three celebrations of the harvest. This celebration is for the grain, the time for gathering in, the first fruits of our labor. Lammas is followed by the Mabon, the harvest of the fruit, and later by Samhain, the harvest of the nuts and berries. What is significant about Lammas is easily revealed by its name – the celebration of the loaf or in simpler terms the celebration of the bread.
The first cuttings of the grain crops, barley, wheat, oats, and rye are important for they provide food for the upcoming winter, but also because they provide the seed necessary to plant the crop the following spring. This combination guarantees the continuance of the people. Traditionally, the first sheaf of grain would be ceremonially cut at dawn, winnowed, ground and then baked into the Harvest Bread which all would share in as a sign of thanks. The first barley stalks would be made into beer or ale. The last sheaf would be kept in the home, often above the family hearth until the next harvest, when it would be returned to the earth.
There are many variations and wonderful tales about the origins of this great festival of which you can read further about – below are a couple of great sites that will allow you to educate yourself at your own pace.
Please Visit our Ritual Page to find several different versions to use.