Last year, as the new minister, I was planned to do a number of harvest celebrations. This year I have only one in my diary. However, this one single service, to be held in St Ive tomorrow morning, is a big deal for me – the Church Council agreed to the unusual step in a Methodist Chapel of having a Communion service for their main harvest celebration. This gave me the opportunity to put together a harvest Eucharistic liturgy. Much of it is borrowed from other resources, but I decided to write the Prayer of Thanksgiving myself. This is it:
The Lord be with you. And also with you. Lift up your hearts. We lift them to the Lord. Let us give thanks to the Lord our God. It is right to give our thanks and praise. It is indeed right, in times of plenty and in times of scarcity, to give you praise, Lord of all creation. For you are the source of all that is, the seed of creation, the ground in which all things grow and have life. It is through your love that we have the earth to tend, through your love that we have been tended as your flock, through your love that we work as sowers and reapers of your Word. Therefore we join with the whole creation, with the choirs of both heaven and earth, as we bless and praise your glorious name, saying: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, Heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessèd is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest. We bless and praise you for you did not leave us to till the soil and tend the orchard alone but came among us in your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ, who, through his succumbing to the scythe of death opened for us the way to bounteous harvest of eternal life. We give you thanks that on the night before he died Christ took the fruits of the earth, the grain and the grape, and gave us a sign of your eternal love for us. We remember that he first took the bread, gave you thanks, and broke it, saying: “Take, eat. This is my body, given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” We remember that he then took the cup, gave you thanks, and passed it to them, saying: “Take, drink. This is my blood of the new covenant, poured out for all creation. Do this in remembrance of me.” You plant generously, you tend lovingly, Lord Jesus, come and gather your crop. Lord of the harvest, pour out your Spirit upon this bread and wine that as we eat and drink this supper we might be sustained by the body and blood of Christ to labour for the Kingdom in this world, and be given a foretaste of the great harvest banquet to be shared with all your people in the world to come. This we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord, by whom and with whom in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all honour and glory are yours, heavenly Father, now and always. Amen.
As ever, I’m grateful for people’s feedback. I also give permission for it to be used in worship with a simple acknowledgement of my authorship (© 2013 Thomas J. Osborne) should people wish to do so, whilst reserving permission for any other use.
Whether yours is a harvest of much or of little, travel well,