Lammas loaf

As we approach Lammas it was appropriate to hear in church last Sunday the hymn For the Fruits of all Creation with the lovely line

silent growth while we are sleeping,

Wednesday 1 August is Lammas Day when the first wheat from the harvest is made into a loaf and presented at a  thanksgiving Mass.

At Southwark Cathedral there will be a Lammas Eucharist at 12.45pm following the blessing of the first grains at Borough Market‘s Bread Ahead bakery at 12.15pm.

Grain and bread will be carried in procession across the road from bakery to cathedral.

The Cathedral says: “The arrival of the bakery Bread Ahead opposite our gates and the constant smell of baking has given us the opportunity to make this a part of our keeping of the Christian year.”

Lammas comes from an Anglo Saxon word meaning loaf mass. The ancient custom at the start of harvest is recorded in the ninth century and therefore long predates the autumn harvest festival at the end of harvest.

All along the Pilgrims’ Way you will find that harvest has started so Lammas is not too early this year.

You might just catch the purple fields at Castle Farm near Lullingstone looking dazzling as the lavender is harvested.

The harvest will come  little later at Denbies below Box Hill, on the PW from Winchester, where “things are looking promising for a lovely harvest”.

The hymn was written by Methodist minister Fred Pratt Green (1900-2000).

For the fruits of all creation,
thanks be to God.
For his gifts to ev’ry nation,
thanks be to God.
For the ploughing, sowing, reaping,
silent growth while we are sleeping,
future needs in earth’s safe keeping,
thanks be to God.


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