Archive for September 14th, 2011

September 14, 2011

Harvest 2011

Driving along the coastal road heading East from Timoleague, a field caught my eye.  Perhaps it was the interesting light or the geometry of the bales of straw I don’t know, but I thought there was something picture-worthy about the scene.

Amidst the rhythm and routine of parish life, ‘Harvest’ refers not only to the long days of work that farmers put in at this time of year, ever with an eye to the sky and an ear to the weather forecast, but also to the Harvest Season that is an important part of the Church calendar.  Particularly in rural communities where many families livelihoods are linked to the land, ‘Harvest Thanksgiving’ is one of the yearly highlights of parish life.

In the parish where I serve, we have four church buildings and each has an annual Harvest Thanksgiving service.  In Courtmacsherry, a church which is only open for Sunday worship in July and August, we have already held the service on the last Sunday of August.  The small church was packed and as always it was a wonderful atmosphere.  A dairy farmer there reminded me that for anyone who milks cows the harvest is every day, all year round!  This Sunday we celebrate the service in TImoleague (at 11.00am), then on Sunday 25th at 10.00am we celebrate in Kilmalooda.  Finally on Friday 7th October, we celebrate in Clonakilty at 8.30pm.  If you would like more information, have a look at the parish website here.

1. Praise and thanksgiving,
Father, we offer,
for all things living
you have made good;
harvest of sown fields,
fruits of the orchard,
hay from the mown fields,
blossom and wood.

2. Lord, bless the labour
we bring to serve you,
that with our neighbour
we may be fed.
Sowing or tilling,
we would work with you;
harvesting, milling,
for daily bread.

3. Father, providing
food for your children,
your wisdom guiding
teaches us share
one with another,
so that, rejoicing,
sister and brother
may know your care.

4. Then will your blessing
reach every people;
each one confessing
your gracious hand;
when you are reigning
no one will hunger,
your love sustaining,
fruitful the land.

Albert Frederick Bayly (1901-84) altd. – From Church Hymnal, Fifth Ed.