Lammas/Lughnasad/New Moon



First Harvest Housewarming

INVOCATION

One:    We come from the South and the West and the North and the East
All:    To celebrate the First Fruits of the Summer
One:    We bring Sun and Rain and Soil and Wind
All:    To celebrate the First Fruits of the Summer
One:    We bring bounty from garden, vine, farm, and spirit
All:    To celebrate the First Fruits of the Summer

Chant:    Gathered here in the mystery of this hour
    Gathered here in one strong body,
    Gathered here in the struggle and the Power
    Spirit draw near

READINGS

Psalm 85:8-13
Proverbs 9:1-6
Luke 15:8-9

MEDITATION

    Now is the time of the New Moon – if it weren’t for the trees, we would be able to see the crescent this evening, hanging low in the West as the Sun sets.  The New Moon is always a time of birth and new growth and hope for the future.  And it is also the time of the first harvest: our tomatoes are ripe, the zucchini is fat, the corn is sweet and moist, the peaches are just ready for pies, the green beans ready for canning. 
    In the pre-Christian Celtic world, this was the time for celebrating – if the harvest had been successful – and hope for the second harvest later in the season.  When the Christians converted the Islands and Northern Europe, this festival became known as Lammas, or Loaf Mass – and bread made f rom the first grain harvest was used in Communion in the churches.
    The readings I chose for today celebrate the wisdom of hearth and home, of hospitality and leadership.  I invite all of us to consider what it is that each one of us has harvested at this time in our own lives.  Everyone here today has something in their lives that is a first harvest for this year, whether spiritual or physical.  Some joy, some accomplishment, some movement, something that is different now than it was a few months ago when we first had the thought or the idea.
    I certainly can say that for me, the first fruits of this most extraordinary spring and summer are the move to this house and community.  Would anyone like to share a first fruit in your life?  A new grandchild?  A change for the better?  A realization?
    [wait 20 seconds]
    In a moment, we will all have an opportunity to convey our blessing, our good-will, our celebration and thanksgiving for the first fruits of our lives on this house.  I have a box of Tibetan Cedar joss sticks, and I invite each person to light one and carry it outside and march around the house.  If you are more comfortable staying inside, you can walk around the various rooms while some of us are walking around outside.  While we are walking and blessing, we can chant.

PROCESSION AND BLESSING CHANT
    [All process around the outside of the house carrying lit cedar joss sticks.  Some may choose to stay inside the house, and may walk from room-to-room carrying their incense]
    Come Earth and Air, Come Fire, Come Water (3x)
    Come Bring us the Blessing we Need

BLESSING OF THE KINDLING (Carmina Gadelica p. 93)
    [All bring the remains of their joss sticks and place them on the old logs from previous fires in the fireplace.  The first fire will actually be lit at Samhain]

One: I will kindle my fire in the morning
        In presence of the holy angels of heaven,
        In presence of Ariel of the loveliest form,
        In presence of Uriel of the myriad charms,
        Without malice, without jealousy, without envy,
        Without fear, without terror of anyone under the sun,
        But the Holy Son of God to shield me.

All:   Without malice, without jealousy, without envy,
        Without fear, without terror of anyone under the sun
        But the Holy Son of God to shield me.

One: God, kindle Thou in my heart within
        A flame of love to my neighbour,
        To my foe, to my friend, to my kindred all,
        To the brave, to the knave, to the thrall,
        O Son of the loveliest Mary,
        From the lowliest thing that liveth
        To the Name that is highest of all.

All:   O Son of the loveliest Mary,
        From the lowliest thing that liveth
        To the Name that is highest of all.

BLESSING OF THE HOUSE (Carmina Gadelica p. 63)

All:        God bless the house,
Men:        From site to stay,
Women:    From beam to wall,
Children:    From end to end
Men:        From ridge to basement,
Women:    From balk to roof-tree,
Children:    From found to summit,
All:        Found and Summit!

COMMUNION/FEAST

One:    The Eucharist is about the universe loving us unconditionally still one more time and giving itself to us in the most intimate way (as food and drink).  Interconnectivity is the heart of the Eucharistic experience: God and humanity coming together, God and flesh, the flesh of wheat, wine, sunshine, soil, water, human ingenuity, stars, supernovas, galaxies, storms, fireballs -- every Eucharist has a 15-billion-year sacred story that renders it holy.

All:    The Eucharist is heart food from the cosmos – the “mystical body of Christ”  and the Cosmic Christ or Buddha nature found in all beings in the universe – to us.  Christ is the light of the world, which we now know is made only of light.  Flesh is light and light is flesh.  We eat, drink, sleep, breathe, and love that light.  The Eucharist is also our hearts expanding and responding generously: “Yes, we will.”  We will carry on the heart-work called compassion, the work of the cosmos itself.
Matthew Fox, Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh
    [Share bread and wine around the circle]

DISMISSAL:

L:     For you shall go out in joy, and be led forth in peace
W:     The mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands
M:     Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress; instead of the briar shall come up the myrtle.
All:    And it shall be to the Lord for a memorial, for an everlasting sign which shall not be cut off.  (Isaiah 55:12-13)

FEAST
(Summer Harvest foods:  tomatoes, beans, zucchini bread, squashes, corn dishes, peach desserts)

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