Ceremony for Lugnasad (lammas; first grain)
Universal Life Church
Universal Life Church
As the wheel of seasons continues to turn, we gather to honor the sun god, lugh, and the earth mother danu. The seeds of hope that were planted in spring, have matured into fruits and grain to be harvested and put away for the long cold nights ahead. projects and ideas that were inspired by the dark nights of winter, have matured, and their developments are to be reflected upon, so changes can be made for next year. We give thanks for our bountiful harvest, and mourn the sacrifice made by the god and the earth mother in the reaping of the grain. Let us honor them now with this, our rite.
Casting the circle/ making sacred space:
Ask participants to hold hands as they invite the old ones, and elemental kings to the rite,
“Close your eyes, and breathe in deeply, feel “ the element of air” welcome the mental clarity that comes from air,
Again breathe deeply, and welcome “the element of fire”, feel your spirit deep inside you, light with a fire from within. Welcome the protection, and courage, the passion of your faith. Welcome, fire.
Take a breath and let it fill your toes and continue up to the top of your head in one continuous wave.
Exhale and let your breath flow. Feel the harmony and peace, let your breath, restore your balance. welcome “ the element of water.
With feet firmly planted on the ground, breathe deeply and imagine yourself grounded to the earth, with roots that extend deep into the soil. Feel your stability, stand on firm foundation, you are a rock, and your faith is unwavering, and strong. Welcome “the element of earth”.”
“Let us now invoke our gods of old, pray with me, father , lugh, god of the sun, and danu, our mother earth, welcome us into your willing womb. Let us learn to live in love, of all that you are so that our seeking spirit, will serve you in this our rite of honor and thanksgiving. We are your children. Protect us as we seek wisdom and guidance from you, help us to understand the meaning of your mysteries, as we meet today as others have met before us, to honor you with this our rite.”
(For this ceremony, a shaft of wheat, or an ear of corn is ritually cut at dawn, and placed on the altar before the ceremony. Participants are asked to place their best fruits and vegetables on the altar as well so they can be blessed and consumed at the feast. Sometimes a harvest king and queen is chosen as well to preside over the festivities. A shaft of wheat or a portion of the seeds of the harvest are given out to all participants to be kept safe, and planted the following year, to ensure next years bountiful harvest. Corn dollies are fashioned as decorations and for children to play with. Berry pies and whole grain bread fashioned from new wheat and cornmeal are served)
celebrant speaks to congregation holding up the shaft of wheat or ear of corn;
“behold, the seed planted in the dark womb of our mother, has sprouted, grown, and now matured. It is cut and sacrificed, so as to become food for our bodies, and energy for our spirits. We mourn the death of the harvest king, the sacrifice made for us so we may live. As we partake of the harvest this day, let us remember the sacrifice, and allow this food to nourish our physical bodies as well as our spiritual body.
Let us reflect also on our projects, relationships and ideas that we have nurtured this year, and give thanks for those that have developed and prospered.”
(Each participant is given a grain of wheat or a seed)
“ Know that we hold in this seed the hope and promise of our harvest for next year. It is our faith in the blessings of our gods, that makes it so. Let each one of us receive this seed, to remember our harvest king and earth mother, let us keep it as a symbol of our faith, to be planted next year as confirmation of our faith and renewal of our pledge to the old ways.”
Consecration of food and drink;
( wine or fruit juice, various vegetables and fruits, as well as breads on the altar are blessed, and passed among the participants, so all may partake of the best of the harvest.)
“ let us now give thanks for this food and drink, lovingly prepared by willing hands and grown with the goodness of the earth, and the strength of the sun, let us give thanks for our ancestors who came before us and who have taught us the ways of the old ones. Let us learn from them love, humility, sacrifice and service so that together we can make our home a better place for all. May this food and drink nourish us today, and through memory, tomorrow.”
( food and drink is passed to all participants)
“In peace and love we gathered here today, to give thanks and mourn the sacrifices made by all so we may live to worship here again. We thank the elemental kings of earth and air and fire and water, for stability, mental clarity, protection, and harmony. We thank our god, lugh, and our dear earth mother danu, for their guidance and wisdom to understand the mysteries of life and death. Our circle is closed now, but never broken, and remains a sacred place for us to meet again. We leave now in peace and love, and take with us a small seed to remind us of this day, and our love for our ways and each other. Blessed be.”
Altar decorated with summer fruits and vegetables, and summer flowers, such as sunflowers, white candles (one to represent each,the god and goddess). Table cloths of gold or yellow, to represent the sun. berry pies , whole grain bread, freshly baked, wrapped in white cloths, placed in baskets on altar.
Games of summer; making corn dollies, from ripe ears of corn, or shafts of wheat. Games of tag and races, corn mazes, fire-fly catching, music, dance, making sunflower hats, swimming, bonfires, storytelling
Hanging corn on front door;
1 ear; meant that your crop was small and your family may need food for the winter, those with plenty would leave food on the doorstep to help those in need.
2 ears; meant that you had enough food to last your own family for the winter
3 ears; meant you had plenty to share with those in need,
this was a way to aid the poor, but to do so discretely.
Written by rev. becky king
Also known to our troops as “mamadukes’
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