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Ordinary Christians, extraordinary times

Harvest Festival Order of Service

This Harvest Festival Service retains the traditional idea of thanksgiving for a successful harvest safely gathered in, while addressing contemporary issues of how we are producing our food. You are welcome to copy and use the whole Order of Service or select part of it  for inclusion in your own services and church magazines. Please give Green Christian an acknowledgement with our website address.


Creator God, breathing your own life into our being, you give us the gift of life. You placed us on this Earth with its flowers and fruits, minerals and waters, living creatures of grace and beauty. 

At Harvest time the Earth reaches the peak of its fruitfulness. It depends on us to praise you by harvesting its goods in ways which ensure there will be harvests in the future.

You gave us the care of the Earth. Today you ask us: ‘Where are you? What have you done?’



READING (Psalm 65 vv.11-13)

You crown the year with your goodness,
and your paths overflow with plenty.
May the pastures of the wilderness flow with goodness,
and the hills be girded with joy.
May the meadows be clothed with flocks of sheep;
and the valleys stand so thick with corn,
That they shall laugh and sing.


When we are unkind to people,
and forget they are God’s children;
When we are careless with the beasts
and forget they are God’s creation;
When we ill treat the land
and forget it is the splendour of God.
Forgive us, O God of love, and reconcile us to yourself,
to one another and to the Creation.
Teach us, that the earth and all its fullness is yours,
the world and those who dwell in it.
Remind us that your Son, too,
enjoyed the fruits of harvest in Galilee
And joins us now as we celebrate your good gifts together.
Call us yet again to safeguard the gift of life,
now and forever.


Joel 2:21-28 or Isaiah 35:1-10.



Luke 12:13-21 or Matthew 13:1-9.


The sermon / talk could mention the LOAF principles. 


During the hymn a presentation of harvest gifts, or symbols of the Earth’s harvest, can take place.


After the responses there may be a period of intercession

For rain and sun and insects to pollinate crops; for farmers who work with nature and preserve the beauty and diversity of God’s creation; and for wild creatures which enjoy the harvest of berries, nuts, grains and seeds.
ALL: We give thanks, O God.

For the soil, rich and precious, home to countless living creatures which maintain fertility and give us food and life.
ALL: We give thanks, O God.

For growing awareness that we all depend on the earth for our daily food and fuel; and for the increasing numbers of people who want to eat local food and have closer links with food producers.
ALL: We give thanks, O God.

For wisdom to live in ways that will slow down climate change and keep the rains falling in their due season.
ALL: O Lord hear our prayer.

For caution in manipulating the building blocks of life in transferring genes between species.
ALL: O Lord hear our prayer.

For grace to recognise we are part of God’s creation with responsibilities to care for God’s earth and our fellow creatures, including farm animals both during their lives and in their deaths at abattoirs.
ALL: O Lord hear our prayer.

Bring peace to the killing fields of war, turn scorched earth to green, so that people can sow their seeds and harvest their crops and live in harmony with their neighbours.
ALL: Lord send forth your Spirit.

Bring justice to those crushed by debt, forced to grow cash crops for us to consume, tempted to waste fertile land growing drugs and tobacco and denied access to land for growing their own food.
ALL: Lord, send forth your Spirit.

Send us out into the world, in service to God’s creatures, as disciples of Jesus who blessed bread and wine at the Last Supper – bread which earth has given and human hands have made and wine, fruit of the vine and work of human hands.
ALL: Lord, send forth your Spirit.



Finally, we offer grateful thanks to our God for the fruits of the earth, the down-coming of the rains, the ripening warmth of the sun, and the seeds and fruits of every year.

May we always walk gently upon this earth, in right relationship,
nurtured by your Love
taking only what we need
giving back to the earth in gratitude
sharing what we have
honouring all with reverence
reconciling and healing
mindful of those who will come after
recognising our proper place as part of your creation.

Grant us the strength and courage, we pray,
for such radical transformation into your Kingdom.
Then we, too, with the very stones will shout, Hosanna!



May the Father,
who fed his children with bread and honey in the wilderness,
strengthen you in your pilgrimage to the Promised Land. Amen.

May the Son,
who gave his flesh for food and his blood for drink,
keep you in eternal life and raise you up on the last day. Amen.

May the Holy Spirit,
who leads us into all truth,
help you discern the Lord’s body
and empower you to proclaim his death until he comes. Amen.

And the blessing of God almighty, 
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, 
be among you and remain with you always.


The “Thanksgiving” is from Prayer for Global Restoration by Michelle Balek of Pax Christi USA. The ‘Blessing’ is by Michael Perham in Patterns of Worship , Church House Publishing. (10T29). The words of Psalm 65 in the Order of Service are from the Church of England’s Psalter 1998.