July | August 2015 Ritual: Blessing a Summer Harvest
By Diann L. Neu
The first harvest of the year is celebrated in August (and in February in the Southern Hemisphere) when fruits and vegetables are plentiful. This is a time to honor what we have, especially abundance, just as generations before us did and, if we honor Earth, those after us will.
Notice the festivals of prosperity that mark this season. Farmer’s markets are full of the abundance of this first harvest of the year. County fairs showcase beautiful, tasty vegetables and delicious apple pies. This season marks the wealth of Earth. Let us connect ourselves to this wheel of life.
Place symbols of the summer harvest—wheat, corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, peaches, basil, mint, other herbs, bread and lemonade—in front of you or in the center of a circle.
Reading: “The Garden is Rich with Diversity,” by Chinook Psalter, from Earth Prayers, edited by Elizabeth Roberts and Elias Amidon © 1991.
The garden is rich with diversity
With plants of a hundred families
In the space between the trees
With all the colors and fragrances.
Basil, mint and lavender,
God keep my remembrance pure.
Raspberry, Apple, Rose,
God fill my heart with love.
Dill, anise, tansy,
Holy winds blow in me.
May my prayer be beautiful.
May my remembrance O God
Be as incense to thee
In the sacred grove of eternity
As I smell and remember
The ancient forests of Earth.
Take a piece of basil or mint; rub it with your fingers and smell its wonderful scent.
Blessing the Summer Harvest
Blessed are you, Providence of the Cosmos, for these gifts of abundant summer gardens. Bless us with creative energy for justice — the energy and newness of spring that deepens and matures in late summer. And bring us peace!
Blessed are you, Life-giving Bread, for the wheat that we reap to make new bread. Bless the fruits of our labors. And bring us peace!
Blessed are you, Joyful Holy Wisdom, for quenching our thirst to refresh us. Bless us with a firm and daring spirit. And bring us peace!
.Buy fruits and vegetables from your neighborhood farmer’s market.
.Invite friends to share a picnic in a park.
.Plant an herb garden.
.Try to go meatless or eat less meat one day a week if you are able.
.Volunteer at a neighborhood shelter to share with people who are experiencing lack of stable food, housing, or finances.