Podcast Worship

Harvest 2021

A service of thanksgiving with hymns, readings, poems and prayers


We meet in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

The Spirit of God hovered over the water
and brought life to all creation.

Come, Holy Spirit
and renew the face of the earth.


Come, ye thankful people, come,
raise the song of harvest-home:
all be safely gathered in,
ere the winter storms begin;
God, our Maker, doth provide
for our wants to be supplied;
come to God’s own temple, come;
raise the song of harvest-home!

All the world is God’s own field,
fruit unto his praise to yield;
wheat and tares together sown,
unto joy or sorrow grown;
first the blade and then the ear,
then the full corn shall appear:
grant, O harvest Lord, that we
wholesome grain and pure may be.

Then, thou Church Triumphant, come,
raise the song of harvest-home;
all be safely gathered in,
free from sorrow, free from sin,
there for ever purified
in God’s garner to abide:
come, ten thousand angels, come,
raise the glorious harvest-home!

Henry Alford (1810–1871)

Prayers of Penitence

As we come together to worship God, and to give thanks for his generous love, let us begin by asking God’s forgiveness for those times when we have distanced ourselves from him through our selfishness, greed and lack of Christian love.

The Spirit of the Lord fills the world and knows our every word and deed. Let us then open ourselves to the Lord and confess our sins in penitence and faith.

You delight in creation, its colour and diversity; yet we have misused the earth and plundered its resources for our own selfish ends.
Lord, have mercy.

You have brought order out of chaos, light in darkness, good out of evil, but we have preferred darkness in words and deeds which dishonour God’s holy name.
Christ, have mercy.

You have showered us with blessings, but we have been grudging towards others and lacking in generosity in word and deed.
Lord, have mercy.

The Almighty and Merciful Lord
grant us pardon and forgiveness for all our sins,
time for amendment of life,
and the grace and strength of the Holy Spirit.

Psalm 126

When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
then were we like those who dream.

Then was our mouth filled with laughter,
and our tongue with shouts of joy.

Then they said among the nations,
‘The Lord has done great things for them.’

The Lord has done great things for us,
and we are glad indeed.

Restore our fortunes, O Lord,
like the watercourses of the Negev.

Those who sowed with tears
will reap with songs of joy.

Those who go out weeping, carrying the seed,
will come again with joy, shouldering their sheaves.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning, is now

and shall be for ever. Amen.

Plough Sunday

Although the observance of Plough Sunday on the First Sunday of Epiphany only goes back to Victorian times, Plough Sunday is associated with a much older observance. In medieval times, the blessing of ploughs and seed happened at the end of the twelve days of Christmas, that is the first working day of the new year. Plough Sunday starts the Churches observance of the Agricultural Year as it blesses those who toil on the land and the tools they use.

Give us this day our daily bread

O God , thou giver of all good!
Thy children live by daily food;
And daily must the prayer be said,
“Give us this day our daily bread!”

The life of earth and seed is thine;
Suns glow, rains fall, by power divine;
Thou art in all; not even the powers
By which we toil for bread are ours.

What large provision thou hast made!
As large as is thy children’s need:
How wide thy bounteous love is spread!
Wide as the want of daily bread.

Since every day by thee we live,
May grateful hearts thy gifts receive;
And may the hands be pure from stain
With which our daily bread we gain.

Samuel Longfellow


God, whose farm is all creation,
take the gratitude we give;
take the finest of our harvest,
crops we grow that we may live.

Take our ploughing, seeding, reaping,
hopes and fears of sun and rain,
all our thinking, planning, waiting,
ripened in this fruit and grain.

All our labour, all our watching,
all our calendar of care
in these crops of your creation,
take, O God: they are our prayer.

Leslie Thomas John Arlott (1914–1991)

Old Testament Reading
Joel 1.21-27

Do not fear, O soil; be glad and rejoice, for the LORD has done great things! 

Do not fear, you animals of the field, for the pastures of the wilderness are green; the tree bears its fruit, the fig tree and vine give their full yield. O children of Zion, be glad and rejoice in the LORD your God; for he has given the early rain for your vindication, he has poured down for you abundant rain, the early and the later rain, as before. The threshing-floors shall be full of grain, the vats shall overflow with wine and oil. I will repay you for the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent against you. You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, who has dealt wondrously with you. And my people shall never again be put to shame. You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I, the LORD, am your God and there is no other. And my people shall never again be put to shame.

This is the word of the Lord.
Thanks to be God.


Rogationtide falls on the three days which proceed Ascension Day, even though it has become the custom for churches to transfer its observance to the preceding Sunday. Originally, the Christian observance of Rogation (from the Latin rogare, ‘to ask’) was taken from the Graeco-Roman practice of invoking divine favour to protect crops against mildew. From these pagan origins there grew a tradition of processing around parish boundaries and blessing the land. The Rogation procession was suppressed at the Reformation, but it was restored in 1559. The poet George Herbert interpreted the Rogation procession as a means of asking for God’s blessing on the land, or preserving boundaries, of encouraging fellowship between neighbours, of reconciling differences between neighbours, and of encouraging charitable giving to the poor.

For the Rogation Days

Lord in Thy Name Thy servants plead,
And Thou hast sworn to hear;
Thine is the harvest, Thine the seed,
The fresh and fading year:

Our hope, when Autumn winds blew wild,
We trusted, Lord, with Thee;
And still, now Spring has on us smiled,
We wait on Thy decree.

The former and the latter rain,
The summer sun and air,
The green ear, and the golden grain,
All Thine, are ours by prayer.

Thine too by right, and ours by grace,
The wondrous growth unseen,
The hopes that soothe, the fears that brace,
The love that shines serene.

So grant the precious things brought forth
By sun and moon below,
That Thee in Thy new heaven and earth
We never may forego.

John Keble

From The Benedicite
a Song of Creation

Bless the Lord all you works of the Lord:
sing his praise and exalt him for ever.

Bless the Lord you heavens:
sing his praise and exalt him for ever.

Bless the Lord you angels of the Lord:
sing his praise and exalt him for ever.

Bless the Lord all people on earth:
sing his praise and exalt him for ever.

O people of God bless the Lord:
sing his praise and exalt him for ever.

Bless the Lord you priests of the Lord:
sing his praise and exalt him for ever.

Bless the Lord you servants of the Lord:
sing his praise and exalt him for ever.

Bless the Lord all you of upright spirit:
sing his praise and exalt him for ever.

Bless the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit:
sing his praise and exalt him for ever.

New Testament Reading
Matthew 6.25-33

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is  thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you – you of little faith?  Therefore do not worry, saying, “What will we eat?” or “What will we drink?” or “What will we wear?” For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.’

This is the word of the Lord.
Thanks to be God.



Fill your hearts with joy and gladness,
sing and praise your God and mine!
Great the Lord in love and wisdom,
might and majesty divine!
He who framed the starry heavens
knows and names them as they shine.

Praise the Lord, his people, praise him!
Wounded souls his comfort know;
those who fear him find his mercies,
peace for pain and joy for woe;
humble hearts are high exalted,
human pride and power laid low.

Praise the Lord for times and seasons,
cloud and sunshine, wind and rain;
spring to melt the snows of winter
till the waters flow again;
grass upon the mountain pastures,
golden valleys thick with grain.

Fill your hearts with joy and gladness,
peace and plenty crown your days;
love his laws, declare his judgements,
walk in all his words and ways;
he the Lord and we his children:
praise the Lord, all people, praise!

Timothy Dudley-Smith (b. 1926)
based on Psalm 147


Let us offer our prayers to God for the life of the world and for all God’s people in their daily life and work.

God, the beginning and end of all things, in your providence and care you watch unceasingly over all creation; we offer our prayers that in us and in all your people your will may be done, according to your wise and loving purpose in Christ our Lord.
Lord of all life:  
hear our prayer.

We pray for all through whom we receive sustenance and life; for farmers and agricultural workers, for packers, distributors and company boards; as you have so ordered our life that we depend on each other, enable us by your grace to seek the well-being of others before our own.
Lord of all creation:  
hear our prayer.

We pray for all engaged in research to safeguard crops against disease, and to produce abundant life among those who hunger and whose lives are at risk. Prosper the work of their hands and the searching of their minds, that their labour may be for the welfare of all.
Lord of all wisdom:  
hear our prayer.

We pray for governments and aid agencies, and those areas of the world where there is disaster, drought and starvation. By the grace of your Spirit, touch our hearts and the hearts of all who live in comfortable plenty, and make us wise stewards of your gifts.
Lord of all justice:  
hear our prayer.

We pray for those who are ill, remembering those in hospital and nursing homes and all who are known to us. We pray for all who care for them. Give skill and understanding to all who work for their well-being.
Lord of all compassion:  
hear our prayer.

We remember those who have died, whom we entrust to your eternal love in the hope of resurrection to new life.
Lord of all peace:  
hear our prayer.

We offer ourselves to your service, asking that by the Spirit at work in us others may receive a rich harvest of love and joy and peace.

Lord of all faithfulness:  
hear our prayer.

God of grace,
as you are ever at work in your creation,
so fulfil your wise and loving purpose in us
and in all for whom we pray,
that with them and in all that you have made,
your glory may be revealed
and the whole earth give praise to you,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us:

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.

The Farmer

The king may rule o’er land and sea,
The lord may live right royally,
The soldier ride in pomp and pride,
The sailor roam o’er ocean wide;
But this or that, whate’er befall,
The farmer he must feed them all.

The writer thinks, the poet sings,
The craftsmen fashion wondrous things,
The doctor heals, the lawyer pleads,
The miner follows the precious leads;
But this or that, whate’er befall,
The farmer he must feed them all.

The merchant he may buy and sell,
The teacher do his duty well;
But men may toil through busy days,
Or men may stroll through pleasant ways;
From king to beggar, whate’er befall,
The farmer he must feed them all.

The farmer’s trade is one of worth;
He’s partner with the sky and earth,
He’s partner with the sun and rain,
And no man loses for his gain;
And men may rise, or men may fall,
But the farmer he must feed them all.

God bless the man who sows the wheat,
Who finds us milk and fruit and meat;
May his purse be heavy, his heart be light,
His cattle and corn and all go right;
God bless the seeds his hands let fall,
For the farmer he must feed us all.

Amelia Barr


May God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who is the source of all goodness and growth,
pour his blessing upon all things created,
and upon you his children,
that you may use his gifts to his glory
and the welfare of all peoples;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always,
now and for ever.


We plough the fields, and scatter
the good seed on the land,
but it is fed and watered
by God’s almighty hand:
he sends the snow in winter,
the warmth to swell the grain,
the breezes, and the sunshine,
and soft, refreshing rain.
All good gifts around us
are sent from heaven above;
then thank the Lord, O thank the Lord,
for all his love.

He only is the maker
of all things near and far;
he paints the wayside flower,
he lights the evening star;
the winds and waves obey him,
by him the birds are fed;
much more to us, his children,
he gives our daily bread.
All good gifts around us
are sent from heaven above;
then thank the Lord, O thank the Lord,
for all his love.

We thank thee then, O Father,
for all things bright and good,
the seed-time and the harvest,
our life, our health, our food.
Accept the gifts we offer
for all thy love imparts,
and, what thou most desirest,
our humble, thankful hearts.
All good gifts around us
are sent from heaven above;
then thank the Lord, O thank the Lord,
for all his love.

Wir pflügen und wir streuen
Matthias Claudius (1740–1815)
translated by Jane Montgomery Campbell (1817–1878)