A Book Journey – Chapter 11: Lammas
A monthly book study by Amy McGehee-Lee
Festivals of the Year:
A Workbook for Re-enlivening the Christian Festive Cycle
by Roger Druitt
The significance of a loaf is beyond what I could have imagined. Lammas is a new festival for me and meeting it through Druitt’s chapter has helped me realize the underlying meaning for some of the symbols I have seen over and over again, but never truly grasped. Bread and/or the loaf are full of meanings I had never fully realized.
Druitt tells us, “What we have gained in insight and moral substance through the St. John festival may now be ‘harvested green’; for it really needs the time until Michaelmas to become fully ripe before being taken into earthly or spiritual action. But as green corn, not yet mature, it may be made into ‘soul bread’ and offered in our heart as on a personal altar.” Druitt describes the offering as our own personal communion that can take place alongside an outer Eucharist.
Druitt returns to one of the recurring themes throughout the book when he talks about the need for us to care for Earth. We are no longer children to continually take from the mother’s resources, but moving into adulthood and able to give back and tend to our mother.
The author tells us that Lammas is a “Christening of the relationship between Heaven and Earth expressed in the human being and his image as harvest loaf.” He then shows us through biblical references how the tradition regarding bread is woven throughout the Old and New Testaments. He brings to light the theme of Christ being the bread of life. He talks about the bread allowing something outside of us, the sacrifice Christ made, being made a part of us through the taking of communion. He says that through this process, the sacrifice is allowed to be “taken into the nature of our metabolism.”
Another concept in this chapter I found deeply interesting is the evolution of sacrifice. Druitt brings the evolution of sacrifice throughout the world’s history, to our attention, pointing out that we have moved from human to animal to plant and at some future time questions as to whether we could move to mineral sacrifice. I had never considered this and find it illuminating.
In regard to creating our festival, Druitt gives us ideas such as walking a cornfield and studying the ears of corn. I especially like the idea of baking some fresh corn, setting another part of that to ripen and become part of our annual food supply by harvesting the seeds for use next year. Druitt brings to light that this is symbolic of the trinity or threefoldness (celebrating past, present and future).
Lammas is becoming a new way for me to look at the harvest, what it can represent and how I can bring sustenance to the Earth through interaction with my community and spiritual contemplation. I will continue to strive to understand how what has grown and harvested, can be sacrificed and transformed into something that can bring new life to both nature and spirit.
Posted on August 5, 2017 in Book Study