Spiritual life: Please be generous this harvest
PUBLISHED: 08:00 22 September 2018
A harvest festival is an annual celebration that occurs around the time of the main harvest of a given region.
Given the differences in climate and crops around the world, harvest festivals can be found at various times at different places.
In North America, Canada and the US each have their own Thanksgiving celebrations in October and November.
In Britain, thanks have been given for successful harvests since pagan times. Harvest festival is traditionally held on the Sunday near or of the Harvest Moon.
This is the full moon that occurs closest to the autumn equinox (September 22 or 23). The celebrations on this day usually include singing hymns, praying, and often decorating churches with baskets of fruit and food in the festival known as Harvest Festival, Harvest Home, Harvest Thanksgiving or Harvest Festival of Thanksgiving.
Traditionally in British and English-Caribbean churches, chapels and schools, and some Canadian churches, people would bring in produce from the garden, the allotment or farm.
The food would then be distributed among the poor and senior citizens of the local community, or used to raise funds for the church, or charity.
Today people still bring produce usually which they have purchased from the shops to be given to organisation like the Redbridge Foodbank rather than to individuals.
As we search for A Way of Living and a Way of giving that brings glory to god then I would encourage all of us to be generous this harvest.