Harvest Thanksgiving, Year C

Here are the resources you need for Harvest Thanksgiving. Please feel free to choose what is suitable for your congregation’s needs. You will notice that the orders of service are available in different formats: choose the “pdf” format if you want something that is ready to print and photocopy, the “doc” or “rtf” format if you wish to change the formatting yourself or the “ppt” format if you use PowerPoint.

Note: The Harvest Thanksgiving festival may be celebrated on any day of the church year, as is appropriate in the local context. It is customary in many places to commemorate the festival on one of the Sundays after Epiphany, normally before the beginning of Lent. In year C, however,  the first reading for Harvest Thanksgiving is the same as the first reading for the First Sunday in Lent, so in year C you may consider making an exception and celebrating Harvest Thanksgiving on the First Sunday in Lent.

  • Altar colour: Green or the colour of the season
  • Bible readings:
    FIRST READING Deuteronomy 26:1-11 Firstfruits presented to the Lord
    PSALM Psalm 100 *For musical settings of this Psalm, please see the song suggestions below*
    SECOND READING Philippians 4:4-9 Rejoice in the Lord always
    GOSPEL John 6:25-35 The food that lasts
  • Sermons:
    Lay-readers please note: the linked sermons have not been edited for general use. As part of your preparations, keep in mind that they have been written for specific people in a specific context, and for this reason the issues they address or the examples they use may not be entirely suitable for people in your congregation. If you feel this is the case, you may need to make minor adjustments or find another sermon.

    Based on first reading: Dr Dean Zweck (particularly suitable for city congregations); Pr Roger Atze
    Based on second reading: edited for lay reading sermon – philippians 4 4-7 – year c – advent 3 (remove reference to Christmas shopping to make it suitable for Harvest Thanksgiving) OR edited for lay reading sermon – philippians 4 4-6 – year a – proper 23
    Based on gospel reading: edited for lay reading sermon – john 6 27-29 35 – year b – pentecost 10
  • Orders of service:
    NEW! Harvest Thanksgiving Word and Prayer (pdf / doc)
    Service of the Word (pdf / rtf/ ppt)
    Morning Praise (pdf/ rtf/ ppt)
    Service without communion (pdf / doc /ppt )
    Service orders with holy communion
    Service with communion (page 6) (pdf / doc / ppt)
    Alternative form A (page 58) (pdf / doc/ ppt)
    Sing the Feast (Chataway) (pdf / doc/ ppt)
    Simplified Spoken (pdf / doc/ ppt)
    Service with Five Songs of Faith (pdf / rtf/ ppt)
  • Opening sentences:
    God gives the grass for the cattle,
    and plants for people to use;
    he brings forth food from the earth,
    and gives wine to gladden the human heart,
    oil to make the face shine,
    and bread to strengthen us. (Ps 104:14,15 NRSV)

    OR
    The eyes of all look to you, Lord,
    and you give them their food at the proper time. (Psalm 145:15 NRSV)

  • Prayer of the Day (Collect): Choose one of the following
    Traditional
    Lord God, heavenly Father,
    as you have graciously permitted us once more
    to gather in the fruits of the earth:
    Let your blessing continue to rest upon us,
    so that we may at all times
    gratefully receive whatever we need;
    through your Son,
    Jesus Christ our Lord,
    who lives and reigns
    with you and the Holy Spirit,
    one God, now and forever.
    Amen.

    OR, modernised traditional
    Lord God, heavenly Father,
    we thank you that you have again
    shown your kindness
    by giving us the fruits of the earth
    in their seasons.
    Help us to use them rightly,
    to your glory,
    for our own wellbeing,
    and for the relief of those in need.
    We ask this through your Son,
    Jesus Christ our Lord,
    who lives and reigns
    with you and the Holy Spirit,
    one God, now and forever.
    Amen.

    For use in times of a failed harvest

    Heavenly Father,
    when you brought drought upon the land in the time of Elijah the prophet,
    you provided for the widow and her son, so that the little they had was sufficient for them.
    Comfort us and provide for us in this time of drought (/failed harvest).
    Give us patience, so that we may not despair of your help. Preserve the little which we have,
    and by your blessing let our present need work for our good.
    We ask this through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns
    with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
    Amen.

  • Prayer after the gospel:
    This is the gospel of the Lord.
    Praise to you, O Christ.
    Thank you, Lord Jesus,
    for coming from the Father to give life to the world.
    Help us to trust in you.
    Amen.
  • Offering Prayer:
    Heavenly Father, thank you for all the good things
    you continue to provide for us.
    Don’t let us take your gifts for granted
    or abuse them.
    Instead, help us always to rely on you in faith.
    Use us and what you have given us
    for your good purposes.
    Amen.

  • Prayer of the Church/ General Prayer: Prayer of the Church – Harvest Thanksgiving
    LH 566, ‘Christ by heavenly hosts adored’, may suitably be used for the general prayer at a Thanksgiving day.

  • Visual images for the day: His Word in Pictures
  • Resources for services with Holy Communion

    PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION

    Heavenly Father,
    you raised your Son
    to be the firstfruits
    of the resurrection from the dead.
    As we have received
    the body and blood of our risen Lord,
    gather us into your kingdom
    at the final harvest.
    We ask this
    through Jesus Christ our Lord,
    who lives and reigns
    with you and the Holy Spirit,
    one God, now and forever.
    Amen.

    DISMISSAL
    Go in peace, with thankful hearts to serve the Lord.
    Thanks be to God. OR In the name of Christ. Amen.

Song/Hymn suggestions: * =  Modernised version available (please click here to go to the Modernised hymns page) ;G3, G4 . . . =  Guitar chords available in the Music Package 3, 4 . . .; GS =  Guitar chords in the Supplement to LH
First reading: Deuteronomy 26:1-11
LHS

362    What shall I give to God, my Saviour* G4
367    O bring to the Lord your tribute of praise* G6
463    O worship the King, all glorious above (alt tune 454)
560    O Lord, I sing with mouth and heart G6
563    We plough the fields and scatter G4
AT
265    Take us now, we are yours
358    We bring the gifts that you have brought us
TIS
130    We plough the fields, and scatter
133    O worship the King, all glorious above
154    Great is your faithfulness

Second reading: Philippians 4:4-9
LHS

386    In Thee is gladness* G7
402    Rejoice, my heart, be glad and sing* G6
411    If God be my defender* G3
437    Now thank we all our God* G6
439    I will sing my Maker’s praises G5
440    Sing praise to God who reigns above G3
443    Through all the changing scenes of life G7
859    Seek, O seek the Lord
870    Lord of all hopefulness G6
873    Safe in the shadow of the Lord
AT
8    Praise and thanksgiving
164    O give thanks to the Lord
361    Here we are
364    In you is gladness
369    Shout to the Lord
405    Lord of all hopefulness
TIS
106    Now thank we all our God
110    Sing praise to God who reigns above
112    Through all the changing scenes of life
128    Sometimes a light surprises
198    I greet you, my Redeemer sure
200    In you is gladness
201    King of glory, King of peace
464    Seek, O seek the Lord
609    May the mind of Christ my Saviour
610    God, you touch the earth with beauty
613    Lord of all hopefulness
644    Safe in the shadow of the Lord
743    Praise and thanksgiving

Gospel: John 6:25-35
LHS

161    How sweet the name of Jesus sounds G5
259    Speak, O Lord, Thy servant heareth* G7
265    How blest are they who hear God’s Word* G3
281-295 Most hymns in this holy communion section
301    Take Thou my hand and lead me* G3
347    Guide me, O Thou great Jehovah G5
639    We thank Thee, Lord, for this our food G6
835    Bread of heaven, on you we feed G5
837    Feed us now, Bread of life GS
838    I am the Bread of life GS
839    I come invited by your word G7
849    With holy joy my heart shall beat (alt tune 839, G7)
AT
79    Feed us now
167    I am the Bread of life
267    Bread of heaven
270    Eat this bread
473    Bread for the world
474    Bread of angels
TIS
223    How sweet the name of Jesus sounds
429    Break now the bread of life
430    Your words to me are life and health
500    Here we adore you, hidden Saviour, Lord
503    Robe yourself, my soul, in gladness
508    Jesus, we thus obey
513    Bread of heaven, on you we feed
522    Christ is the heavenly food
535    I am the Bread of life
538    Feed us now, Bread of life
539    You satisfy the hungry heart (esp vv 2,4,5)
569    Guide me, O thou great Redeemer
593    Lord, take my hand and lead me
714    Eat this bread

MORE HYMNS ON HARVEST THANKSGIVING AND CREATION
See the following:
LHS

560–568
808–812
814    For the fruits of his creation G6
887    We praise you, O God, our redeemer, creator
AT

123    Morning has broken (Especially appropriate as an opening hymn)
182    Christ is changing everything
243    Wander in the sun
365    Lord of all
456    Everything we got

OTHER THANKSGIVING HYMNS AND SONGS
The following hymns and songs have a general thanksgiving theme.
LHS
564    Come, ye thankful people, come
820    We thank, Lord, for eyes to see
887    We praise you, O God, our redeemer, creator
890    Praise God the Saviour
AT
8    Praise and thanksgiving
151    Thank you, Father
164    O give thanks to the Lord
TIS
See under the heading ‘Thanksgiving’ in the index of subjects (page 1082, harmony edition).

NEW HYMN: PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING
The following hymn is by Ed Koch, and sung to the tune Bunessan, LHS 811, ATA 123 or TIS 156 (Morning has broken).

Praise and thanksgiving,
Lord of creation,
for life and living
in this brown land;
Austral’s wide island
rimmed by blue ocean,
clothed with gummed mountains
and malleed plains.

With forebears believing,
Lord God, you blessed us,
bearing oppression
for their belief;
forsaking homeland
uprooted fam’ly,
braved the wild oceans
rather than yield.

Here among sandhills,    OR:    Here in gummed mountains,
dry rolling bushland,                  wide-wattled valleys,
drought-wrested showers,         axes rang loudly
this was their home;                   claiming the land;
pioneers sweated,                        sweat, toil and hardship,
rolling and clearing,                   eyes lift to heaven,
sowing and reaping                    trusting the Father,
just to survive.                             made this their home.

Children of scrublands [ /bushlands]
honour your forebears’
vision and courage
to serve their Lord.
Shepherd of faithful,
through them you blessed us,
gave us the freedom
to praise your name.

Praise the Creator,
our faithful Father;
praise the Redeemer,
obedient Son;
praise to the Spirit,
new life inspiring;
shout with the angels:
Alleluia!

NEW HYMN: O GRACIOUS LORD GOD

The following hymn is by American Lutheran pastor, Keith M Mueller. Permission has been given for its use in the following revised form. The tune is either Foundation (LHS harmony edition A4, TIS 578), or St Denio (LHS 392, TIS 143).

O gracious Lord God, in thanksgiving we pray
for all your creation, for night and for day,
for seedtime and harvest, for work and for food,
for friends and for family, and everything good.

But how can we praise your great goodness enough?
Our lives overflow with the proofs of your love:
your providence feeds us, your strength is our shield;
our prayers you have answered, our sicknesses healed.

For far greater blessings, we give thanks and sing,
for Jesus, our Lord, who has borne all our sin,
for mercy and grace in the baptismal flood,
and for sins forgiv’n in his body and blood.

For faith, hope and love, and your word shining bright
in church and in home filling darkness with light,
for freedom to praise you in this favoured land,
and promise of glory where one day we’ll stand.

PSALM 100
AT 517, Make a joyful noise is based on this Psalm.
See also this metrical setting by Dale Schoening.

Music Resources, Volume 3– Psalm Settings: Psalm 100 p168 , Psalm 100 p169

  • OTHER HELPFUL WEBSITES FOR CHURCH MUSIC
    While the LCA does not necessarily endorse the content of these websites, you may find them helpful in your worship planning.
    Small Church Music: You can download mp3 and midi files of popular hymn tunes from this site.
    Together to Celebrate: lectionary based song and hymn suggestions from a variety of sources.
    Singing from the Lectionary: has song and hymn suggestions based on the RCL from other hymnals.
    Song Select: you can search for more contemporary songs by theme. If your congregation has a paid subscription you can also download sheet music.
    Hymns Without Words: mp3 downloads of hymn tunes.
    Song and Hymn Index. Contains all the indexes of the LHS and AT books in one Excel file. Download the file (zip file) here.
    Metrical Psalms
    by Dale Schoening : Psalms set to well known hymn tunes.
God gives the grass for the cattle,
and plants for people to use;
he brings forth food from the earth,
and gives wine to gladden the human heart,
oil to make the face shine,
and bread to strengthen us.  (Ps 104:14,15 NRSV)

OR
The eyes of all look to you, Lord,
and you give them their food at the proper time.
(Psalm 145:15 NRSV)

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