‘Come ye thankful people come, raise the songs of harvest home.
All is safely gathered in ere the winter storms begin.’
The 2014 annual Thurles ‘Harvest Thanksgiving Service’ will take place this year in St Mary’s Church (C of I) Thurles on Sunday night next, (October 19th) at 7.00pm sharp.
Harvest services in all Christian churches here in Co. Tipperary usually take place in the evening time during the months of September and October. Church of Ireland churches lend themselves to being atmospherically lit and decorated with seasonal produce; taken from private gardens, orchards and fields of agriculture.
Such decorations usually consist of apples, pears, courgettes, pumpkins, potatoes, carrots, parsnips, turnips, cabbages, sugar beet and arrays of garden flowers together with a sheaf or two of corn, latter tied together in the old fashioned ways of grain harvesting.
Harvest Thanksgiving Services have long held historical rural roots in all Christian religions, with prayers of thanks offered to our Creator, once the hard work of harvesting has been completed and same is always experienced, by those attending, as being of a most joyous and uplifting occasion. Same is possibly brought about because of the choice of those wonderful Victorian hymns sung at these events, such as “We plough the fields and scatter,” “Come ye thankful people, come” and “All things bright and beautiful,” performed at very few other times during the churches calendar year.
In past years, following such services, all fruits and vegetables were donated to old folks homes, orphanages and workhouses etc., but this practice is rarely the case today as many such institutions have their food menus already pre-planned in advance and same is therefore more trouble than it is worth for them to accept such varied small gifts of such produce.
This year’s Thurles Harvest Thanksgiving Service, on Sunday October 19th, will be conducted by acting Thurles Rector Rev. Ian Coulter, while the special guest speaker will be Co. Waterford Curate, Rev. Jim Wallace.
St Mary’s Church Thurles are happy, as always, to welcome back again all Christians of all denominations to this most ecumenical of thanksgiving services, with the customary cup of ‘tea and a biscuit’ shared with all in attendance following the service.
Note: Based on previous attendances to such thanksgiving events in St Mary’s; elderly people are advised to come a little early, thus ensuring that same are not left standing due to limited space within the small church building.