Lammas or Lughnasadh
Lammas means “loaf mass,” and Lughnasadh means ‘the feast of Lugh.” This is the first of the harvest festivals – the first harvest, the wheat harvest. The wheat is harvested and bread, the stuff of life, will once again be available during the dark time of the year. The word “Lammas” honors this. The first loaf is the loaf of life. Lugh was the Celtic sun god, the God of all crafts. Lugh’s greatest gift to humankind was the gift of himself. He is the God of the grain who gives his life so that life may continue. As the wheat is cut and dies, so Lugh dies. As the seed of the wheat allows it to rise again, so does Lugh. Lammas is not just the celebration of the harvest, it is also the celebration of life, the continuation of life. Because of the gift of the grain, we may continue to live. Corn dollies were woven of the last of the wheat to be cut. This wheat contained the Spirit of the wheat. These dollies were set in a place of honor and then either buried or burned at Imbolc to allow the Spirit back into the earth to grow and rise again. This is the time when we harvest what we sowed at Imbolc. We planted our seeds. What have we harvested? When we make our corn dollies, we think of what we have harvested and remember the blessings of the earth.
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We are all saddened by the loss to our community. The Universalist Unitarian Church of East Lansing will be honoring Chris Keith on Sunday 9 December:
The Universalist Unitarian Church of East Liberty will be having a special time during this Sunday's service at 11:00 for honoring our former members, Chris Keith and Isaac Miller. The Sunday service will feature a holiday children's program for the bulk of the service, based on a Lemony Snicket story. The children will be dismissed from the service, unless parents wish for their children to stay, and then we will have a brief time which will feature a candle-lighting, a time of silence, and a special collection for the memorial fund that has been set up to help support Chris Keith's three surviving children, age 4, 6, and 8. We will have literature on hand about how to talk to children, about tragedy, and other related literature.
Following the service, a trained psychologist will meet as a group with people who wish to process deeper feelings about these tragic deaths.
Next week's service at UUCEL is titled "In the Bleak Midwinter" and focuses on the sadness of the winter season. The service is still being shaped, but may include a section in honor of Chris Keith and Isaac Miller, as well as honoring the one-year anniversary of the school shooting in Newtown, CT.