Several years ago, I tweaked the words to a popular harvest hymn. I do that occasionally–using the tunes that so many people grew up singing and giving them a Pagan theme. It was used at yesterday’s Mabon ritual and I enjoyed singing it again.
Here are the words–the tune may be familiar to you.
Come, ye thankful people, come,
raise the song of harvest home;
all is safely gathered in,
ere the winter storms begin.
Mother Nature doth provide
for our wants to be supplied;
come to our own temple, come,
raise the song of harvest home.
All the world is Her sweet field,
fruit and grain as winter’s shield;
wheat and corn together sown
tall and tended they were grown;
first the blade and then the ear,
then the full corn did appear;
Blessed Harvest, grant that we
Grateful, joyous people be.
At about the same time, I started putting all the autumn leaves, pumpkins, maize decorations into this harvest home celebration because I wanted to clear the decks for Samhain. Although Samhain is technically a harvest festival in the Wiccan year, I prefer to focus on the aspects of that holy time that are focused on the ancient new year and veneration of the Ancestors and the Dead.
Harvest home is a generous and joyful time of year–brightly-colored, delicious. Our feast yesterday reflected this abundance, this enormous blessing. We wove community around the central altar–filled with Earth goddesses and squash and mums–and sang the harvest song and flew paper airplanes, laced with prayers.
And we also sang the song that is the prelude of the darkest season, the season of the dead.
Hoof and horn, hoof and horn,
All that dies shall be reborn.
Corn and grain, corn and grain,
All that falls shall rise again.
Share the wealth of the harvest, friends, as you make ready to treat with the dead.