OUR LADY OF THE HARVEST
Synaxarion for Memorials without a Proper Office
Today the Church celebrates the memorial of our Virgin Mother under
the title of "Our Lady of the Seeds". In origin this is an agricultural
feast which arose from the needs of the farmers to seek God's help for
a fruitful harvest. The farmers were at the mercy of the elements and depended
upon sufficient rain and good weather. As a result they sought God's assistance
and begged the intercession of Mary for their crops.
In the ancient texts for the divine office we find this text which refers
to the agrarian feast of the Virgin.
The dew spread all over the region where John wrote the Book of the
Virgin, in which is found: "Let the memory of the blessed One be celebrated
three times a year: in January, for the seeds; in May, for the ears of
wheat; in August, for the grapes which symbolizes the sacrament of life:
The ancient texts speak of Mary's protection not only material terms of
the crops of the field, but also of her role in the incarnation
as the Mother of the Source of Life, Jesus Christ.
Saint Ephrem speaks of Mary in this regard when he says that Mary became
of the field who received the grain of wheat in her womb and this grain
of wheat, Jesus Christ our Lord, gives life to the world. Through the harvest
we receive the gifts of bread and wine which become for us the body and
blood of Christ in the Eucharist. Hence we pray during the transfer of
I am the Bread of Life, said our Lord.
Let us put all our lives and the crops of the fields under the protection
of Our Lady of the Seeds.
From on high, I came to earth, so mem might live in me.
Pure Word without flesh, I was sent from the Father.
Mary's womb received me like good earth a grain of wheat.
Behold! The priest bears me aloft to the altar.
Alleluia! Accept our offering.
May she assist us with her prayers. Amen.