Lammas – Loaf Mass Day – 1 August

Call it what you will, 1 August, Feast of St. Peter in Chains, Feast of the Holy Maccabees, it is also


Noooo…. not the big hairy sheep.

Lammas is Anglo-Saxon hlaf-mas or Loaf Mass.   This is a first fruits  harvest feast, for making bread and bringing it to church.  Sometimes the loaves were pretty fancy.  There were even processions.

There is a great post about Lammas at the wonderful blog of The Clerk of Oxford.

There are beautiful customs that help us link the spin of your planet around your yellow star with the mysteries of salvation.  What a beautiful rhythm, year in and year out.  Each year the mysteries don’t change, but we do.  Each year we are able to harvest something different from them even as they take root in us and form us.

Here’s a reminder about one that is coming up in August.  On 15 August, Assumption, it is customary to have  herbs and flowers and fruit blessed.  COVID be damned!  Get your priest to bless some of these things on the Feast of the Assumption!

I’ve written about the Assumption blessing HERE.

Today, however, if you are able to bake, how about baking a loaf of bread?  Perhaps something even fancy or decorated?  At least go and get a loaf of some really good bread.   Sometimes something as simple as a piece of good bread and a little cheese or some jam is pretty satisfying!

This Owl Bread I spied at wiki is pretty spiffy.

On a serious note, I think that Lammas is also a date for some pseudo-pagans who are into dangerous rites that summon demons… ’cause that’s what those idiot rites do.  When you eat your bread – whenever you eat anything – say your prayers!  Ask for God’s blessing as you thank Him.  And perhaps you might say a a prayer to your Guardian Angel to give you protection from all the demonic activity going on right now.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. R. Guadalupe says:

    Well I wish I had learned about that yesterday when I baked our weekly loaf. I’m baking a mango cheesecake today, does that count? ;)

  2. Cicero_NOLA says:

    Thank you for teaching us about this neat custom. I sense an etymological connection between lammas and the waybread of the elves of Lorien.

  3. JakeMC says:

    Father, I was always taught that the suffix “-mas” comes from an Old English word meaning “feast,” hence Christmas, feast of Christ; Candlemas, Feast of Candles; Michaelmas, Feast of St. Michael, etc. The connection of “-mas” to “Mass,” historically, came from the seventeenth century, when Cromwell declared the very word “Christmas” illegal, because the suffix sounded too much like the dreaded “Mass.”
    Now suddenly, every single priest I know of defines that suffix in the Cromwellian manner. What happened?

  4. Greg the Geologist says:

    Big hairy sheep? No, really – little fuzzy camels.

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