Holy Trinity Orthodox Church

About Harvest Sunday

Seeking a Way

On Harvest Sundays we set aside 100% of that week's collection as a first-fruits offering for missions and charities. There are three such Sundays each year: the Sunday of the Last Judgment (a week before Lent), Sunday of All Saints of North America (two weeks after Pentecost), and the Sunday nearest the Feast of the Cross in September.

The Background

We know from the book of Acts that ever since the days of Saint Paul, local churches have been exhorted to pool their resources to serve others in need.

The Challenge

We commit to funding our own church on the basis of 49 Sunday offerings,
instead of the usual 52.

The Point

Christians give alms both individually and as churches. Congregations can become places where not a Sunday goes without some or other ad hoc appeal being made or basket being passed. By setting aside three Harvest Sundays:

  • we avoid constant ad hoc appeals
  • we enable each member to learn something about those whom we are blessing; And thereby to decide freely if and how to participate;
  • We offer our gift together, within the Liturgy;
  • we ensure that we offer from our blessings before we have expended them on ourselves, not merely from what remains;
  • we establish roughly 5% of our annual Sunday income as a kind of tithe.
  • we will be ready to respond promptly to needs as long as funds are available.

The Policy

These funds are disbursed at the discretion of the parish council, which keeps the church informed in advance as much as possible. In all cases funds will be completely disbursed as soon as possible.

O Lord,
Send down your Holy Spirit with a blessing from on high
Upon this Harvest Offering,
Which together we lift up to you;
As you have been gracious to us,
Guide those entrusted with its distribution,
And bless the works of mercy
Or the going forth to Baptize
For which we consecrate these gifts,
For you are Holy, always,
Now and ever and unto ages of ages, Amen.