The Corn Play


  • Lammas lord crown (Wheat, Rye, Corn, fruit and flowers)
  • Corn queen crown (Wheat, Rye, Corn etc)
  • Fresh-baked bread
  • Honey
  • Red wine
  • Cords
  • Green cloth
  • Lammas cup and cloth to polish
  • "John Barleycorn" music
  • Athame

Priestess and Priest cast circle and invoke quarters (Lammas Lord and Corn Queen remain outside circle). A gateway is cut, and everyone calls to the Corn Queen to enter the circle:
“Queen of the Corn,
Queen of the Fertile Earth;
Come to us now,
For we have need of you & etc.”

The Queen enters, and then leads the call for the Lammas Lord to enter the circle:
“God of the Meadow,
God of the Hill,
God of the Corn and of our True Will,
Come to us now,
For we adore you & etc.”

The Lammas Lord stands in the center of the Circle, and is washed by the women (each Priestess takes the aspergillus in turn, and asperges the Lammas Lord/Corn Queen first).

Then each one polishes the Lammas Cup, which is returned to the altar, and filled with red wine. (Corn Queen takes cup and cloth to each person).

Then the Queen stands before the Lammas Lord and says:
“To kill the King
(Coven: For what purpose kill?)
To feed the land
(Coven: What feeds the land?)
The blood of the King
The honor of the King
The life of the King”

Two priests step forward, and bind the Lord's hands behind his back, and tie his ankles together. (Note: do not knot the cords, as the Lammas Lord must be able to extricate himself from the bindings.

The men all turn and face outwards from the circle. The Corn Queen takes her athame, and the cup of wine, and "cuts the throat" of the Lammas Lord, catching his blood in the chalice.

The women help the Lammas Lord to the ground, and cover him with the green cloth. His crown is placed upon the bread, on the altar. A female Elder stands at the head of the Lammas Lord, and a Maiden stands at his feet. They are his mourners. The men turn back into the circle, and the Corn Queen leads the weaving dance to "John Barleycorn". When the music finishes, all stand facing outwards (including Elder and Maiden). The Lammas Lord removes his binds and cover, and silently makes his way to the altar. He takes up the bread and wine, and leaves his crown on the altar. He returns and stands center. The Corn Queen acknowledges the mystery of the re-born grain:
“Behold the Mystery! The grain, the crop, the food."

As she speaks, everyone turns and faces in once more.

The Queen steps forward, and kneels before the re-born grain saying again: "Behold the mystery." She rises, and drinks from the cup. The "Lammas Lord" breaks a piece of bread for her, which he gives to her as she hands back the cup. She walks to the altar, and dips the bread in the honey. Then the next person steps forward, and repeats her actions. Then each in turn until all have knelt to the re-born grain, and had some wine, bread and honey. It is important that the Lammas Lord does not speak throughout the ritual.

The circle is closed, and the feast begins.