LAMMAS DAY. Kept in commemoration of St. Peter's miraculous deliverance "out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews."
BOTH Lamb-Mass and Loaf-Mass have been proposed as the original form of our word Lammas: which in the first case would allude to a lamb offered annually in York Cathedral; in the second would recall an English festival of first-fruits; both alike belonging to this day.
York Cathedral is dedicated to St. Peter ad Vincula: and our Lord's words to him beside the Sea of Tiberias, "Feed My lambs," have led to the great Apostle's being regarded as patron of lambs.
Yet in the highest sense there is but One Good Shepherd whose own the flock is. All other men, even the holiest, can be but His under shepherds feeding "the flock of God not by constraint but willingly."
Better it is that a lamb should remind us of Christ than of St. Peter: "Behold the Lamb of God!"
And while a loaf may profitably put us in mind to bring forth fruit thirty or sixty or a hundred-fold, it may best dispose us so to do, by setting before us in a figure Christ the Bread of Life, Christ the Corn of Wheat which to quicken us fell into the ground and died.