O Lord that lends me life,
Lend me a heart replete with thankfulness.
In the nine days leading up to Thanksgiving I will share a novena of prayers, reflections, and music selections that may enhance the celebration of this special day with your family and friends.
Day 9: Happy Thanksgiving!!
After eight days of sharing reflections, music, and prayers with you, Thanksgiving Day has finally arrived. This day has great importance in the history of our nation with the prayerful observance and grateful feasting of our forefathers.
The Greek word for thanksgiving is “Eucharistia,” reminding us that the Sacrament of the Sacred Body and Blood of our Lord is the source and summit of all our blessings. For Catholics, each time we go to Mass is a celebration of thanksgiving. And since we can go to Mass just about every single day, every day can be Thanksgiving.
My Wish for You Today:
May you be surrounded by the peace of Christ as you offer your thanks and count your blessings this day.
Realizing that many people carry the burden of loneliness, worry, illness, grief, and the trials of family disharmony, may we be conscious of the needs of others as we spend this day recalling the goodness of our loving God.
And to our elder brothers and sisters in the faith:
Wishing a Happy Thanksgiving and many blessings of Hanukkah to all our Jewish relatives, friends, and neighbors:
May you have great joy on this rare occurrence of “Thanksgivukkah.”
My first prayer today is for you as you begin the holy season of Hanukkah on our national day of thanks.
A Prayer for Thanksgivukkah:
On Hanukkah and Thanksgiving:
Grateful for our gifts and grateful for our past,
We cherish our spiritual inheritances:
The pilgrims who journeyed,
The Maccabees who fought,
The generations who struggled and sacrificed to preserve their memory.
As Americans and Jews, Dear God, we are doubly blessed:
Given so long a legacy to celebrate in so sublime a land.
So we light a candle, set the table, say our prayers
And declare the miracles – of our tradition, our freedom and our future.
We rededicate ourselves to live so that we might be worthy
Of the greatness bequeathed to us,
And merit the joy of handing it on to generations.
More Thanksgiving Prayers:
This Thanksgiving let those of us who have much and those who have little gather at the welcoming table of the Lord.
At this blessed feast, may rich and poor alike remember that we are called to serve one another and to walk together in God’s gracious world.
With thankful hearts we praise our God who like a loving parent denies us no good thing.
From: Songs of Our Hearts, Meditations of Our Souls: Prayers for Black Catholics, edited by Cecilia A. Moor, Ph.D., C. Vanessa White, D.Min., and Paul M. Marshall, S.M.
Thanksgiving Day Prayer:
Lord, we thank you
for the goodness of our people
and for the spirit of justice
that fills this nation.
We thank you for the beauty and fullness of the
land and the challenge of the cities.
We thank you for our work and our rest,
for one another, and for our homes.
We thank you, Lord:
accept our thanksgiving on this day.
We pray and give thanks through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Thanksgiving by Joe Heller
O God, when I have food,
help me to remember the hungry;
When I have work,
help me to remember the jobless;
When I have a home,
help me to remember those who have no home at all;
When I am without pain,
help me to remember those who suffer,
help me to destroy my complacency;
bestir my compassion,
and be concerned enough to help;
By word and deed,
those who cry out for what we take for granted.
By: Samuel F. Pugh
Here’s a fun limerick to enjoy as you raise your wine glass on Thanksgiving (or any other day):
Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine,
There’s always laughter and good red wine.
At least I’ve always found it so.
By: Hilaire Belloc
Music for a Thankful Heart: Day 9:
This lovely medley by CRC Worship will raise your hearts and minds in gratitude to our Heavenly Father who has bestowed so many blessings to us each day. Lyrics are provided for “We Gather Together;” “For the Beauty of the Earth;” and “Come, Ye Thankful People, Come.”