Heavenly Father, on Thanksgiving Day
We bow our hearts to You and pray.
We give You thanks for all You’ve done
Especially for the gift of Jesus, Your Son.
or beauty in nature, Your glory we see
For joy and health, friends and family,
For daily provision, Your mercy and care
These are the blessings You graciously share.
So today we offer this response of praise
With a promise to follow You all of our days.
For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food,
For love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
–Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)
We Gather Together
We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing;
He chastens and hastens his will to make known;
The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing,
Sing praises to his name: He forgets not his own.
Beside us to guide us, our God with us joining,
Ordaining, maintaining his kingdom divine;
So from the beginning the fight we were winning;
Thou, Lord, wast at our side, All glory be thine!
We all do extol thee, thou leader triumphant,
And pray that thou still our defender wilt be.
Let thy congregation escape tribulation;
Thy name be ever praised! O Lord, make us free!
–Traditional Thanksgiving Hymn
(A translation by Theodore Baker: 1851-1934)
The year has turned its circle,
The seasons come and go.
The harvest all is gathered in
And chilly north winds blow.
Orchards have shared their treasures,
The fields, their yellow grain,
So open wide the doorway~
Thanksgiving comes again!
Venison for stew and roasting,
Oysters in the ashes toasting,
Geese done to a turn,
Berries (dried) and wild grapes (seeded)
Mixed with dough and gently kneaded~
What a feast to earn! Indian corn in strange disguises,
Ash cakes, hoe cakes (many sizes),
Kernels roasted brown…
After months of frugal living
What a welcome first Thanksgiving
There in Plymouth town.
~By Aileen Fisher
Song of the Pilgrims
By Nancy Sue Krenrich
Across the rolling, wind-swept sea
For months we’ve sailed along,
I see a land that’s new to me
Against the blue horizon.
Oh, beautiful land of freedom born,
I’ve come across the sea
To reap your fruits and build my home,
And make my people free.
(Lizelia Augusta Jenkins Moorer)
Let us give thanks to God above,
Thanks for expressions of His love,
Seen in the book of nature, grand
Taught by His love on every hand.
Let us be thankful in our hearts,
Thankful for all the truth imparts,
For the religion of our Lord,
All that is taught us in His word.
Let us be thankful for a land,
That will for such religion stand;
One that protects it by the law,
One that before it stands in awe.
Thankful for all things let us be,
Though there be woes and misery;
Lessons they bring us for our good-
Later ’twill all be understood.
Thankful for peace o’er land and sea,
Thankful for signs of liberty,
Thankful for homes, for life and health,
Pleasure and plenty, fame and wealth.
Thankful for friends and loved ones, too,
Thankful for all things, good and true,
Thankful for harvest in the fall,
Thankful to Him who gave it all.