A Thanksgiving Liturgy for 2014

by Christine Sine

Kim Balke - praise to God

American Thanksgiving is only a week away. People are zipping across the country (or at least trying to plough through the record snowfalls to get together) to spend the day with family and friends. This is the holiday that I have most relished adopting since I have lived in the U.S. but I find that in the frenzy of activity it is easy to forget that this is meant to be a celebration of praise and thanksgiving to God for the abundance with which we are blessed.

Last year some of you may remember I decided to mess with Advent and add an extra week, focusing on thankfulness and gratitude. I have decided to do the same this year which means I will begin my personal Advent reflections this Sunday, focusing on gratitude and thankfulness. For me, there is no better place to start than with responsive prayer. I thought that some of you might appreciate this liturgy that we used at our community meal on Tuesday and will use next week, reading at least parts of it each day to focus me on what I am grateful for. We will also use it Thanksgiving Day as part of our celebrations.

You can also check out the array of prayers, litanies and thanksgiving music on our Thanksgiving and Harvest resource post too.

A Thanksgiving Liturgy

God eternal and righteous One,
Who created the heavens and the earth,
we gather to give you thanks.
For breath that fills us with your life,
For love that softens our hearts,
For beauty revealed at every turn.

Christ redeeming and forgiving One,
Who is always faithful and merciful.
We gather to give you thanks,
For renewal, transforming our lives,
For peace calming the chaos of our souls,
For hope restoring our faith.

Spirit sustaining, and compassionate One,
Who calls us into relationship with the living God,
We give you thanks,
For caring when our hearts are aching,
For friends supportive in times of need,
For generosity lavish and overflowing.

God who created the earth and the heavens,
Eternal, Redeeming and Sustaining One,
We gather to give you thanks,
We come with hearts full of gratitude,
For all things good,
We give you thanks for You.

(Pause to express gratitude for your own areas of thanksgiving)

For the universe immense and unknown,
For the earth on which we live,
For humankind made in your image.
Thanks and praise to God our creator.
For the way you entered human history as one of us
For the sacrifice you made for all of us,
For dying that we might live.
Thanks and praise to Christ our redeemer,
For the wonder of your indwelling presence,
For the comfort of your guidance and direction,
For drawing us together as one body.
Thanks and praise to the Holy Spirit our sustainer.
Through your will we are made whole,
Through your love we are renewed.
Through your abiding presence we become one community.
Thanks and praise to God, Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer through all eternity.

Psalm 105 1-8 (NLT)

Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness.
Let the whole world know what he has done.
Sing to him; yes, sing his praises.
Tell everyone about his wonderful deeds.
Exult in his holy name;
rejoice, you who worship the Lord.
Search for the Lord and for his strength;
continually seek him.
Remember the wonders he has performed,
his miracles, and the rulings he has given,
you children of his servant Abraham,
you descendants of Jacob, his chosen ones.
He is the Lord our God.
His justice is seen throughout the land.
He always stands by his covenant—
the commitment he made to a thousand generations.

The Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

Colossians 3: 15-17 (NLT)

And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.

The Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

Luke 22: 17 – 19

Then he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. Then he said, “Take this and share it among yourselves. For I will not drink wine again until the Kingdom of God has come.” He took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this to remember me.”

The Gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

Let us pray together now in the words Jesus taught us.

Our Father, who art in heaven hallowed by your name.  Your kingdom come your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.  Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil for thine is the kingdom the power and the glory for ever and ever.  Amen

Gracious and generous God we give you thanks,
For the gift of life for we are made in your image,
We think of all those in whom your divine image is still distorted.
We pray for your mercy and love to rest upon them.
God in your mercy be with them.
Caring and providing God we give you thanks,
For our homes that shelter and protect us,
We think of those without shelter and water and protection today.
We pray for your generous provision to be poured out upon them.
God in your mercy be with them.
Abundant and giving God we give you thanks,
For our food that nourishes and strengthens us,
We think of those without adequate food and nourishment today.
We pray that you will feed them with the bread of life.
God in your mercy be with them.
Loving and compassionate God we give you thanks,
For our friends and family who love and comfort us in times of need,
We think of those who are alone and feel abandoned.
God comfort and surround them that they may sense your presence.
God in your mercy be with them.

(Pause to offer your own prayers)

Gracious and generous God,
We remember all the gifts you have given us,
We remember how lavishly you have provided.
We remember how lovingly you have cared,
We remember especially that greatest gift of all,
Jesus Christ our Saviour,
And we give you thanks.

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David November 24, 2014 - 5:56 am

Our Word Made Flesh community in Argentina will be using this liturgy this week. Thanks, Christine!

Christine Sine November 24, 2014 - 7:27 am

Wonderful David, glad that you can use it. So good to meet you over the summer. Next time you come north try to make it up toSeattle

On Thanksgiving – Resources for Reflection | Christ Redeemer Anglican Church January 26, 2015 - 1:42 pm

[…] Also, Christine Sine over at the Godspace website has written a beautiful “Thanksgiving Liturgy” that would also greatly enrich your Thanksgiving this year.  Check it out here. […]

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