A Thanksgiving Litany

by Christine Sine

by Christine Sine

Today’s litany is adapted from one I wrote in 2014 and looking back I felt that I could not improve on it (at least not much) so am reposting it. I have changed the translation used for the scriptures to The Passion Translation and the Lord’s Prayer to the prayer from the New Zealand Prayer book as I wanted to give it a sense of freshness in keeping with my call to read life differently not just as we approach Advent but in every part of our lives. Enjoy!

The photo is of my friend Kim who just celebrated the one year anniversary of a heart transplant. She has made incredible progress but is still very restricted in her activity.  I first posted this just after she was able to raise her arms for the first time – what a gift. So as you read through this liturgy this morning lift your arms and praise God for the gift of muscles, and nerves and strength.

(This litany was updated in 2020 with special suggestions for an at home celebration)

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 (TPT) (Evidently this was sung as the Ark of the Covenant was brought up to Jerusalem)

Go ahead and give God thanks
for all the glorious things he has done!
Go ahead and worship him!
Tell everyone about his wonders!
Let’s sing his praises! Sing, and put all of his miracles to music!
Shine and make your joyful boast in him, you lovers of God.
Let’s be happy and keep rejoicing no matter what.
Seek more of his strength! Seek more of him!
Let’s always be seeking the light of his face.
Don’t you ever forget his miracles and marvels.
Hold to your heart every judgment he has decreed.
For you are his servants, the true seed of Abraham,
and you are the chosen ones, Jacob’s sons.
For he is the Lord our God,
and his wise authority[b] can be seen in all he does.
8–9 For though a thousand generations may pass away,
he is still true to his word.
He has kept every promise[c] he made to Abraham and to Isaac.

The Word of the Lord.     Thanks be to God.

Colossians 3: 15-17 (TPT)

Let your heart be always guided[a] by the peace of the Anointed One, who called you to peace as part of his one body. And always be thankful.

16 Let the word of Christ live in you richly, flooding you with all wisdom. Apply the Scriptures as you teach and instruct one another with the Psalms, and with festive praises,[c] and with prophetic songs given to you spontaneously by the Spirit, so sing to God with all your hearts!

17 Let every activity of your lives and every word[e] that comes from your lips be drenched with the beauty of our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One. And bring your constant praise to God the Father because of what Christ has done for you!

The Word of the Lord.     Thanks be to God.

Luke 22: 17 – 19 TPT

Then he raised a cup and gave thanks to God and said to them, “Take this and pass it on to one another and drink. 18 I promise you that the next time we drink this wine, we will be together in the feast of God’s kingdom realm.”

19 Then he lifted up a loaf, and after praying a prayer of thanksgiving to God, he gave each of his apostles a piece of bread, saying, “This loaf is my body,[b] which is now being offered to you. Always eat it 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.

Eternal Spirit,
Earth-maker, Pain-bearer, Life-giver,
Source of all that is and that shall be,
Father and Mother of us all,
Loving God, in whom is Heaven:

The hallowing of your name echo through the universe!
The way of your justice be followed by the peoples of the world!
Your Heavenly will be done by all created beings!
Your commonwealth of peace and freedom sustain our hope and come on Earth.

With the bread we need for today, feed us.
In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us.
In times of temptation and testing, strengthen us.
From trials too great to endure, spare us.
From the grip of all that is evil, free us.

For you reign in the glory of the power that is love, now and for ever.

Amen. (From New Zealand Prayer Book)

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.

If you are looking for Thanksgiving prayers here are some of my favorites – prayers from all traditions including beautiful Jewish and Native American prayers.

And for more Thanksgiving resources check out our resource page on Thanksgiving and Harvest.

Feature photo (c) Tom Balke

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Paige P Wimberly November 21, 2020 - 5:14 am

Thank you for sharing this Thanksgiving liturgy. It’s beautiful. Yours is the first one I came across in my Google search for me to use in worship tomorrow and I need look no further!

Christine Sine November 21, 2020 - 7:08 am

Your welcome I am glad that you can use it.

Ann Marie Isenring November 23, 2020 - 9:41 am

Me too…its beautiful. Id like to use it with a group of women!

Christine Sine November 23, 2020 - 10:39 am

You are welcome – On Thursday an updated special edition for 2020 and stay at home situattions will be posted.

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