A Prayer for Thanksgiving Day


O God, your gifts of love are countless

and we thank you for them all.

May our hearts reach out like yours to every man, woman and child,

especially to those who have less than we do.

and please give  them your blessing.

Bless the gifts of food and drink we share at this table.

Bless those who prepared them for us,

Bless those around this table,

Bless creations itself, your treasured gift.

We give you thanks for all. Amen


How did Thanksgiving begin? Hard to say. One popular account traces it to New England in 1621 when the pilgrims recently migrated from England sat down with the native peoples for a feast at this time of the year. Accounts differ whether it was a meal after a good harvest or a bad harvest.

If you take the account of a bad harvest, then the Indians saw the poor Puritans starving and got them a meal of wild turkeys and corn and other foodstuffs those early immigrants knew nothing about.

There are other theories for the feast. One theory traces Thanksgiving to Protestant objections to Catholic celebrations of saints’ feasts and  celebrations like Christmas and Easter. Too many, they said. The Puritans cut out these celebrations and kept only two kinds of religious observance, Days of Fasting and Days of Thanksgiving.

It’s safe to say Thanksgiving is a very popular day for celebrating with family and friends. It’s also true that if you went to the churches around our country today, you would find  good attendance.

On Thanksgiving I think of what Meister Eckhardt said:

“If the only prayer that you said in your entire life is Thank You, that would suffice.”



Filed under Passionists, Religion

2 responses to “A Prayer for Thanksgiving Day

  1. I heard these words this morning. I remember last Thanksgiving thinking – lamenting really – that it would be the final mass with the old responses. So we’ve been through the calendar now with the new missal. That bit about sharing “good things of time and eternity” stuck with me.

  2. Anne Immaculate Oundo

    Fr. Victor, you have enlightened me. I have always thanked God for the food before me but I have never remembered to thank those who prepare the food. Asante sana.

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