At this time of the year, as we come to the end of November the USA prepares to enter the season of Thanksgiving. Although it is particular to the USA, it’s also celebrated in different forms (and for different reasons) in other parts of the world. Canada has Thanksgiving Day in October.

What is common, wherever we are, is the need for a spirit of gratitude. So perhaps this could be incorporated into prayers and liturgies as we enter Advent, amidst the turmoil of the world.

Video: Diana Butler-Bass: Jesus the ingrate – the subversive power of gratitude
In her TheoEd Talk, award-winning author Diana Butler Bass explores how cultivating lives of gratitude can help us more deeply experience the transformative and subversive reign of God in our lives and in this world.

Liturgy for thanksgiving
Even in the midst of pandemics, social distancing and deep injustices that divide us, there is still much to give thanks for. This service has been adapted from a service pdf provided by St Andrews Episcopal church Seattle, for use in the home, as part of the main meal of the day and can be used not just for Thanksgiving but for any celebrative occasion where you would like to give thanks. It is appropriate for use via Zoom, FaceTime, or other video software, as a way to worship with the people you call family and friends who are far away.
(Source: Godspacelight website)

A thanksgiving prayer
God we gather to thank you for the many blessings in our lives,
And to praise you for your generous goodness which is new every day,
To you God we offer our praise and thanksgiving.
God to you who created the earth and the heavens,
To you who are always merciful and forgiving,
To you God we offer our praise and thanksgiving.
God to you who call us into relationship with yourself,
And give us the gift of family and friends,
To you God we offer our praise and thanksgiving.
(Pause to remind yourself of all you have to be thankful for)
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 entering 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 enabler
Through your will we are made whole,
Through your love we are renewed in body, mind and spirit
Through you we become one community from every tribe and nation.
Thanks and praise to Father, Son and Spirit through all eternity.

Psalm 92 or Psalm 105
The Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
1 Chronicles 16: 7 – 34
The Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
Colossians 1: 3-6
The Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
A reading from the Gospel according to Matthew.
Glory to you, O Lord.
Luke 10: 21 – 24
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 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 thing of those without 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

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. Amen

(Source: Godspacelight website)

I bow to the four directions
I bow to what is.
I bow to what is not.
I bow to what may be.
I bow that I may discern.

I bow to what is.
I bow to what I can do.
I bow to what I cannot do.
I bow that I may discern.

I bow to what is.
I bow to who I am.
I bow to who I am not.
I bow that I may discern.

With gratitude I bow.
With reverence I bow.
With courage I bow to this day,
and enter it with joy.
(Source: Steve Garnaas-Holmes, Unfolding Light)

About admin

Rev Sandy Boyce is a Uniting Church in Australia Minister (Deacon). This blog may be a help to people planning worship services.
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