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.
Father, in Heaven, we thank Thee

– Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

O God of all Creation:
You have cared for the earth, and have filled it with your riches. Abundance flows in your steppes, through the pastures and wilderness. You provide for our land, softening it with showers, bathing it in light, and blessing it with growth.

The hills sing with joy; the meadows are covered with flocks; the fields deck themselves with wheat; and together they glorify your name!

On this occasion of our Thanksgiving, we as a nation take rest from our labors to consider your many blessings.
We thank you for our freedoms, and for the opportunity to contribute our skills, our attributes and our values toward the good of society.

We thank you for the mixture of our cultures, blending us into one people under God. Help us to be a light unto other nations, and to further the cause of freedom and justice all over the world.

We remember those who are less fortunate than we. We lift up in prayer the victims of poverty and racism, and all those who suffer from forms of political and economic oppression. Let the word that goes forth from our mouths speak of your peace, and let us proclaim our hope in Christ as Savior of all humankind.

We pray that you will bless all those who gather here, as we have come to experience your presence among us. Give us your guidance, O God, and empower us for your work. For we claim nothing for ourselves, but return all honor and glory unto you, and offer our thanks and praise. Amen.

From “Prayers for God’s People” Thomas P. Roberts

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We’ve come to the time in the season
When family and friends gather near
To offer a prayer of Thanksgiving
For blessings we’ve known through the year

To join hands and thank the Creator
Now when Thanksgiving is due
And this year when I count my blessings
I’m thanking the Lord He made you

I’m grateful for the laughter of children
The sun and the wind and the rain
The colour of blue in your sweet eyes
The sight of a highballin’ train

The moonrise over the prairie
An old love that you’ve made new
And this year when I count my blessings
I’m thanking the Lord He made you

And when the time comes to be going
It won’t be in sorrow and tears
I’ll kiss you goodbye and I’ll go on the way
Grateful for all of the years

I’d thank for all that you gave me
For teaching me what love can do
And Thanksgiving Day for the rest of my life
I’m thanking the Lord He made you

.
Grateful for each hand we hold
Gathered round this table.
From far and near we travel home,
Blessed that we are able.

Grateful for this sheltered place
With light in every window,
Saying “welcome, welcome, share this feast
Come in away from sorrow.”

Father, mother, daughter, son,
Neighbor, friend and friendless;
All together everyone in the gift of loving-kindness.

Grateful for what’s understood,
And all that is forgiven;
We try so hard to be good,
To lead a life worth living.

Father, mother, daughter, son,
Neighbor, friend, and friendless;
All together everyone, let grateful days be endless.

Grateful for each hand we hold
Gathered round this table.

NOW THANK WE ALL OUR GOD

Now thank we all our God, With hearts and hands and voices;
Who wondrous things hath done, In whom this world rejoices.
Who, from our mother’s arms, Hath led us on our way,
With countless gifts of love, And still is ours today.

O may this bounteous God through all our life be near us,
With ever joyful hearts and blessed peace to cheer us;
And keep still in grace, and guide us when perplexed;
And free us from all ills, in this world and the next.

All praise and thanks to God the Father now be given;
The Son and Him Who reigns with Them in highest heaven;
The one eternal God, Whom earth and heaven adore;
For thus it was, is now, and shall be evermore.

–hymn text by Martin Rinkart (1586-1649)

Over the River

Over the river and through the wood
To Grandmother’s house we go.
The horse knows the way To carry the sleigh
Through white and drifted snow.

Over the river and through the wood
Oh, how the wind does blow!
It stings the toes And bites the nose,
As over the ground we go.

Over the river and through the wood
To have a first-rate play.
Hear the bells ring, Ting-a-ling-ling!
Hurrah for Thanksgiving Day!

Over the river and through the wood,
Trot fast, my dapple gray!
Spring over the ground Like a hunting hound,
For this is Thanksgiving Day.

Over the river and through the wood,
And straight through the barnyard gate.
We seem to go Extremely slow
It is so hard to wait!

Over the river and through the wood~
Now Grandmother’s cap I spy!
Hurrah for fun! Is the pudding done?
Hurrah for the pumpkin pie!

By Linda Maria Child

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