Giving and Sharing Thanks
In case you may have not had a chance to do this last Sunday.... would you consider calling up one of the elderly people in your parish and inviting them for Thanksgiving.... or inviting over a new single, couple or family to your parish (particularly new to the area) and give them a seat at your festival board? You don't even have to KNOW them........ invite them. If they are busy, OK. If not, you have made someone's day.
How about a long-time parishoner who is newly in a nursing facility. If it is possible, call them up and make arrangements for them to come out and be part of a more intimate feast. How about the neighbor down the hallway? A co worker? Someone from out of town (or out of the country)? This is a day to share.
Next, make a point to offer a blessing on the food to be eaten. A General Thanksgiving is on p 836 of the BCP, an alternative is a take on the collect for Thanksgiving Day, on p.246 of the BCP.
Another alternative is the one I offer below: not too short, not too long.
Accept, Dear God our thanks for all that you do, have and will do for us. For the beauty and diversity of our world; For those things we recognize easily and those things we have taken for granted.
Bless all the hands and the work that has brought this bounty to life, to harvest and eventually to our table. We give thanks for the seafarers, farmers, ranchers, farm hands, mechanics, factory and day laborers, truckers, stockers and grocers forgotten in the long food chain that we have grown to rely on. Make certain that we protect them by insisting they earn a fair wage and decent living conditions.
Fill us with gratitude for those whose lives have touched us - for the families that we have been given and the families we have created, for our friends and loved ones. We remember those no longer with us and look forward to those who will enter our lives. Remind us of the lonely, homeless and disabled and give us the inspiration to reach out to them.
Finally, bless this food to our use and us to your service. Keep us mindful and attentive to both the gifts and the needs of others - for the sake of Jesus who loves us each as we are. Amen.