November 22, 2017

Thanksgiving 2017 | A Proclamation And A Prayer

President Abraham Lincoln instituted Thanksgiving in 1863 during the Civil War in order for Americans to celebrate their blessings and good fortune as a sign of unity and thanksgiving to God. His formal proclamation expressly calls upon all citizens to observe the holiday in prayerful gratitude to Our Father and Creator:

"I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens."

— President Abraham Lincoln, Proclamation, October 3, 1863

We celebrate Thanksgiving as a sign of American unity and thanksgiving to God. No holiday so nearly reminds us of the symbolism and meaning of the Eucharist. Here is a Thanksgiving day table blessing by Msgr. Bernard W. Bourgeois:

Thanksgiving Day Table Blessing

God our Father, on this Thanksgiving Day, we as family and friends pause from the hustle and bustle of our daily lives to give thanks to you for the blessings you have bestowed upon us.

We thank you for the gifts of life, family, friendship and love. We thank you for the opportunities of life in which we find fulfillment, purpose and peace. Most of all, we thank you for the people sitting around this Thanksgiving table. We remember those loved ones unable to be with us here today, most especially those who are now seated at the banquet of eternal life with you.

On this Thanksgiving Day, we pledge our love and support for one another, and dedicate ourselves to serve our neighbors in need. We ask you to bless this food, those who prepared it, and keep us ever mindful of those who are without love or food today. All of this we ask through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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