BCI wishes all a very Happy Thanksgiving! As we did last year, we offer you two prayers of thanksgiving for today. The first is attributed to St. John Chrysostom. The second did not have attribution.
St. John Chrysostom Prayer Of Thanksgiving
What praise, of what hymn, or what thanksgiving, or what recompense shall we offer unto Thee, the Only God, Who lovest mankind?
For when we were condemned to destruction and immersed in our sins, Thou didst bestow freedom upon us, and hast given us the immortal and heavenly nourishment of the Body and Blood of Thy Christ.
Therefore we pray Thee: Deliver us from judgment, together with Thy servants who minister unto Thee.
Keep us and them in honor and holy living; and those who pray with us, and who have been partakers of Thy Mystical Table, preserve free of condemnation unto their last breath.
May it be unto them a sanctification of soul and body, unto the keeping of Thy Commandments; and thus may we be granted tp attain Thy Heavenly Kingdom, together with all who have been well-pleasing unto Thee from all ages:
Through the prayers and intercessions of our holy, all-pure, most blessed and glorious Lady, the Birth giver of God and Ever-Virgin Mary, of Saint N. whose memory we keep, and of all Thy Saints, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.
attributed to ST. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM
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Prayer of Thanksgiving
Thank you God for all the wonderful blessings,
For our daily meals, for clean drinking water,
For sunlight and for the cool breeze.
I’m thankful for my family, my spouse, my friends, and my health.
I’m thankful for my friends, to love and be loved and for freedom.
I’m thankful to be alive and praise you for all these wonders.
I’m thankful that you have been so gracious
To give your only Son to us
Who gave his life and bore the Unbearable
For us sinners.
On this Thanksgiving Day, I take the Opportunity to give thanks for countless other
things you provide us with on a daily basis.
In the statement that is considered the beginning of the unbroken annual tradition of presidential Thanksgiving proclamations, Lincoln said that God had dealt “with us in anger for our sins.” He recommended “humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience.”
The words “sin” and “perverse” would set off the left as overly judgmental and embarrassingly archaic. The right would bristle at national self-criticism from the country’s commander-in-chief (at a time of war, no less).
Lincoln had good reason to speak of perversity, of course. He was knee-deep in blood in a Civil War precipitated by half the country leaving the Union so it could protect slavery. But his proclamation was firmly within the American tradition.
The Thanksgiving proclamation at Charlestown, Mass., in 1676 referred to God’s “sore displeasure against us for our sins.” The founding generation of presidents struck similar notes. In 1789, George Washington urged that we “unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions.” John Adams in 1798 recommended that religious congregations “acknowledge before God the manifold sins and transgressions with which we are justly chargeable as individuals and as a nation.”
This line carried through into the 20th century. Dwight Eisenhower spoke of the need to “bow before God in contrition for our sins.”
But any suggestion of national failings, let alone sin or perversity, has gone missing from the Thanksgiving proclamations of recent decades (and so has much of the majesty).
Without it, we lose any sense that we have an obligation to live up to a national standard that derives, if not from the God of the Bible, from the natural law. This has always been part of what makes America different from other nations.
Have a blessed Thanksgiving!