Thanksgiving 2021

A TIME TO GIVE THANKS.

Psalm 136:1 "O give thanks to the Lord for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever."

The celebration of Thanksgiving in our homes and parishes is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the bounty of God’s goodness and love.
The Offices for Evangelization and Catechesis, Liturgy and Youth Ministry are happy to provide this resource for prayer and celebration of Thanksgiving in the home.

PREPARING AS A FAMILY

1. GATHER TOGETHER

Gather together in a sacred place in the home and avoid any distractions that might hinder your prayer. Take time to source a Bible, a candle and a crucifix and place them on a prayer table in the center of the room to add to your prayer space. You might want to incorporate signs and symbols of the harvest as well: a small pumpkin/gourd, some flowers, or perhaps grains of wheat.

2. GIFTS OF CREATION

As we are in the season of harvest, draw attention to the gifts of creation that we receive from God as nourishment for our bodies and souls. The beauty of the harvest reminds us that God is the maker of both the heavens and the earth, and through our creation story in the Old Testament we hear of how God formed all living things in His image and likeness. Therefore, when we show love for God’s creation, we show love for God.

3. WHAT ARE WE THANKFUL FOR?

Before the prayer begins, take time to ask your children what the word ‘thanksgiving’ means to them and what they are thankful for. Share with your children that the word ‘Eucharist’ literally translates to mean, ‘thanksgiving’. As Eucharistic people, we are called to be the heart and mind of Jesus in the world. How can we show love and thanksgiving for our families, our communities, our neighbours and our world?

4. LITURGY OF THE WORD

Using the resource that has been provided by the Diocese of Hamilton, celebrate a brief Liturgy of the Word together with your family members.

5. GIVING TO OTHERS

When the prayer concludes, take the opportunity to celebrate the joy of the harvest by giving to others. Connect with your local food bank and hear of their needs for their harvest celebrations. As a family, work to prepare an offering of time, talent or treasure.

THANKSGIVING LITURGY

OPENING PRAYER

A parent/leader gathers the family or group of individuals and opens with the following prayer.

"Let the Sign of the Cross we make declare our love for you:"

A parent / leader makes the motion of the Sign of the Cross and encourages others to do the same:

"Our hand to our head to show our love for you with all our mind.
Our hand to our chest to show our love for you with all our heart.
Our hand from side to side to show our love for you with our whole soul and strength."

A parent/leader begins with:

"Let us pray:"

The parent/leader pauses silently for 3-5 seconds and then prays the following.

"Father all-powerful,
your gifts of love are countless
and your goodness infinite;
as we come before you on Thanksgiving Day
with gratitude for your kindness,
open our hearts to have concern
for every man, woman, and child,
so that we may share your gifts in loving service.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, forever and ever.
Amen."



SCRIPTURE

A parent / leader reads the following scripture or may designate it to another person who is able to proclaim it.

Sirach 50:22-24 God does great deeds everywhere.

"And now bless the God of all, who everywhere works great wonders, who fosters our growth from birth, and deals with us according to his mercy. May he give us gladness of heart and may there be peace in our days in Israel, as in the days of old. May he entrust to us his mercy, and may he deliver us in our days!"

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

Parents / leaders may wish to use these or other appropriate questions to discuss with the children.

  • What does it mean to be ‘glad’? Share with us one way that God makes you glad.
  • How do we SHOW our thanks to God?

INTERCESSIONS

A parent / leader begins with the following and informs the children that the response is: "Lord, we thank you."

Together, let us offer our prayer to God. The response is: Lord, we thank you.
The parent then begins.
Lord God, we praise and thank you, we pray to the Lord. Lord, we thank you.
For our families and friends, we pray to the Lord. Lord, we thank you.
For our school, teachers and staff, we pray to the Lord. Lord, we thank you.
For our parish, we pray to the Lord. Lord, we thank you.
For everyone who helps us, we pray to the Lord. Lord, we thank you.
For our home and our food, we pray to the Lord. Lord, we thank you.
For the blessings we have received, we pray to the Lord. Lord, we thank you.
For our country, we pray to the Lord. Lord, we thank you.
For those that care for those in need: front line workers, shelter agencies, food banks and refugee service, we pray to Lord. Lord, we thank you.
For God’s creation, help us to love our common home, we pray to the Lord. Lord, we thank you.


The parent/leader may add additional intercessions and then concludes the intercessions with the following words.

Loving God, thank you for giving us all our gifts and blessings. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

THE OUR FATHER

A parent / leader invites the children / group to pray:

"Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name …"

THANKSGIVING PRAYER

A parent / leader closes the liturgy with the following prayer:

Lord God,
Creator and ruler of the heaven and earth,
thank you for the life you have given to us and
help us to live it according to Your will.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Copyright Acknowledgement

Text: New Revised Standard Version of the Bible © National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA (NCCC). Adapted by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, Adaptations © 2009, NCCC. All rights reserved.

Text: Excerpts from the English translation of The Roman Missal © 2010, ICEL. All rights reserved. All rights reserved. Used with permission.