Thanksgiving is upon us again, arising out of that blend of eternity and time we call the seasons. And, just like last year, I have many, many things to be grateful for. Healthy children, a wonderful wife, interesting work, and abundant gentle nudging from above into a happier, more spiritual existence.
Last year I offered you six beautiful prayers of gratitude; this year I offer four more lovely prayers of thanks plus a Buddhist gratitude dedication (at the end) particularly poignant after recent events.
As always, thank you for reading, dear hearts, and may you have a wonderful holiday.
Thanksgiving Blessing, by Walter Rauschenbusch
We thank you for this earth, our home; for the wide sky and the blessed sun, for the ocean and streams, for the towering hills and the whispering wind, for the trees and green grass.
We thank you for our senses by which we hear the songs of birds, and see the splendor of fields of golden wheat, and taste autumn’s fruit, rejoice in the feel of snow, and smell the breath of spring flowers.
Grant us a heart opened wide to all this beauty; and save us from being so blind that we pass unseeing when even the common thornbush is aflame with your glory.
For each new dawn is filled with infinite possibilities for new beginnings and new discoveries. Life is constantly changing and renewing itself. In this new day of new beginnings with God, all things are possible. We are restored and renewed in a joyous awakening to the wonder that our lives are and, yet, can be.
Help Me Thanksgiving Prayer, by Samuel F. Pugh
O God, when I have food,
help me to remember the hungry;
When I have work,
help me to remember the jobless;
When I have a home,
help me to remember those who have no home at all;
When I am without pain,
help me to remember those who suffer,
help me to destroy my complacency;
bestir my compassion,
and be concerned enough to help;
By word and deed,
those who cry out for what we take for granted.
The Canticle of the Creatures, by St. Francis of Assisi
Most High, all-powerful, all-good Lord,
All praise is Yours, all glory, honor and blessings.
To you alone, Most High, do they belong;
no mortal lips are worthy to pronounce Your Name.
We praise You, Lord, for all Your creatures,
especially for Brother Sun,
who is the day through whom You give us light.
And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendor,
of You Most High, he bears your likeness.
We praise You, Lord, for Sister Moon and the stars,
in the heavens you have made them bright, precious and fair.
We praise You, Lord, for Brothers Wind and Air,
fair and stormy, all weather’s moods,
by which You cherish all that You have made.
We praise You, Lord, for Sister Water,
so useful, humble, precious and pure.
We praise You, Lord, for Brother Fire,
through whom You light the night.
He is beautiful, playful, robust, and strong.
We praise You, Lord, for Sister Earth,
who sustains us
with her fruits, colored flowers, and herbs.
We praise You, Lord, for those who pardon,
for love of You bear sickness and trial.
Blessed are those who endure in peace,
by You Most High, they will be crowned.
We praise You, Lord, for Sister Death,
from whom no-one living can escape.
Woe to those who die in their sins!
Blessed are those that She finds doing Your Will.
No second death can do them harm.
We praise and bless You, Lord, and give You thanks,
and serve You in all humility.
Great Spirit, I thank you today
Mother Earth, I thank you
Grandmother Moon, I thank you
Grandfather Sun, I thank you
I offer thanks to the four directions
to the east
to the south
to the west
to the north
I thank you for all my relations:
the winged nation
creeping and crawling nation
the four-legged nation
the green and growing nation
and all things living in the water
Honoring the clans:
Great Spirit, I thank you on this day.
Buddhist Gratitude Dedication adapted by Josh Korda
Countless are those are born without physical or mental health.
I have been born with all limbs and faculties complete.
Many are those who live in lands of strife and conflict, and who are deprived of security and safety.
I am living in a place where there is peace.
Incalculable are those forced to toil without end, and who are driven by hunger and want.
I have enough to sustain my body and time to give it rest.
Numerous are those who live as slaves, unable to go where they wish and think as they like.
I enjoy great freedom.
Without number are those who live in regions where the light of the truth does not shine and its message is not heard above the racket of doctrines that cause suffering.
I have heard the good teachings.
Truly precious and great are the blessings I enjoy.
Here I contemplate on my good fortune and the good of others.
To repay these gifts, I will use my efforts to overcome the obstacles of hatred, greed and delusion.