Tag Archives: thanksgiving

Colossians 1:11-14

May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from God’s glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light. God has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

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Come, ye thankful people, come

Come, ye thankful people, come,
raise the song of harvest home;
all is safely gathered in,
ere the winter storms begin.
God our Maker doth provide
for our wants to be supplied;
come to God’s own temple, come,
raise the song of harvest home.

All the world is God’s own field,
fruit as praise to God we yield;
wheat and tares together sown
are to joy or sorrow grown.
First the blade and then the ear,
then the full corn shall appear;
Lord of harvest, grant that we
wholesome grain and pure may be.

For the Lord our God shall come,
and shall take the harvest home;
from the field shall in that day
all offenses purge away,
give his angels charge at last
in the fire the tares to cast;
but the fruitful ears to store
in the garner evermore.

Even so, Lord, quickly come,
to thy final harvest home;
gather thou thy people in,
free from sorrow, free from sin,
there, forever purified,
in thy presence to abide;
come, with all thine angels come,
raise the glorious harvest home.

Words: Henry Alford, 1844
Music: St. George’s Windsor (George Job Elvey: 1816-1893)

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In thanksgiving for the ordination of women…

Forty years ago today, the first 11 women in The Episcopal Church were ordained to the priesthood. It is my belief that our church, and the wider Christian Church, has been strengthened and enriched by this brave act forty years ago.

“May God bless the harvest of this moment, so that it will be not be a high moment in the history of the Episcopal Church but a holy moment in time,” prayed Charles Willie, the Vice-President of the House of Deputies, in his sermon on July 29, 1974. On that remarkable day, eleven female deacons were called, “to make no peace with oppression,” and were ordained to the priesthood in the Church of the Advocate in Philadelphia.

O God of unchangeable power and eternal light: Look favorably on your whole Church, that wonderful and sacred mystery; by the effectual working of your providence, carry out in tranquillity the plan of salvation; let the whole world see and know that things which were being cast down are being raised up, and things which had grown old are being made new, and that all things are being brought to their perfection by him through whom all things were made, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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Above Images: 1) Women priests celebrating the Holy Eucharist, from the Records of the Episcopal News Service. 2) The Philadelphia Eleven kneeling at the altar during their ordination to the priesthood, located in the Records of the Communications Office (DFMS). 3) Image of Bishop Edward Welles leading the ceremony of laying on of hands, part of the rite of ordination, located in the Records of the Communications Office (DFMS).

Portions of the above were excerpted from Facebook posts of The Archives of The Episcopal Church.

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A Prayer of Thanks

Loving God,
we give you thanks
for restoring us in your image
and nourishing us with spiritual food
in the Sacrament of Christ’s Body and Blood.
Now send us forth
a people, forgiven, healed, renewed;
that we may proclaim your love to the world
and continue in the risen life of Christ our Savior. Amen.

–Postcommunion prayer from Enriching Our Worship, according to the use of The Episcopal Church.

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Gloria in Excelsis Deo (William Mathias)

The Gloria in Excelsis is one of the oldest hymns in Christian tradition. Also known as the “Greater Doxology,” its beginnings go back to the 2nd century. Many Christians around the world still recite these words as part of weekly worship, prayer, and devotionals, including Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Orthodox, Lutherans, and many others. Its text has been translated from the original Greek of the New Testament (the opening words are the words spoken by the Angels in Luke 2:14), and many different variants exist. Among all versions, the joyful message is clear: God is to be glorified, Christ died for our sins, and God alone is holy and in unity with Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.

The version I share here (composed by William Mathias) was recorded at Washington National Cathedral on May 5, 2013 during the 11:15 Holy Eucharist.

Click here to listen to the Gloria.

Glory to God in the highest,
And peace to his people on earth.
Lord God, heavenly King,
Almighty God and Father:
We worship you,
We give you thanks,
We praise you for your glory.

Lord Jesus Christ,
Only Son of the Father,
Lord God, Lamb of God:
You take away the sin of the world,
Have mercy on us.
You are seated at the right hand of the Father,
Receive our prayer.

For you alone are the Holy One,
You alone are the Lord,
You alone are the most High:
Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit,
In the glory of God the Father.
Amen.

A medieval icon depicting the Trinity, painted by Andre Rublev c. 1400.

A medieval icon depicting the Trinity, painted by Andre Rublev c. 1400.

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Now thank we all our God

Now thank we all our God,
with heart and hands and voices,
who wondrous things hath done,
in whom his world rejoices;
who from our mother’s arms
hath blessed us on our way
with countless gifts of love,
and still is ours today.

O may this bounteous God
through all our life be near us,
with ever-joyful hearts
and blessèd peace to cheer us;
and keep us in his grace,
and guide us when perplexed,
and free us from all ills
in this world and the next.

All praise and thanks to God
the Father now be given,
the Son, and Holy Ghost,
supreme in highest heaven,
the one eternal God,
whom earth and heaven adore;
for thus it was, is now,
and shall be evermore.

Words: Martin Rinkart (1586-1649), 1636
trans. Catherine Winkworth (1827-1878), 1858
Tune: Nun danket alle Gott (later form of melody by Johann Crüger, 1598-1662), harmony. William Henry Monk (1823-1889), after Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)

–From the album Complete New English Hymnal, Vol 4, sung by the Gloucester Cathedral Choir.

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For the Beauty of the Earth

For the beauty of the earth,
For the glory of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies,
Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.

For the joy of human love,
Brother, sister, parent, child,
Friends on earth, and friends above,
For all gentle thoughts and mild,
Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.

For the Church, that evermore
Lifteth holy hands above,
Offering up on every shore
Her pure sacrifice of love.
Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.

For thyself, best Gift Divine,
to our race so freely giv’n,
for that great, great love of thine,
peace on earth, and joy in heav’n:
Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.

Words: Folliot Sandford Pierpoint (1864)
Tune: Dix by Conrad Kocher (1838)

Text inspired by Psalm 33:4-9, Psalm 145, Colossians 1:15-18, and James 1:17.

–From the album How Firm a Foundation, performed and interpreted by Steve and Danny Thompson.

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