Thanksgiving Day

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Suggested Readings: 

Sirach 50:22–24

1 Chronicles 29:10bc, 11, 12 (13b)

1 Corinthians 1:3–9

Luke 17:11–19

ALTHOUGH ADVENT BEGINS NEXT SUNDAY, the commercialized Christmas season epitomized by Black Friday sales and Cyber Monday deals has already started. This time of heightened buying and selling is a good foil for understanding how Christians are called to go further when they give thanks for the blessings they have received.

In American culture, with our strong sense of individualism and self-reliance, we often treat giving thanks as a two-way exchange. I give you something; you give me thanks in return. Whether it’s money, a present, power, or opportunity, the recipient is obligated to “pay back” the gift with a response of gratitude or some other item of equal value to the giver. Once this is done, the transaction is complete.

However, the gifts we receive from God do not work this way. God’s gifts cannot be earned or bought for there is nothing we can offer that would “pay back” the gift in full. Something else is needed. To signify our reception of God’s blessings as a gift and not as a reward or exchange, theologian Rev. Louis-Marie Chauvet says we must give a “return gift.” This third step places the gift received into service for others in need. Only by “paying it forward” can we receive God’s blessings and give rightful praise to the One who freely gives us all that is good.

–Diana Macalintal

Suggested Music

GIA Hymnal Suggestions
WLP Resource Suggestions

Choral Suggestions:


The parish I attend on Thanksgiving Day has a beautiful tradition of blessing loaves of bread for the congregation to take home with them and share at their Thanksgiving meals. This tradition reminds me of the early days of the church when the Eucharistic liturgy was celebrated in people’s homes. This ancient practice is much more real to all of us that have gone through the celebration of mass at home during the time of COVID. The blessed bread that we share with our families is a reminder of the Eucharistic bread we share when we come together for the liturgy and give our gratitude to God. “Let us give thanks to the Lord, Our God!”

–Victoria Zibell

For the Beauty of the Earth

Words and Arrangement by Jeanne Cotter

G-9323 · SATB, piano, guitar

Come, You Thankful People, Come

Arranged by Tony Alonso

G-9460 · SAB, assembly, keyboard, guitar, 2 C instruments

For the Beauty of the Earth

Kevin A. Memley

G-9038 · SATB, piano

We Are Grateful

James A. Rogner

G-8238 · SATB, assembly, organ

Litany of Thanksgiving

Chris de Silva

G-8287 · SAB, assembly, piano, guitar, flute, cello

More choral suggestions for Thanksgiving Day…

A Harvest Anthem  Malcolm Archer  SAATB, organ G-8431

All for You  Mikey Needleman  Three-part choir, cantor, assembly, keyboard, guitar 008494

Bendeciré Tu Nombre / I Will Praise Your Name: Salmo 145(144)  Diego Correa y Damaris Thillet  ¡Aclama, Tierra Entera! / Sing, All You Lands! bilingual songbook  012637

For the Beauty of the Earth  Bernard Sexton  SATB, keyboard  G-6603

For the Beauty of the Earth  Ed Bolduc  Three-part choir, solo, assembly, keyboard, guitar  008436

For the Fruit of All Creation  Alice Parker  SATB or two-part choir, assembly, keyboard  G-6264

Give Thanks  Kathleen Demny  Two-part children’s choir, keyboard  007147

Gracias, Señor  Diego Correa y Damaris Thillet  Canten a Dios con Ritmos de Nuestra Tierra songbook  012528

How Great Thou Art  Arr. Kathleen M. Basi  SATB, descant, keyboard  008930

Lord, It Is Good to Give Thanks  W. Clifford Petty  SATB, cantor, assembly, keyboard  001293

Now Thank We All Our God  Johann Pachelbel  SATB G-7476

Por Tu Misericordia  Eleazar Cortés  Alabemos a Dios songbook  012682

’Tis the Gift to Be Simple  Arr. Nicholas Micchelli  SAB a cappella  008273