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ALPB => Your Turn => Topic started by: Weedon on November 21, 2012, 10:15:36 PM

Title: For Thanksgiving Eve
Post by: Weedon on November 21, 2012, 10:15:36 PM
It was in November of 1983 that Fr. Alexander Schmemann celebrated the Eucharist for the last time at St. Vlad's; it was Thanksgiving. I had been a student at neighboring Concordia Bronxville and had visited (with Krauser, among others!) the seminary there several times, but was not present to hear these words. I was in St. Louis and if I remember correctly, Krauser was visiting with us for Thanksgiving. Still after once reading Schmemann's words, they have stayed with me across the nearly 30 years since. I thought it would be a good time to share them. Schmemann, clearly nearing the end of his earthly pilgrimage, ended the liturgy with this:

Everyone capable of thanksgiving is capable of salvation and eternal joy.

Thank You, O Lord, for having accepted this Eucharist, which we offered to the Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and which filled our hearts with the joy, peace and righteousness of the Holy Spirit.

Thank You, O Lord, for having revealed Yourself unto us and given us the foretaste of Your Kingdom.

Thank You, O Lord, for having united us to one another in serving You and Your Holy Church.

Thank You, O Lord, for having helped us to overcome all difficulties, tensions, passions temptations and restored peace, mutual love and joy in sharing the communion of the Holy Spirit.

Thank You, O Lord, for the sufferings You bestowed upon us, for they are purifying us from selfishness and reminding us of the “one thing needed;” Your eternal Kingdom.

Thank You, O Lord, for having given us this country where we are free to worship You.

Thank You, O Lord, for this school, where the name of God is proclaimed.

Thank You, O Lord, for our families: husbands wives and, especially, children who teach us how to celebrate Your holy Name in joy, movement and holy noise.

Thank You, O Lord, for everyone and everything.

Great are You, O Lord, and marvelous are Your deeds, and no word is sufficient to celebrate Your miracles.

Lord, it is good to be here! Amen.
Title: Re: For Thanksgiving Eve
Post by: lthayer on November 21, 2012, 10:21:17 PM
Pastor Weedon, this is a finer homily and a deeper prayer than any I will hear or make tomorrow. Thank you for remembering and for sharing the words of this Pastor/Priest of blessed memory.
Title: Re: For Thanksgiving Eve
Post by: J. Thomas Shelley on November 21, 2012, 11:36:09 PM
In that prayer I hear more than a couple echoes of this Thanksgiving Litany from the 1941 Hymnal of the Evangelical and Reformed Church:

Almighty God our heavenly Father, from whom comes every good and perfect gift,
we remember your loving kindness and your tender mercies which have been ever of old,
and with grateful hearts we lift up our thanksgiving:

For all your gifts which you have bestowed upon us,
   for the life you have given us and world in which we live,
let us bless the Lord:

For the work we are enabled to do and the truth we are permitted to learn;
   for whatever of good there has been in our past lives,
   and for all the hopes which lead us on toward better things,
let us bless the Lord:

For the order and constancy of nature;
   for the beauty and bounty of the world;
   for day and night, summer and winter, seed-time and harvest;
   for the varied gifts of loveliness and use that each season brings,
let us bless the Lord:

For all the comforts and gladness of life;
   for our homes and families;
   for our friends and all pure pleasure;
   for the love, sympathy, and good will of persons near and far;
let us bless the Lord:

For all the blessings of civilization, wise government and legislation;
   for education and all the privileges we enjoy through literature, science, and art;
   for the help and counsel of those who are wiser than ourselves,
let us bless the Lord:

For all true knowledge of You and the world in which we live;
   for the life of truth and righteousness and  divine communion which you have called us;
   for prophets and apostles, and all earnest seekers after truth;
   for all lovers and helpers of humankind, and all godly and gifted men and women,
let us bless the Lord

For the gift of your Son Jesus Christ,
   and for all the helps and hopes which are ours as his disciples;
   for the presence and inspiration of your Holy Spirit;
   for all the ministries of your grace and truth
let us bless the Lord:

For the desire and power to help others;
   for every opportunity of serving our generation according to your will,
   and showing forth the grace of Christ to others:
let us bless the Lord:

For all the discipline of life;
   for the tasks and trials by which we are trained to patience, self-knowledge and self conquest,
   and brought to closer sympathy with those who suffer;
   for problems which have lifted us nearer to you
   and drawn us into deeper fellowship with Jesus Christ;
let us bless the Lord:

For the sacred and tender ties which bind us to the unseen world,
   for the faith which dispels the shadows of earth,
   and fills the saddest and the last moments of life with an immortal hope;
let us bless the Lord:

Almighty and everlasting God,
who has graciously given us the fruits of the earth in their season,
we yield humble and hearty thanks for these your bounties,
asking you to give us grace rightly to use them to your glory
and the relief of those that need,
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who with you and the Holy Spirit live and reign,
One God, for ever and ever.

Title: Re: For Thanksgiving Eve
Post by: Dave Benke on November 22, 2012, 07:24:30 AM
Absolutely beautiful prayers! Something else for which to be thankful today!

Dave Benke
Title: Re: For Thanksgiving Eve
Post by: Charles_Austin on November 22, 2012, 07:35:41 AM
I just might use that at the table today, although in New Jersey a reference to the "order and constancy of nature" might not be heard properly post-Sandy.
Our northern New Jersey Lutheran churches are being filled with cans, boxes, kitchen goods and other things to be shipped to our stricken shore towns. I'm trying to hitch a ride down there next week with a friend - a non-Lutheran - whose moving company is loaning trucks to relief workers.
Title: Re: For Thanksgiving Eve
Post by: Jeremy Loesch on November 22, 2012, 09:12:59 AM
Pastor Weedon and Pastor Shelley,

Thank you for sharing those gems!  They were tremendous. 

Title: Re: For Thanksgiving Eve
Post by: J. Thomas Shelley on November 22, 2012, 02:30:52 PM
For about the past seven years we have been using the 1941 E & R prayer at our Harvest Home liturgy which takes place in late September.  For the congregational response we sing the refrain of LBW # 561 For the Beauty of the Earth:

Christ, our Lord to You we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.
Title: Re: For Thanksgiving Eve
Post by: vicarbob on November 22, 2012, 03:28:24 PM
Thank you for sharing these prayers, most welcomed and appreciated.

Will Weedon, as James is known to be a very fine cook, why was he tagging along and not preparing a Thanksgiving meal for everyone?  ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ???

A Blessed and happy Thanksgiving to one and all.

Shout out to Bishop Benke.......VERY fine choice in selecting you know who for you know what and who will start who knows when ............. ;)