Giving thanks is one of the simplest forms of prayer. Many wisdom teachers tell us that gratitude is the root and well of all spiritual life, a continuous source of nourishment and celebration.
One way many cultures and families mark a celebration and a sacred time is with lighting special candles or lamps. Here is a Thanksgiving candle lighting:
Light of love and abundant blessings you illumine our hearts, our actions, and our world. We sing our thanks and praise for all these joyful gifts we have and share. In this beautiful harvest of gratitude, may we in turn may share these blessings with all the world.
Yet like all celebrations, there is often sadness mixed in with that gratitude. Family centered holidays remind those of us with families fractured by estrangement, violence, illness, deployment, and death about the blessings we once knew but feel so very far from right now. This is a Thanksgiving prayer to make room for that reality:
We give thanks for this time of blessing.
We remember the blessings of those who touched our lives with love, but have passed through the veil… (offer names or pause in silence)
We hold those who are so far away from us in love and with cherished hopes for safe returns… (name names & circumstances or pause in silence)
We remember those who do not have enough this day, those who are deep in addiction and other illnesses, and those who are running in fear for their safety today… (name names or pause in silence)
We give thanks for those we are here, for the many blessings we share… (name them or pause in silence)
We give thanks and from our thankfulness, may we love more boldly than we can imagine, give more generously than we would dare, and do all we can from our place of blessing to care for each other and this world. Amen.
Each and every day is a day for giving thanks. Thank you for being who you are and for blessing this life each and every day!