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The Litany of Thanksgiving

In observance of Thanksgiving, I thought I would share the Litany of Thanksgiving used at the Thanksgiving Eve Service held 21 November 2007 at Memorial Lutheran Church in Ames, Iowa. The litany was written by late Pastor Richard G. Kapfer. He was the past President of Iowa District West for the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod and former Senior Pastor at Memorial while I was growing up in the 1970s and 1980s. The litany gives thanks for what we have experienced this past year and in our life times. Please enjoy the read and Happy Thanksgiving. (Note: bold face type is spoken by the congregation)

The Litany of Thanksgiving

O God, great, good, gracious Giver of all gifts, on this day with grateful hearts we prize life’s multitude of gifts.

Accept our thanks, O Creator!

For the sheet fun of hearing things: good music, loud laughter, bird songs, family voices, spring rain, rippling brook, dry leaves, squeaking snow, friendly greetings, fireplace logs, stimulating conversation, good jokes, new ideas, machinery noise, musical instruments, summer insets, baseball hits, stadium cheers, for church bells, hymns, and prayers I love to hear, and for all the unforgettable moments our ears have heard for us.

Accept our thanks, gracious Lord!

For the sheer glory of seeing things: rainbows, water lilies, moonlight, pro football on TV, ancient sculpture, modern art, the first spring flower, summer roses, autumn maples, winter landscapes, spiral galaxies, a triple play, the grace and beauty of the human form, living cells, friendly smiles, a good movie, fresh turned earth, skilled performances, deft needlework, ocean tides, church spires, sun-drenched stained glass windows, and Your flowered and decorated sanctuary; for all the unforgettable moments our eyes have seen for us,

Accept our thanks, merciful Lord!

For the sheer joy of feeling things: clean sheets, scratching and tickling, morning dew, the first frost, thawing breezes, good golf swings, swimming power, silk, sandpaper, relaxed muscles, hot baths, excitement, achievements, success, security, belonging, a child’s hand in mine; for the grace of Your cup against our lips, and for all the unforgettable moments our touch has felt for us,

Accept our thanks, wonderful God!

For the sheer delight of tasting things: roasted meats, summer strawberries, autumn pumpkin pies, birthday cakes, hot coffee, crisp salads, pretzels, aged cheese, potlucks, picnics, fresh baked goods, chocolate ice cream, dinner out, midnight snacks; for the redeeming and forgiving joy of Your sacred feast, and for all the forgettable moments our taste has savored for us,

Accept our thanks, loving Lord!

For the sheet joy of smelling things: onions in the stew, hickory smoke, spring lilacs, summer air, autumn bonfires, winter fur, fresh-cut limes, rain soaked earth, hot bread, jelly in the making, pine trees, waxed wood, soft leather, fragrance of the candles of Your altar; and for all the forgettable moments our breathing discovers for us,

Accept our thanks, heavenly Father!

In all we do — whether in hearing, seeing, feeling, tasting, or smelling, help us, Lord, to find beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garments of praise for the spirit of heaviness; and then,

Accept our thanks, O Lord, our God!

For all the blessings received in Your house: the touch of the life-giving water of Baptism, the hand of blessing in Confirmation, the ring placed on the finger before Your altar, the comfort of Your Word, and the support of those shared our grief, for the times we have felt deep within us Your forgiveness and peace, and for all the unforgettable moments we have spent in Your house,

Accept our thanks, almighty God!

For the overwhelming gift of Your Son: for His life in the flesh as one of us, for His constant love in the face of hatred, for His suffering in our place, for His resurrection and our new life in Him, for all He is to us and for us, and for all He means,

Accept our thanks, blessed Lord!

We thank You also, good Lord, for the privilege of praying together:

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven, give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us,and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever and ever, Amen.

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