Honoring the Nestorian Christians

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Editor's Note: The following are excerpts from the Proclamation Letter of President Abraham Lincoln on October 3, 1863 which set the precedent of America's National Day of Thanksgiving. I normally would ask a lay leader in my parish (sometimes dressed like Abe Lincoln) to read this Proclamation before the Thanksgiving Eucharistic Celebration begins. At Family Evening meal, it may also be read by a leader in the family so all will know the reason for the celebration. For easy reading, I made adjustments on paragraphing and underscoring.- Fred Vergara)

“It is the duty of nations as well as of (men) to owe their dependence upon the overruling power of God; to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations are blessed whose God is the Lord.

“We know that by His divine law, nations, like individuals are subject to punishments and chastisements in this world. May we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war, which now desolates the land, may be a punishment inflected upon us for our presumptuous sins; to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole people?     

“We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. 

We have forgotten the gracious hand, which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own."

"Intoxicated with unbroken success we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us."

“It has seemed to me fit and proper that God should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people."

"I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November as a Day of Thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwells n the heavens.”      (Abraham Lincoln, 1863)

A Thanksgiving Day Prayer:
Almighty and gracious Father, we give you thanks for the fruits of the earth in their season and for the labors of those who harvest them. Make us, we pray, faithful stewards of your great bounty, for the provision of our necessities and for the relief of all who are in need, to the glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen,. (Book of Common Prayer, page 246)

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