What is “thanksgiving”? Taking into consideration that everyone in America who is a believer, and everyone who recognizes God as Creator, today turns to God with hymns of praise, it follows that Thanksgiving Day has a religious character.
For us Orthodox Christians, thanksgiving is our testimony to God’s presence in the life of the world and of human beings.
Thanksgiving is the profoundly religious response of our hearts, testifying with reverent joy and trembling that the Lord participates in our personal lives through His majesty, glory, and love.
Thanksgiving is our response to God’s gift. It is our joyful recognition of the mercy and goodness that God has shown to us in our lives.
Finally, thanksgiving – a feeling of gratitude – is the foundation of our continuously renewed life in Jesus Christ, our Lord.
The great Apostle Paul teaches us: Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks [1 Thessalonians 5:17-18].
This feeling of thanksgiving to God is the primary, basic feeling in which a child should be brought up from the earliest age, in order to become an emotionally healthy person who is inclined towards, and capable of, spiritual development.
It is with these feelings and these wishes that we turn today to the Almighty with hymns of praise. Amen.