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Thanksgiving
by Jean Grant
Celebrate Thanksgiving with your students with this prayer service.
Preparation: Bread or wheat and grapes should be placed on a special cloth in a basket ahead of time. The basket is then placed in the center of the room, with the children holding hands and forming a circle around it. If possible, flicker lights surround the basket or are placed on each side. Ask each student ahead of time to bring in a symbol to represent something that student is especially thankful for. (Examples might be a baby doll for a new brother or sister, a picture of a grandparent who has been healed, a picture of the child’s family for which he/she is especially grateful, a Bible, etc.)


Leader: The response throughout will be Psalm 118:1: O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his steadfast love endures forever!

Opening song: “Table of Plenty” (OCP) or an alternate selection

Begin with the Sign of the Cross by all.

Leader: Dear Jesus, we have gathered here today to thank you for the bounty we have been given through your goodness. You have showered your blessings upon us, and we rejoice in your love for us.

All: O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his steadfast love endures forever!

Leader: Dear Jesus, we thank you for the gifts of wheat from the fields and grapes from the vines. With these blessings, and the words of the priest, we grow closer to you in Eucharist.

All: O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his steadfast love endures forever!

Leader: Dear Jesus, we look at our classmates, our school, and our parish faith community, and we thank you for their support and the beauty they bring to our lives.

All: “O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his steadfast love endures forever!”

Leader: Dear Jesus, we thank you for our earth and all of God’s creations. We especially thank you for peace with our neighbors and brothers and sisters around the globe.

All: O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his steadfast love endures forever!

Leader: Dear Jesus, each of us has shared a unique experience with you. You know each of us and what is best for us. We are grateful that your loving touch has been felt in our lives, and we offer our individual thanks to you at this time.

The leader begins by bringing an object to the prayer table and explaining its significance and why what it represents makes the leader thankful to Jesus. The object is left at the table for the day. After that, as the children feel moved to want to share, they may step forward, add their symbols to the prayer table, and step back. Participation is optional. Students may speak a prayer of thanksgiving even if they did not bring a symbol.

Leader: Dear Jesus, we thank you for your constant, loving arms around us. In gratitude we offer you the prayer you taught on the Mount, the Our Father.

All recite the Our Father and close with the Sign of the Cross.


Jean Grant teaches at St. Charles Borromeo School, St. Charles, MO.



Copyright 2014, Peter Li, Inc. All rights reserved. This article is protected by United States copyright and other intellectual property laws and may not be reproduced, rewritten, distributed, redisseminated, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast, directly or indirectly, in any medium without the prior written permission of Peter Li, Inc.