Musical Thanksgiving Celebration
Churches celebrates so many liturgically based holidays such as Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday, Easter, Pentecost, All Saints Day, Christmas. Today we have numerous "secular" holidays which we also love to celebrate, Mothers' Day, Fathers' Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, even Halloween which has roots with All Saints Day and All Hallows Eve. But what about Thanksgiving? Our first Thanksgiving is not based on biblical celebrations, or is it? The colonists in New England gathered in 1621 with a feast to celebrate a successful harvest. These English Colonists were joined by members of the Wampanoag tribe to celebrate the gifts from God. A successful harvest is a legitimate cause to praise God. For over 400 years, we have celebrated the successful harvest.
Years ago, the distinguished American composer Allen Pote wrote us an anthem based on Psalm 92 for our choirs to celebrate Thanksgiving. He agreed to include choirs of all ages, organ and brass quartet. The premiere in 1991 was given for Thanksgiving at Centenary United Methodist Church in Lawton, Oklahoma and the beautiful piece has been sung by churches all over the world for Thanksgiving services.
As we celebrate Thanksgiving, may we remember that this as our gratitude to a generous God.