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Catholic Prayer: Blessing of Food for Thanksgiving Day

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1755 In the United States Thanksgiving Day is a holiday with special religious significance. Originally it was celebrated by the Pilgrims and the Native Americans to give thanks to God after the harvest of 1621. In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln declared the last Thursday of November should be a national day of thanksgiving.

1756 Individuals or families may bring food to be blessed for their Thanksgiving dinner. Food may also be blessed that will be distributed to the poor.

1757 This order may be celebrated in the church or some other suitable place. The blessing may take place during Mass or outside Mass.

1758 This blessing may be given by a priest, deacon, or a lay minister.

Prayer:

I. ORDER OF BLESSING WITHIN MASS

1759 After the gospel reading, the celebrant in the homily, based on the sacred text and pertinent to the particular place and the people involved, explains the meaning of the celebration.

GENERAL INTERCESSIONS

1760 The general intercessions follow, either in the form usual at Mass or in the form provided here. The celebrant concludes the intercessions with the prayer of blessing. From the following intentions those best for the occasion may be used or adapted, or other intentions that apply to the particular circumstances may be composed.

The celebrant says: The Son of God, who invites us to the Paschal feast, stands ready to help us. Let us call upon him in our need.

R. Lord, hear our prayer.

Assisting minister: For the Church of God, that we may never cease to give thanks for all good gifts, we pray to the Lord. R.

Assisting minister: For the poor of the world, that we may share with them our food and material goods, we pray to the Lord. R.

Assisting minister: For farmers and all those who provide us with our food, that we may cherish their labor and love for the land, we pray to the Lord. R.

Assisting minister: For the world and all it contains, that God may continue to bless creation and make all things fruitful, we pray to the Lord. R.

PRAYER OF BLESSING

1761 With hands outstretched, the celebrant says the prayer of blessing:

God most provident, we join all creation in raising to you a hymn of thanksgiving through Jesus Christ, your Son.

For generation upon generation peoples of this land have sung of your bounty; we too offer you praise for the rich harvest we have received at your hands.

Bless us and this food which we share with grateful hearts.

Continue to make our land fruitful and let our love for you be seen in our pursuit of peace and justice and in our generous response to those in need.

Praise and glory to you, Lord God, now and for ever.

R. Amen.

II. ORDER OF BLESSING WITHIN A CELEBRATION OF THE WORD OF GOD

1762 The present order may be used by a priest or a deacon, and also by a lay person, who follows the rites and prayers designated for a lay minister.

INTRODUCTORY RITES

1763 When the community has gathered, a suitable song may be sung. After the singing, the minister says: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

All make the sign of the cross and reply: Amen.

1764 A minister who is a priest or deacon greets those present in the following or other suitable words, taken mainly from sacred Scripture. May the Lord, who fills you with his bounty, be with you always.

And all reply: And also with you.

1765 A lay minister greets those present in the following words: Let us glorify the Lord who fills us with his bounty. Blessed be God for ever.

R. Blessed be God for ever.

1766 In the following or similar words, the minister prepares those present for the blessing. We gather today (this evening) to give thanks to God for his gifts to this land and its people, for God has been generous to us. As we ask God's blessing upon the food we will share with our families, may we be mindful of those in need.

READING OF THE WORD OF GOD

1767 A reader, another person present, or the minister reads a text of sacred Scripture. Brothers and sisters, listen to the words of the first letter of Paul to the Corinthians:

1:3-9 Thanks be to God who has bestowed on us every gift. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I give thanks to my God always on your account for the grace of God bestowed on you in Christ Jesus, that in him you were enriched in every way, with all discourse and all knowledge, as the testimony to Christ was confirmed among you, so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ. He will keep you firm to the end, irreproachable on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, and by him you were called to fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

1768 Or: Sirach 50:22-24--Let us bless the God of all. Deuteronomy 8:7-18--Bless the Lord, your God, for the good country he has given you. Isaiah 63:7-9--I will recall the favors o f the Lord. Luke 17:11-19-Has no one returned to give thanks?

1769 As circumstances suggest, one of the following responsorial psalms may be sung, or some other suitable song.

R. I will give you thanks, 0 Lord, with all my heart.

Psalm 138 I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with all my heart, for you have heard the words of my mouth; in the presence of the angels I will sing your praise; I will worship at your holy temple and give thanks to your name, R.

Because of your kindness and your truth; for you have made great above all things your name and your promise. When I called, you answered me; you built up strength within me. R.

All the kings of the earth shall give thanks to you, 0 LORD, when they hear the words of your mouth; And they shall sing of the ways of the LORD: "Great is the glory of the LORD." R.

Psalm 145:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9, 10-11 R. (v. 1) I will bless your name for ever and ever.

1770 As circumstances suggest, the minister may give those present a brief explanation of the biblical text, so that they may understand through faith the meaning of the celebration.

INTERCESSIONS

1771 The intercessions are then said. The minister introduces them and an assisting minister or one of those present announces the intentions. From the following those best suited to the occasion may be used or adapted, or other intentions that apply to the particular circumstances may be composed.

The minister says: The Son of God, who invites us to the Paschal feast, stands ready to help us. Let us call upon him in our need.

R. Lord, hear our prayer.

Assisting minister: For the Church of God, that we may never cease to give thanks for all good gifts, we pray to the Lord. R.

Assisting minister: For the poor of the world, that we may share with them our food and material goods, we pray to the Lord. R.

Assisting minister: For farmers and all those who provide us with our food, that we may cherish their labor and love for the land, we pray to the Lord. R.

Assisting minister: For the world and all it contains, that God may continue to bless creation and make all things fruitful, we pray to the Lord. R.

1772 After the intercessions the minister, in the following or similar words, invites all present to sing or say the Lord's Prayer. Let us pray to our loving Father as Jesus taught us:

All: Our Father . . .

PRAYER OF BLESSING

1773 A minister who is a priest or deacon says the prayer of blessing with hands outstretched; a lay minister says the prayer with hands joined.

God most provident, we join all creation in raising to you a hymn of thanksgiving through Jesus Christ, your Son.

For generation upon generation peoples of this land have sung of your bounty; we too offer you praise for the rich harvest we have received at your hands.

Bless us and this food which we share with grateful hearts.

Continue to make our land fruitful and let our love for you be seen in our pursuit of peace and justice and in our generous response to those in need.

Praise and glory to you, Lord God, now and for ever.

R. Amen.

CONCLUDING RITE

1774 A minister who is a priest or deacon concludes the rite by saying: May Christ, the living bread, bring you to the banquet of eternal life. R. Amen.

Then he blesses all present. And may almighty God bless you all, the Father, and the Son, + and the Holy Spirit. R. Amen.

1775 A lay minister concludes the rite by signing himself or herself with the sign of the cross and saying: May Christ, the living bread, bring us to the banquet of eternal life. R. Amen.

1776 It is preferable to end the celebration with a suitable song.

III. SHORTER RITE

1777 All make the sign of the cross as the minister says: Blessed be the name of the Lord.

All reply: Now and for ever.

1778 One of those present or the minister reads a text of sacred Scripture, for example: Brothers and sisters, listen to the words of the first letter of Paul to the Corinthians:

1:3-9 Thanks be to God who has bestowed on us every gift. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I give thanks to my God always on your account for the grace of God bestowed on you in Christ Jesus, that in him you were enriched in every way, with all discourse and all knowledge, as the testimony to Christ was confirmed among you, so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ. He will keep you firm to the end, irreproachable on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, and by him you were called to fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

1779 Or:

Sirach 50:22-24--Let us bless the God of all. Luke 17:11-19--Has no one returned to give thanks?

1780 A minister who is a priest or deacon says the prayer of blessing with hands outstretched; a lay minister says the prayer with hands joined and does not make the sign of the cross.

God most provident, we join all creation in raising to you a hymn of thanksgiving through Jesus Christ, your Son.

For generation upon generation peoples of this land have sung of your bounty; we too offer you praise for the rich harvest we have received at your hands.

Bless us and this food which we share with grateful hearts.

Continue to make our land fruitful and let our love for you be seen in our pursuit of peace and justice and in our generous response to those in need.

Praise and glory to you, Lord God, now and for ever.

R. Amen.

Prayer Source: Book of Blessings by Prepared by International Commission on English in the Liturgy A Joint Commission of Catholic Bishops' Conferences, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minnesota, 1989
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