Ah, the question, does confession count without repentance? Answer: depends.
Having sat through some pretty long blessings of the big meal in my life, I can sympathize with Vachel.
I prefer short and to the point, viz:
“Thank you for our feast
We shall remember the hungry;
Thank you for our health
We shall remember the sick;
Thank you for our freedom
We shall remember the enslaved;
Thank you for our brave men and women in uniform
For without them this feast would not be possible.”
In keeping with the short blessing, our large, extended family invites a family who will otherwise have no feast, to ours.
We take leftovers to the nursing home, and help feed those who cannot feed themselves.
We pray for the enslaved, and for those of our family serving in the military to assist them to freedom.
Many of our family are Veterans (like me, USMC for Vietnam then Army retired) and many more are still serving. We/they thank them/us and remember those away from home protecting the nation and the People, by calling a role of the names before sitting down for the feast. On one wall we have their pictures so that they are with us in spirit if not in person. When we call their names, their closest relatives say; “We stand here for (their name)”. If one is killed in the line of duty, we still do it but add; “Who is standing in the presence of the Lord.”
We’re a really, REALLY tight family.
But the blessing itself is short and sweet, as reproduced above.
After many years, my Mom has made an even shorter version:
“We thank you, Lord, for the feast we are about to eat, and the many hands that made it possible. Amen. Now who wants potatoes?”
The Agnostics Thanksgiving
There are folk who are hungry,
But we have food.
There are folk who are cold and in danger,
But we are warm and safe.
There are folk who are alone,
But we have each other.
There are those who have sacrificed
Peace, comfort and joy
That we may have all of those things.
Let us be thankful then,
In memory of them.
It’s funny, my family growing up didn’t have any set speeches (although speeches are totally awesome, and it’s so interesting to hear the variety of them here). And so each time the date rolls around, I really think what aspects of my life I’m really grateful for.
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