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GIVING THANKS: THANKSGIVING OPENS THE HOLIDAY SEASON

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GIVING THANKS:

THANKSGIVING

OPENS THE HOLIDAY SEASON


The holidays are soon approaching. We are getting prepared here at Trinity Church Supply.

For the next six weeks or so, many of us are looking forward to celebrating special times with family and friends.

Hopefully, we will also stay alert and sensitive to those who have no close family with whom to celebrate… and consider setting another place at our own tables.

THANKSGIVING--AMERICAN HISTORY

We begin in America with our Thanksgiving celebration at the end of November. Some of us recall memories of childhood pageants depicting the pilgrims, or the harvest decorations we see in stores (of pilgrims and Indians), so we all have some idea of the origin of our feast.

How about the details? The pilgrims landed in Massachusetts in late November, 1620, after a difficult, 66-day journey from Plymouth, England in a small (by today’s standards) ship, the Mayflower. They were determined to find both religious and civil freedom in the “new world”.

Although some “thanksgiving” celebrations have been noted in earlier American history—even in other places (including, for instance, St. Augustine, Florida)—the most noteworthy to many has been the Plymouth immigrants’ celebration.

The Plymouth pilgrims settled on a place to land at Plymouth Rock in Massachusetts in December of 1620, and signed the “Mayflower Compact” before departing the ship. This important document was both the first civil governing document and the first self-governing proclamation in the new land of America.

With the severe weather conditions and little food available, the original 102 pioneers suffered almost 50% life loss over that first winter.

Due to the kindness and help of the native Indians, the new colony planted and harvested bountiful crops by that next summer and fall. Many who had come from England had been accustomed to religious days of fasting, days of celebration, and days of thanksgiving.

Heartfelt appreciation filled their hearts toward both the God who had helped them come so far, and to the Indians who aided them in early survival and in planting their fields. With their fruitful provision, they declared a three day feast to celebrate. They gathered their harvest yield and many hunted fowl—enough to feed their own company and their guests, the Indian King Massasoit and ninety of his men. Then they, also, went out and hunted deer. Historical letters indicate that the feast on that particular day was quite plentiful.

Although George Washington was the first president to proclaim an official Day of Thanksgiving, the current day was established by President Abraham Lincoln, who dedicated the last Thursday in November as an official national Day of Thanksgiving. The year was 1863, and the month was November—the same month in which he delivered the Gettysburg address. It was also the same time period in which he –in his own words—consecrated himself to Christ. Just a year and a half later he was assassinated.

Congress reaffirmed Thanksgiving as a permanent national holiday in 1941, on the same day declared by President Lincoln. It’s the season to “give thanks” again.

May we continue to appreciate the hardships, accomplishments, and major difficulties that so many have endured during America’s history to build the foundations of the bountiful blessings we have today.


Look for more on the the meaning of these special days

as we continue to celebrate this blessed holiday season

at Trinity Church Supply in the weeks that follow.

Upcoming articles include:

JOYOUS GAUDETE SUNDAY

And our series:

GIFT-GIVING AT CHRISTMASTIME

ST NICHOLAS, THE ORIGINAL SANTA

CHRIST AT CHRISTMAS: THE GREATEST GIFT EVER GIVEN

FEAST OF THE THREE KINGS—EPIPHANY

ST JOHN OF THE CROSS will also be featured this coming month.


(adapted from our blog posted by Kathy Boh on November 30, 2016)

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