When Israel was preparing for a new life in the promised land, God gave them the instruction, "Celebrate the Fest of Harvest with the firstfruits of the crops you sow in your field" (Ex. 23:16). Thanksgiving celebrations were an important part of the people's worship before God. Throughout history, worshiping communities have set aside certain times and days as events of special thanksgiving to God. These events are an acknowledgement that God, as creator, is also the provider of all the bounty of life.
In addition, churches are encouraged to schedule multiple times of thankful worhsip as determined by their experiences. When special blessings are experienced, when fervent prayers have been answered, when times of prosperity come, or when God has let and protected thorugh times of tiral or uncertainty, the church does well to gather in thankful worship before God.Find more in The Worship Sourcebook
Section C of The Worship Sourcebook Second Edition, pp. 405-427, offers sample prayers and other worship resources for each act of worship celebrating Thanksgiving. These resources include suggestions for the Call to Worship, Opening Responses, Confession and Assurance, Prayers for Illumination, the Lord's Supper, and Blessing/Benediction.
So Many Leaves is a complete service from June 2006 that is still applicable today and includes scripture passages, prayers, litanies and more.
This June 2010 resource includes two Thanksgiving litanies with responses from the Psalms.
This Thanksgiving service from 2009 is full of worshiper participation.
Browse resources related to the Thanksgiving from our ministry partner, Center for Excellence in Preaching.