Two Thanksgiving Litanies

With Responses from the Psalms

These resources are taken from Steve Brown’s blog “Worship Ideas You Can Use” (http://sjbrown58.wordpress.com) where you will find additional resources for the whole Christian year. Reprinted with permission.

The following is a responsive reading for a Thanksgiving service that starts out being thankful for the “big picture items” but progresses down to some close and personal items for which we also need to be thankful to God. I wrote it for use at our local church, but you could easily modify it to fit your own needs. The congregational responses are all based on Scripture. The text below that is in italics should be replaced with text that is reflective of your congregation.

Litany 1 (Psalm 4, 9, 65, 66, 67, 75)

Pastor: God, today we are thankful, most of all, for you. Without you, we cannot even breathe. You provide rhythm to our hearts and lives. You are our protector, our guide, our strength, our creator, and our redeemer. We are thankful for your very presence here.All: We give thanks to you, O God, we give thanks, for your Name is near. (Ps. 75:1)

Pastor: God, you created this wonderful terrestrial ball known as the planet Earth and the entire galaxy that surrounds it. You are the provider and the sustainer of all life, for all time and in all continuums.

Men: I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders. (Ps. 9:1)

Women: All the earth bows down to you; they sing praise to you, they sing praise to your name. (Ps. 66:4)

Pastor: We are thankful for our nation. We are thankful for our liberties, for our freedoms; and especially the ability to worship you as guided by your Word without being hindered by our government or other adversaries.

All: May the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you rule the peoples justly and guide the nations of the earth. (Ps. 67:4)

Pastor: We are thankful for the leadership of our country. Continue to guide our leaders and keep us safe.

All: Let the light of your face shine upon us, O Lord. (Ps. 4:6)

Pastor: We are thankful for the state of Connecticut, for the wonderful changing of the seasons, and for the bountiful harvests and plentiful jobs.

Men: You care for the land and water it; you enrich it abundantly. (Ps. 65: 9)

Women: You crown the year with your bounty, and your carts overflow with abundance. (Ps. 65:11)

Pastor: We are thankful for community services; for community shelters, food banks, nursing homes, police and fire protection, churches, schools, hospitals and libraries.

All: You are awesome, O God, in your sanctuary; the God of Israel gives power and strength to his people. (Ps. 68:35)

Pastor: We are thankful for our local church and our governing synod. Keep us true and steadfast to your Word.

All: Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care. (Ps. 95:6)

Pastor: We are thankful for all who serve in our church, our pastor, the secretary, the council, the altar guild, the Sunday school teachers, the ushers, those who clean and maintain the property, those who provide music for our worship services, those who pray, those who need our prayers and all those who attend this church.

All: I will extol the Lord with all my heart in the council of the upright and in the assembly. (Ps. 111:1)

Pastor: We are thankful for each other, for our families and for our homes.

All: O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever. (Ps. 30:12)

Pastor: We are thankful for the many blessings that you provide for us: food, shelter, clothing, employment, health, and education.

Men: I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety. (Ps. 4:8)

Women: The Lord is my shepherd, I shall lack nothing. (Ps. 23:1)

All: I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High. (Ps. 7:17)

Litany 2 (Psalms 106, 107, 118, 136)

Sung Response: “Let All Things Now Living” CH 794, PH 554, PsH 453, TH 125, WR 22

Remember me, O Lord, when you show favor to your people, come to my aid when you save them; that I may enjoy the prosperity of your chosen ones.
O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his steadfast love endures forever.
For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.
O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his steadfast love endures forever.
O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his steadfast love endures forever.
Let Israel say:
His love endures forever.
Let the house of Aaron say:
His love endures forever.
Let those who fear the Lord say:
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of heaven.
His love endures forever.

Sung Response: “Forever” by Chris Tomlin
“One Generation” CSW 4
“Give Thanks to God, for Good Is He” PsH 182

Steve Brown (sjbrown58@yahoo.com) is the worship coordinator at Messiah Lutheran Church in South Windsor, Conn., where he also serves as a singer, songwriter, and guitarist.