A Thanksgiving Litany

Based on 1 Chronicles 16:8-36

This litany is adapted from one I wrote for our worship gathering on the Sunday of Canadian Thanksgiving weekend. The litany draws from the 1 Chronicles 16 account of David arranging musicians, priests, and others to praise God after the ark of the covenant had returned to Jerusalem. The celebratory context and the involvement of a wide range of voices and instruments encourages us to include multiple voices and instruments in our own thanksgiving celebrations. 

(Note: All Reader parts come from 1 Chronicles 16:8–36, NIV)

Reader 1: Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done.

Reader 2: Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts.

People: Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!

Reader 3: Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.

Reader 4: Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.

Reader 2: Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced,  you his servants, the descendants of Israel, his chosen ones, the children of Jacob.

People: Give thanks to the Lord, for he has made himself known to us!

Reader 1: He is the Lord our God; his judgments are in all the earth.

Reader 3: He remembers his covenant forever,

Reader 2: the promise he made, for a thousand generations,

Reader 4: the covenant he made with Abraham,

Reader 1: the oath he swore to Isaac.

Reader 3: He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree, to Israel as an everlasting covenant:

Reader 2: “To you I will give the land of Canaan as the portion you will inherit.”

People: Give thanks to the Lord for his faithfulness from generation to generation!

Reader 4: When they were but few in number, few indeed, and strangers in it, they wandered from nation to nation, from one kingdom to another.

Reader 1: He allowed no one to oppress them; for their sake he rebuked kings: “Do not touch my anointed ones; do my prophets no harm.”

People: Give thanks to the Lord for his protection!

Reader 3: Sing to the Lord, all the earth; proclaim his salvation day after day.

Reader 2: Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.

Reader 1: For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods.

Reader 4: For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the Lord made the heavens.

Reader 3: Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in his dwelling place.

People: We sing with joy before the Lord!

Reader 2: Ascribe to the Lord, all you families of nations, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.

Reader 3: Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering and come before him.

Reader 4: Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness. Tremble before him, all the earth! The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved.

People: We worship the Lord with thanksgiving!

Reader 1: Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let them say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!”

Reader 3: Let the sea resound, and all that is in it;

Reader 4: let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them!

Reader 2: Let the trees of the forest sing, let them sing for joy before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth.

People: Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.

Reader 1: Cry out, “Save us, God our Savior; gather us and deliver us from the nations,

Reader 4: that we may give thanks to your holy name, and glory in your praise.”

People: Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting.

Chris Schoon (Th.D., Wycliffe College) is the Director of Faith Formation Ministries for the Christian Reformed Church in North America. Previously, Chris has served as a pastor in both Michigan and Ontario. Along with contributing regularly to Reformed Worship, Chris is the author of Cultivating an Evangelistic Character (Wipf & Stock, 2018), which takes an in-depth look at worship and discipleship in the missional church movement. You can find him on Twitter: @chrisjschoon.