A Thanksgiving Litany
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.