Encyclical For Thanksgiving Day (11/24/2016)

The Thanksgiving holiday is a joyous day of celebrating the blessings of life. Traditions connected to faith, family, and community have developed in this country, affirming the importance of offering thanks to God for these blessings and recognizing the many ways we are blessed by Him.
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Encyclical for Thanksgiving Day (11/26/2015)

However, we should also recognize that the act and attitude of thanksgiving is also related to struggle and hardship. The first Thanksgiving, which provided the origins of our national observance, followed an arduous and costly journey to this land by the Pilgrims. To escape persecution, they made a lengthy voyage to this continent, faced disease and death, and attempted to establish a new home in very challenging physical and natural conditions. Their survival of these hardships through faith and hope led them in 1621 to offer thanksgiving to God for His amazing grace and providence.
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Encyclical for Thanksgiving Day (11/27/2014)

These foundations of Thanksgiving Day, and its place within the history and life of this nation as a regular observance have made this a holiday shared by many as well as a time for families to gather in fellowship and gratitude. The focus on giving thanks to God, the attitude of gratefulness for the blessings in our lives, and the traditions centered upon the family resonate with our emphasis on the family as a dwelling of Christ and a witness of His Gospel.
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Encyclical for Thanksgiving Day (11/28/2013)

When we commune with Him and offer our prayers of thanksgiving for all that He gives to us, we have no need for anxiety or worry. From day to day and year to year the circumstances of our lives will change. Challenges will come. Great joy and happiness will be experienced. Dear family members and friends will leave this temporal life. New relationships will begin. Through all of this, we are encouraged by the Apostle Paul to have no anxiety about anything because our trust is in our Creator and Redeemer.
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Encyclical for Thanksgiving Day (11/22/2012)

The vibrant tradition of the Thanksgiving holiday in this country is a special opportunity for the Church to offer a witness of the priority of thankfulness in our relationship with God and as a foundation for our lives in this world. As Orthodox Christians we bring an offering of thanksgiving to God when we gather for worship, praising and honoring Him as Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer. We commune with Him and express our faith in His grace and power through our participation in the Holy Eucharist, an act of thanksgiving for His mercy and salvation.
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Encyclical for Thanksgiving Day (11/24/2011)

On this blessed day of Thanksgiving, we are encouraged in the tradition of this great national holiday to be thankful to God for His presence in our lives and His abundant gifts to us. As Orthodox Christians this gratefulness to God is something we share with all who celebrate this day. It is also an attitude and manner of life that is presented in our worship and in our relationships with others.
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Encyclical for Thanksgiving Day (11/25/2010)

On this national holiday of Thanksgiving, we are blessed with the opportunity to gather with family and friends and observe a time of gratitude for our lives, for the fruits of the earth, and for the grace of God. As Orthodox Christians we know and affirm that this attitude of thanksgiving is not just reserved for one day of the year, but it characterizes the life in Christ each and every day. Giving thanks to God, showing our gratitude to Him for His love, is both an act and an attitude that offers a continuous witness to the world of the power of saving faith.
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Encyclical for Thanksgiving Day (11/26/2009)

This holiday, a traditional American day of thanksgiving to God, has been celebrated for generations, through times of peace and security and in times of great crisis and tragedy. Under all circumstances of life and at all times, it has been a day that offers an enduring witness to the power of thankfulness.
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Encyclical for Thanksgiving Day (11/27/2008)

Thanksgiving is an essential expression of our worship and prayer as Orthodox Christians. When we gather in our parishes and when we direct our minds and hearts toward God seeking His guidance, we offer our deepest gratitude to Him for His love and the gift of salvation. We do this through praise of His greatness, through words and exclamations of honor that magnify His glory, and through actions of respect, which show the reverent state of our hearts.
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Encyclical for Thanksgiving Day (11/22/2007)

I greet you in the love of Jesus Christ on the joyous occasion of our national celebration of Thanksgiving. This is truly a beautiful national holiday, for it presents us with an opportunity to come together as families and communities in gratitude for the tremendous blessings that God continually bestows upon us each and every day of our lives.
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Encyclical for Thanksgiving Day (11/23/2006)

I greet you in the love of our gracious God as we celebrate our national holiday of Thanksgiving. As we come together as families, friends, and communities from across the land on this wonderful day it is indeed appropriate to feast with one another in a spirit of Christian gratitude; for God has blessed us with gifts and treasures which we must never take for granted.
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Encyclical for Thanksgiving Day (11/24/2005)

As we experience the beauty of the autumn season during these final months of the year, we arrive at our national celebration of Thanksgiving, a handsome occasion to thank God for the abundance of blessings that He bestows upon us each and every day of our lives.
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Encyclical for Thanksgiving Day (11/25/2004)

It is the time of the year when we once again anticipate beautiful and joyous gatherings with family and friends. We commemorate various holidays and feasts with prayer, fellowship, and love, acknowledging the communal bonds that we have in our homes and throughout this country.
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Encyclical for Thanksgiving Day (11/27/2003)

This month we celebrate Thanksgiving, a magnificent occasion when the people of our country gather as families and as communities to thank God for His tremendous blessings. Thanksgiving Day is a very important holiday in that it is expressive of feelings and thoughts that acknowledge and affirm God as the ultimate source of all goodness. Thus, Thanksgiving is unique among our other national holidays, resonating very distinctly with our Orthodox Christian theology.
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Thanksgiving Day Message to the Faithful (11/23/2000)

On this uplifiting day in this great land of America, the heart of the nation beats with thanksgiving for the bounty of blessings bestowed upon this country of faithful by the Almighty God. Across the land in towns and villages, cities and municipalities, families and friends gather together for meaningful rituals of celebration and praise acknowledging the One from Whom all good things come.
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Encyclical for Thanksgiving Day (11/25/1999)

One of the finest American customs is the annual observance of Thanksgiving Day. There is something special about this day which we set aside for expressions of gratitude in our family gatherings. For the holiday of Thanksgiving is more than a gracious acknowledgement of God’s bounties at the close of the harvest: it is also a demonstration of our faith and hope for the future, even in the face of the winter months ahead.
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