ORTHODOX THANKSGIVING DAY
Preparation for Christmas
As Orthodox Christians, we celebrate Thanksgiving, not with sumptuous meals for we have learned how to fast and how to feast. In every season we render thanksgiving to God, and are now in the midst of the annual 40 day fast before the Nativity of Christ, preparing to celebrate the Nativity of Jesus Christ, being born in the flesh from the Virgin in Bethlehem. But we celebrate our American Thanksgiving with a feast of fish which we greatly enjoy. We strive to keep the our lives centered on the New Child to be born in Bethlehem lying in the manger. He is our Lord, for and the source of our lives and our existence who is also our great Benefactor. We also are most thankful for our country and its many benefits and we thank the Lord for our life in the United States of America.
There is something very important about the subject of thanksgiving to Orthodox Christians that sets it apart for us from everything else. While, according to American tradition, we celebrate Thanksgiving Day once a year, we celebrate and offer prayers and thanksgiving to God , not on one day, but every single day of our lives, for it is from Him whom we live and have our being. It is from Him that our country has received its bounty. No matter much and how often we offer thanksgiving to God, we can never offer enough gratitude, considering all that he has done for us and given to us. If we could offer him songs as numberless as the sand we would still have done nothing worthy of all that He has given to us. We will name a few. Our very existence and being. Our body soul and spirit. Our intellect, consciousness, our freedom and fervent hope.
The importance of continuous thanksgiving is apparent to us for it is the name of the mystery celebrated at every Divine Liturgy, which is “the Eucharist”, a Greek word which translated is