Dearly beloved faithful in Christ,
With Thanksgiving Day approaching, we would like to take the time to evaluate the true essence of the holiday. We found it appropriate to quote from the "Proclamation of Thanksgiving" issued by President Abraham Lincoln on October 3, 1863. With the issuance of this letter, Thanksgiving Day was proclaimed as a national holiday in the United States of America.
". . . No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People.
I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union . . ."
Proclamation of Thanksgiving*
October 3, 1863
Therefore, it is our duty as members of the Anglican Church in America , continuing to faithfully follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and as law-abiding citizens of the United States of America to forever remember the true spirit of Thanksgiving: being thankful and praising the Lord not once a year but always. "I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will tell all thy wonderful deeds. I will be glad and exult in thee, I will sing praise to thy name, O Most High" (Psalms 9:1-3).
Rev. Bobby C. Hall, SSM