Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thanksgiving Prayers & Service

I know that in the past there has been a little bit of trouble with the website I was using to host these documents. So I've converted them over to Google Docs this year, here they are, one week before the big day...

Each year, I post about my Thanksgiving Ritual, based loosely on the idea of the Passover Seder. After all, both holidays center around the dinner table, shared with family and/or friends.

Thanksgiving is such a wonderful American holiday. It's a simple concept, really - say thank you for the blessings in life and share a meal with those you love.

But often, the meal takes over, stress of family and needing a "picture perfect" celebration cause a little fraying at the edges. Creating an atmosphere of gratitude can be tricky when you're just trying to keep your 3-year-old from pulling the tablecloth off the table, don't you think? So many of us fret over family relationships, different customs, eating habits, and more. Giving everyone a shared purpose, a ritual, can help to ease some of the tensions of how and what to say when you sit down for the big meal.

Feel free to read all three and pick and choose from within them! Your family might be somewhere between the longer edition and the quick version.

The first, a Thanksgiving Seder, is the longest of the three - suitable for strong attention spans.

The second is a service for families with youngish children. This would work for those who have shorter attention spans and might go well with a little snack...some veggies and dip?
And finally, an ecumenical version. What do I mean by that? It talks about God but it's not particularistic, i.e. not really very Jewish. (I know that some of you loyal readers aren't Jewish or share your table with people of many faiths and still might enjoy this concept!)
All three include ideas for usage and suggestions for incorporating your own cultural and ethnic heritage. I hope you like it and I hope you let me know if you use it. To me, this very American holiday is made even better when we add our own traditions of all kinds!

May your celebration be full and enriching!
Happy Thanksgiving!

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