A Liturgy for Feasting, and Other Means of Thanks

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Happy Thanksgiving, folks! We’re thankful for all of you and want to offer a few words and songs you might find useful during today’s festivities. Now turn off your phones and computers and feast (right after you read this post).

First is this video of an excerpt from “A Liturgy for Feasting with Friends” from Every Moment Holy. Download a free printable version of the whole liturgy here.

It wouldn’t quite be Thanksgiving (for me, at least) without a reading from Robert Farrar Capon’s Supper of the Lamb. You might find, as I do, that it’s a great blessing over a feast.

From Chapter 16 of The Supper of the Lamb
by Robert Farrar Capon

“For all its greatness (trust me—I am the last man on earth to sell it short), the created order cries out for futher greatness still. The most splendid dinner, the most exquisite food, the most gratifying company, arouse more appetites than they satisfy. They do not slake man’s thirst for being; they whet it beyond all bounds. Dogs eat to give their bodies rest; man dines and sets his heart in motion. All tastes fade, of course, but not the taste for greatness they inspire; each love esacpes us, but not the longing it provokes for a better convivium, a higher session. We embrace the world in all its glorious solidity, yet it struggles in our very arms, declares itself a pilgrim world, and, through the lattices and windows of its nature, discloses cities more desirable still.

You indict me, no doubt, as an incurable romantic. I plead guilty without contest. I see no other explanation of what we are about. Why do we marry, why take friends and lovers, why give ourselves to music, painting, chemistry, or cooking? Out of simple delight in the resident goodness of creation, of course; but out of more than that, too. Half of earth’s gorgeousness lies hidden in the glimpsed city it longs to become. For all its rooted loveliness, the world has no continuing city here; it is an outlandish place, a foreign home, a session in via to a better version of itself—and it is our glory to see it so and thirst until Jerusalem comes home at last. We were given appetittes, not to consume the world and forget it, but to taste its goodness and hunger to make it great.”

And a benediction from Chapter 15:

“I wish you well. May your table be graced with lovely women and good men. May you drink well enough to drown the envy of youth in the satisfactions of maturity. […] May we all sit long enough for reserve to give way to ribaldry and for gallantry to grow upon us. May there be singing at our table before the night is done, and old, broad jokes to fling at the stars and tell them we are men.

We are great, my friend; we shall not be saved for trampling that greatness under foot … Come then; leap upon these mountains, skip upon these hills and heights of earth. The road to Heaven does not run from the world but through it. The longest Session of all is no discontinuation of these sessions here, but a lifting of them all by priestly love. It is a place for men, not ghosts—for the risen gorgeousness of the New Earth and for the glorious earthiness of the True Jerusalem.

Eat well then. Between our love and His Priesthoood, He makes all things new. Our Last Home will be home indeed.”

And finally, I’ll leave you with two songs. First up is Son of Laughter’s “The Meal We Could Not Make” from the new album No Story Is Over. And the second is maybe my favorite song my brother’s ever written, “Don’t You Want to Thank Someone” from Light for the Lost Boy.

“The Meal We Could Not Make”
by Son of Laughter
from No Story Is Over

 

“Don’t You Want to Thank Someone”
by Andrew Peterson
from Light for the Lost Boy

I hope you all have much to be thankful for this year. I know I do.

Pete Peterson is the author of the Revolutionary War adventure The Fiddler’s Gun and its sequel Fiddler’s Green. Among the many strange things he’s been in life are the following: U.S Marine air traffic controller, television editor, art teacher and boatwright at the Florida Sheriffs Boys Ranch, and progenitor of the mysterious Budge-Nuzzard. He lives in Nashville with his wife, Jennifer, where he’s the Executive Director of the Rabbit Room and Managing Editor of Rabbit Room Press.


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