Pastoral Message from Metropolitan Tikhon for Thanksgiving Day 2021

Source: OCA

“It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to Thy name, O Most High” (Ps 91/92:1).

To the Clergy, Monastics, and Faithful of the Orthodox Church in America,

Dear Beloved Children in the Lord,


On the civil holiday of Thanksgiving Day, celebrated in the United States today and last month (October 11) in Canada, we are reminded that a Christian is characterized by gratitude. Indeed, it is impossible to imagine a pious heart without thanksgiving to our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ. Gratitude is so deeply rooted in our life in Christ that the central act of our worship of the Holy Trinity bears its name—Eucharist, thanksgiving.

Each week the Holy Spirit gathers us to offer this humble appreciation to God for our salvation. We do this in the Holy Anaphora not only by elevating bread and wine to receive as our Lord’s most-pure Body and precious Blood, but also by elevating our hearts with grateful hands and saying “we lift them up unto the Lord.” This vision of gratitude is not just for the Sunday Divine Liturgy, but for every day which God may give us. Because of Christ’s death and resurrection, we are able to perpetually offer “a mercy of peace, a sacrifice of praise” as we walk in His commandments.

On this national day of Thanksgiving, as you come together with friends and family to celebrate, I pray that you do so remembering first and foremost the immeasurable gifts our Lord has bestowed on us. First amongst these gifts is the gift of salvation in Christ. In recognition of the mercies of God towards you, I ask you to be merciful to others. Most especially, open your table to the poor, outcast, lonely, and afflicted. In so doing, you will have Christ Himself as your guest (cf. Mt 25:31–46).

May you all have a blessed Thanksgiving Day.

Yours in Christ,
Archbishop of Washington
Metropolitan of All America and Canada

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