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Notes on the Notes – October 12, 2014

Thanksgiving Sunday


Scripture: Philippians 4:4-9

This week’s music:

“Grateful” (More Voices #182)

grateful snoopy

Grateful for the life you give us, thankful for your Holy Son, joyful in your Spirit flowing over all, O God of Love.  Grateful for the Bread of Heaven, thankful for your Holy Word, joyful in your mercy flowing, we will praise you.”

This song of thankfulness is by Tom Tomaszek (2003), author, composer, educator and liturgical musician.  His ministry began with teaching English at a public high school while serving as a parish musician and catechist. Those experiences led to 14 years of service to the Archdiocese of Milwaukee’s youth ministry office.  Later, Tom served as the director of the Artists and Repertoire at OCP. He holds a master’s in theological studies from St. Francis Seminary in Milwaukee, and a master’s in education from the University of Wisconsin.

“A Thanksgiving Prayer”

“Thank you, Lord, for loving us all.  For your gifts both great and small,  for the faith which keeps us strong, now we join in thankful song. 

For the beauty all around, every sight and every sound, for the love and friendship we share, Lord, we bow in thankful prayer.

We gather together to share in God’s blessings:  the colours of autumn, the blossoms of spring, the gift of  creation, the promise of salvation, for all His many wonders our thanks no we bring.

Together we join in our song of thanksgiving, with grateful rejoicing our voices we raise.  All people and nations unite in celebration to God be all honor and glory and praise!

Now we join in worship and praise.  Now with joy our voices we raise.  All of us here united this day, offering God all glory and praise!


This week’s anthem was written by Don Besig and Nancy Price in 1984.   It combines an original composition with melody KREMSER, which was a tune arranged by the Viennese conductor Eduard Kremser from a 17th-century Dutch folk song.   It is familiar to us as the melody for the hymn “We Praise You, O God, our Redeemer, Creator” (VU 218).

“Ev’ry Day is a Day of Thanksgiving” (MV #185) – This lively gospel song from the African-American tradition was written by Leonard Burks.

“Ev’ry day is a day of thanksgiving.   God you’ve been so good to me.  Ev’ry day you’re blessing me.

every day is a day of thanksgivingEv’ry day is a day of thanksgiving.  I will glorify you, O my Lord, today!

You keep blessing me, blessing me, blessing me.  You opened the door that I might see, you’re blessing me.

And you keep blessing me, blessing me, blessing me.  I will glorify you, O my Lord, today!

“Let All Things Now Living” (VU #242)

“Let all things now living a song of thanksgiving to God our Creator triumphantly raise; who fashioned and made us, protected and stayed us, by guiding us on to the end of our days.  God’s banners are o’er us, pure light goes before us, a pillar of fire shining forth in the night; till shadows have vanished and darkness is banished, as forward we travel from light into Light. 

By law God enforces, the stars in their courses and sun in its orbit obediently shine; the hills and the mountains, the rivers and fountains, the depths of the ocean proclaim God divine.  We, too, should be voicing our love and rejoicing with glad adoration a song let us raise:  till all things now living unite in thanksgiving, to God in the highest, hosanna and praise.”

This hymn in an arrangement of an anthem published in 1939 by Katherine Kennicott Davis under the pseudonym John Cowley.  She wrote the text sometime in the 1920s for the Welsh folk melody, LLYNN ONN,  or “The Ash Grove.”  

Listen to the song at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYtbqCqkNUk

Hear the song on guitar at:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sV8c4O3rcIA

“For All Your Goodness” (VU #549)

“For all your goodness, God, we give you thanks.  Thanks for the food we eat, and for the friends we meet, for each new day we greet, we give you thanks.”

This round is from the United Church’s Songs for a Gospel People (1987).  The traditional German tune was arranged by Darryl Nixon, music editor for the 1987 supplement to The Hymn Book (1971).

“For the Fruit of All Creation” (VU 227)   

“For the fruit of all creation, thanks be to God.  For the gifts to every nation, thanks be to God.

For the ploughing, sowing, reaping, silent growth while we are sleeping, future needs in earth’s safekeeping, thanks be to God.

In the just reward of labour, God’s will is done.  In the help we give our neighbor, God’s will is done. 

In our worldwide task of caring for the hungry and despairing, in the harvests we are sharing, God’s will is done.

For the harvests of the Spirit, thanks be to God.  For the good we all inherit, thanks be to God. 

For the wonders that astound us, for the truths that still confound us, most of all that love has found us, thanks be to God.

This hymn of thanksgiving for the fruits of human labour extends the theme by relating it to the need for sharing of gifts, not only of labour, but also of the Spirit.   The words of the closing verse,  “Most of all that love has found us, thanks be to God”  remind us that, of all the things we have to be thankful for, God’s love is the most precious and abiding.

The English Methodist cleric, poet, and hymn writer, Fred Pratt Green, wrote the text to provide a new harvest hymn (1970).  The text was modified into inclusive language for the Lutheran Book of Worship (1978).  The revised text was published in “Songs for a Gospel People.”  It was set to the traditional Welsh tune AR HYD Y NOS (All through the night).  This melody was also arranged a s a hymn tune by Ralph Vaughan Williams, the music editor of The English Hymnal (1906).

Hear the hymn sung in Welsh at:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEGgoi6zawg

thanksgiving 2

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