This Our Hymn of Grateful Praise

by Mary Johnson

The very last line of the hymn "For the Beauty of the Earth" is ‘Christ our God, to thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise.' The song has been running through my head a lot lately since the children's choir has begun to learn it. And Jason talks about it with such fond memories of his previous parish, where it was the signature piece every Thanksgiving Day, and choir alumni are invited to join the current choir to raise their voices in grateful praise. It is a tradition we hope to build here as our children's choir grows each year.

As I read through each verse of this hymn, it is abundantly clear why it is sung on Thanksgiving. It certainly speaks to all for which I am grateful. And my only regret is that I will not be here on that morning to come sing it with full voice and gladness of heart. Believe me, if I were anywhere close, I'd be here. So I will need at least fifty of you who are reading this to take my place at the 10:00 liturgy on Thanksgiving morning to sing it for me. Because I'm pretty certain, any less than fifty won't do. If you haven't noticed, I can be pretty loud. (Just ask my darling husband, Cary. He'll verify.)

What a blessed full month this November will be: from Baptism Sunday on November 4th when we welcome 8 new members into our community of Holy Comforter to Thanksgiving Day when so many will come together to share in the Eucharist and give thanks For the Beauty of the Earth....and so much more.