Musical Thanksgiving

Music Musing #77
by Dean McIntyre

Thanksgiving! What a great holiday, even if it isn't part of the liturgical year! What's not to like — Pilgrims and Indians in fellowship, turkey, corn, cranberries, pumpkin pie, family, friends, football…. If you look in most hymnals' seasonal or topical index of hymns, you'll find dozens of hymns and songs related to Thanksgiving and giving thanks.

But what do our hymns actually say about giving thanks? Here's a list from The United Methodist Hymnal (numbers under 2000) and The Faith We Sing (numbers above 2000). You might make a contest of it at choir rehearsal, Sunday school, or Thanksgiving dinner to see who can name the hymns from which these lines and thoughts come:

  • give thanks for the harvest (UMH 86)
  • give thanks for the past, present, future (UMH 87)
  • the angels give thanks (UMH 88)
  • come before God's presence with thanksgiving (UMH 91)
  • give thanks for the fruits of creation, the harvests of the Spirit, God's wonder, truth, love (UMH 97)
  • we are to thank our great Creator (UMH 132)
  • rejoice, give thanks, and sing (UMH 161)
  • give thanks to the risen Lord (UMH 162)
  • give thanks never ceasing (UMH 181)
  • thank God who causes hope to spring up from the ground (UMH 313)
  • give Jesus glory and thanks for his almighty grace (UMH 553)
  • thanks to Jesus for the bread broken, wine poured, words spoken (UMH 614, 615)
  • with my song I give thanks and praise (UMH 652)
  • we face life's tasks with thanksgiving (UMH 664)
  • we give honor to Christ with thanksgiving (UMH 664)
  • give thanks for the gospel's joyful sound (UMH 671)
  • give thanks that the church keeps watch through all the world (UMH 690)
  • give thanks and sing and triumph evermore (UMH 715, 716)
  • our praise and learning will return thanks to God, their source (TFWS 2004)
  • let all things now living raise a song of thanksgiving (TFWS 2008)
  • offer up to God the sacrifices of thanksgiving (TFWS 2031)
  • give thanks with a grateful heart (TFWS 2036)
  • give thanks to the Holy One (TFWS 2036)
  • give thanks because God's given Jesus Christ (TFWS 2036)
  • record with thanks Jesus' dying love (TFWS 2084)
  • one came back with thanks for Jesus, and then went on his way (TFWS 2104)
  • with thanksgiving I'll be a living sanctuary (TFWS 2164)
  • we turn to God with thanks and tears for families known (TFWS 2170)
  • all who live on earth shall give God thanks (TFWS 2205)
  • we come with simple words of heartfelt thanks (TFWS 2207)
  • we give thanks for Scripture and its writers (TFWS 2246)
  • it is right to give our thanks and praise (TFWS 2257)
  • enter God's gates with thanksgiving in our hearts (TFWS 2270)
  • give God an offering to show thanks for great and small blessings (TFWS 2271)

Categories: Music Musings