A Catholic Prayer Over a Thanksgiving Meal

Next Thursday will be Thanksgiving! Here is a Hoopes family prayer that fits with a typical Thanksgiving meal. Shorter version here.

Dear Lord, on this Thanksgiving Day, let this dinner stand as a symbol of all the blessings you have given us this year, and all we hope for the year to come.

Thank you, Lord, for this beautiful turkey, a symbol of your providence.  Just as you provided for the Israelites quail on their journey, you provided the turkey to our American forebears, and you still send what we need to this day.

Thank you, Lord, for these mashed potatoes, a symbol of our work. These potatoes are pulled out of the earth itself to show how you bless our hard work in every walk of life.

Thank you, Lord, for cranberry sauce. Like the bitter herbs at the Seder meal, the sour cranberry can remind us of the religious persecution the pilgrims were escaping when they came to our land. Thank you for America’s religious freedom. Please preserve this great gift in our nation.

Thank you, Lord, for pumpkin pie, a beautiful symbol of our Catholic faith in America. Catholics invented the pie in the Middle Ages, and Americans filled it with the fruit of the pumpkin, which is not found anywhere else. May we bring your faith to others in new ways, but always founded on your unchanging tradition.

Dear Lord, we ask that you bless America on this Thanksgiving Day through the intercession of St. Kateri Tekakwitha, patron saint of Native Americans, and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, born in 1774 in New York.

Along with the virtues we find on this table, virtues of providence, work, religious freedom and tradition, we ask that you give us the saintly virtues of Kateri and Mother Seton: Like them, make us willing to sacrifice for our faith and tirelessly serve the poor and sick.

Tom Hoopes

Tom Hoopes

Tom Hoopes, author of The Rosary of Saint John Paul II and The Fatima Family Handbook, is writer in residence at Benedictine College in Kansas and hosts The Extraordinary Story podcast about the life of Christ. A former reporter in the Washington, D.C., area, he served as press secretary of the U.S. House Ways & Means Committee Chairman and spent 10 years as executive editor of the National Catholic Register newspaper and Faith & Family magazine. His work frequently appears in Catholic publications such as Aleteia.org and the Register. He and his wife, April, have nine children and live in Atchison, Kansas.