Pope

Prayer over a Thanksgiving meal

‘Thank You, Lord, for these mashed potatoes …’

Thanksgiving has arrived! Here is a Hoopes family prayer that fits with a typical Thanksgiving meal, with references learned from several Thanksgiving sources …

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, symbol of your providence. As Psalm 105 put it, “They asked, and he sent them quail.” Just as you provided for the Israelites wandering in the desert, 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, symbol of our work. As Psalm 104 puts it: “You make the plants for people’s work to bring forth food from the earth.” 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.

We 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.

Stefan Strigler

Tom Hoopes

Tom Hoopes is writer in residence at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, and author of the book What Pope Francis Really Said.