Hopefully we all have something or even many things for which to be thankful. Every year on the fourth Thursday of November, Americans dedicate the day to giving thanks, and we monks celebrate Thanksgiving Day as well.

On Thanksgiving we have our Mass, as we always do, immediately after the morning Office of Lauds, chanted at sunrise. Only on Sundays is that altered, when Mass is celebrated a little later in the morning, at 9:15 am. On Thanksgiving Day we have our festive meal, including turkey, of course, at 1:00 pm. It is a time for community renewal and camaraderie.

One of the common terms for the Catholic Mass is “Eucharist,” derived from the Greek word for “thanksgiving.” As monk’s, we center our lives around the Eucharist, the Mass, which provides a constant focus on rendering thanks to God for all good gifts, great and small: life and breath, food and shelter, mobility and consciousness, are all part of the reasons we should thank God without ceasing. And above all, we give thanks for the sacrifice of Jesus, who died on the cross for our redemption, and who feeds us with “the best of wheat,” his Body and Blood, at Holy Communion.

May this Thanksgiving 2021 be cause for rejoicing for the good God does for us, when we are awake and when we sleep.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Abbot Christian and the monks