New Worship Resource: Alternative Great Thanksgiving for Independence Day

Dear readers:

The following is shared with you by The Rev. Joye Jones, a United Methodist pastor who appreciated the Great Thanksgiving Day for Independence Day Hoyt Hickman and I had developed and posted in the Worship section of the GBOD website but found a need to revise it for use in her particular worshiping community.

Her revised version is posted below. Regular GBOD copyright provisions apply, which means you are free to reproduce this by any means, but not to sell it or place it on other websites without written permission (, provided that you include the full copyright citation below on any copies you make. It will be posted soon on the GBOD website as well, but not likely in time for it to be used this coming Sunday (July 4, 2010).

As always, the use of the Great Thanksgiving in The United Methodist Church presupposes a full service of Word and Table, with proclamation of the word, invitation to the Table, confession of sin, an act of pardon, and the exchange of the peace of Christ. The Great Thanksgiving proper picks up after the Peace or after the offertory (presentation of gifts of money, bread and wine) which may follow it.

An Alternative Great Thanksgiving for Independence Day

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

Almighty God, Creator of the universe,
Ruler of all nations, Judge of all flesh,
you have placed us, your people, in this land made rich with rivers, forests, mountains, and creatures great and small.

When we despoiled your creation and destroyed the civilizations who came before us,
you did not abandon us, but set before us the vision
of a nation of liberty and justice for all people.

Here you call your people,
freed from the law and baptized into Christ Jesus,
to be a sign of your reign in all the world.

For such a place, such a vision
and such a calling we give you thanks,
praying we may ever join afresh the dreams you set before us
as we join with your people in every land on earth
and with all the company of heaven
in your unceasing praise:

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

Above all we give you thanks
for the gift of your Son Jesus Christ,
who sends us into the world
to declare the good news of your kingdom
to every creature:
Justice to all peoples,
good news to the poor,
release for prisoners,
sight for the blind,
and freedom for the oppressed.

On the night before he was arrested and sentenced to death
by the authorities of his own nation,
he took bread, gave thanks, broke it, gave it to his disciples,
and said: "Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you."

When supper was over,
he took the cup, gave thanks, gave it to his disciples,
and said, "Drink from this, all of you;
this is my blood of the covenant
poured out for you and for many,
for the forgiveness of sins."

And so we remember and proclaim the mystery of faith.
Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

We pour ourselves out before you in praise and thanksgiving,
a holy and living sacrifice
in union with Christ’s offering for us.
So pour out your Spirit
on us and on these gifts of bread and wine.

Make Christ known to us in the breaking of this bread,
and the sharing of this cup.
Renew our fellowship in him,
that we may be for the world his body
poured out for the world
at this time in this nation,
and at that great banquet in the fullness of your new creation
where justice flows like rivers,
righteousness like an ever-flowing stream,
where none shall hunger or thirst,
neither shall they learn war anymore.

By him, with him, and in him,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all glory and honor is yours, almighty God,
now and ever. Amen.

An Alternative Great Thanksgiving for Independence Day is adapted by The Rev. Joye F. Jones from an original piece by Hoyt Hickman & Taylor Burton-Edwards, Copyright 2010 ©General Board of Discipleship.; used by permission.