November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

The following is the final sermon given by Fr. Alexander Schmemann, patron saint of many hearts and spiritual father of all who graduate from St. Vladimir's Orthodox Seminary.  It was to his memory that we were drawn in attending the seminary, and it was for him, for our fellows in arms, and our Christ that we stayed.  He gave this homily in the SVS chapel on Thanksgiving Day in 1983.  I was a 6-year-old raging Pentecostal from rural southern Indiana at the time.

"Everyone capable of thanksgiving is capable of salvation and eternal joy.

Thank You, O Lord, for having accepted this Eucharist, which we offered to the Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and which filled our hearts with the joy, peace and righteousness of the Holy Spirit.

Thank You, O Lord, for having revealed Yourself unto us and given us the foretaste of Your Kingdom.

Thank You, O Lord, for having united us to one another in serving You and Your Holy Church.

Thank You, O Lord, for having helped us to overcome all difficulties, tensions, passions, temptations and restored peace, mutual love and joy in sharing the communion of the Holy Spirit.

Thank You, O Lord, for the sufferings You bestowed upon us, for they are purifying us from selfishness and reminding us of the 'one thing needed'; Your eternal Kingdom.

Thank You, O Lord, for having given us this country where we are free to worship You.

Thank You, O Lord, for this school, where the name of God is proclaimed.

Thank You, O Lord, for our families: husbands, wives and especially, children who teach us how to celebrate Your holy Name in joy, movement and holy noise.

Thank You, O Lord, for everyone and everything.

Great are You, O Lord, and marvelous are Your deeds, and no word is sufficient to celebrate Your miracles.

Lord, it is good to be here!  Amen."
The Orthodox Church, Vol. 20, No. 2, February 1984, p. 1:1

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