We Need to Celebrate this Feast Every Day   

We Need to Celebrate this Feast Every Day  


We Need to Celebrate this Feast Every Day  

00:00 /

Listen Now. We will now be including the daily reading of Epistle and Gospel with The Prayer Team.


I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.  My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and be glad.  O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together.  Psalm 34:1-3


Good morning Prayer Team!

I wonder how many of us are going to read an account of the first Thanksgiving as part of our festivities today.  In the morning, many of us will stress out about cooking.  In the afternoon we will most likely overeat.  Television will be part of the holiday.  Some will take a turkey-induced nap.  There will be desserts and plenty of leftovers.  There is nothing wrong with any of these things.  I’m looking forward to dinner with family, a little TV and hopefully a nap as well.

However, the point of the Thanksgiving Holiday was a day to give thanks to God.  Historically, when the Pilgrims came to America in 1620 and survived their first winter, they gave thanks to God by offering a Thanksgiving feast.  They celebrated their survival, their new land and their harvest.  The centerpiece of the feast was not food.  It was giving thanks.

There are two areas for improvement in our Thanksgiving holiday.  First, the centerpiece is not the turkey, the television or even our families.  The centerpiece should be the Lord.  The focus of the day should be giving thanks to Him, and to one another. 

The second area for improvement is that Thanksgiving should be celebrated every day.  Every day should be a day to give thanks.  I don’t know how many movies I’ve seen that involve a Thanksgiving dinner.  And someone will say, as the family sits down to eat, “we must say a prayer TODAY because it is Thanksgiving.”  As if to infer that prayers are not said before meals on any other day.  Some movies even have the uncomfortable “who is going to offer the prayer?”  Or they make the guest offer the prayer, as is to say no one in the host family knows how to pray.  What makes for a comedic scene in a movie is actually a pretty serious issues.  There are lots of families who don’t pray regularly.  There are lots of families who only pray on Thanksgiving.  There are many people, who if asked to offer a prayer, can only offer the Lord’s Prayer. 

So here are three challenges for this Thanksgiving—First, when it is time to have dinner, everyone should offer the Lord’s Prayer together, and then I encourage you, to go around the table and everyone offer something for which they are thankful as part of the prayer before the meal.  Finally, someone should offer a prayer for those who do not have food, asking God to multiple His blessings on those who really need them. 

Second, in this age of technology, offer thanks to FIVE people that you won’t see on Thanksgiving Day, five people who are not part of your family that will gather around your table.  Send a quick email, a text, or make a quick call and thank five people for being part of your life.

The third challenge is to make the concept of Thanksgiving part of every day.  We don’t spend enough time around the dinner table together.  Many of us do not pray before meals.  And many of us do not take the time to express our thanks to the Lord or to one another.  So, take these challenges and start incorporating them into your everyday life. Thanksgiving is perhaps the most important celebration of the year, because it is something we should be doing on a daily basis!  There may be 12 days of Christmas, and in the Orthodox Church, 40 days of the Resurrection, but there should be 365 days of Thanksgiving. 

Thank You Lord for this special day on which we offer Thanksgiving.  Thank You for the food I will enjoy today.  Bless those who don’t have food.  Thank You for the family that I will enjoy my food with.  Be with those who have no one to share fellowship with.  Thank You for all the special people in my life (bring their names to mind).  Help us to celebrate a meaningful holiday today, keeping our thanks to You at the center of our feast.  Amen.

Happy Thanksgiving!  And thank YOU for being part of the prayer team and for your prayers!


+Fr. Stavros


With Roger Hunt providing today’s Daily Reading: Listen Now.

These readings are under copyright and is used by permission. All rights reserved. These works may not be further reproduced, in print or on other websites or in any other form, without the prior written authorization of the copyright holder: Reading © Holy Transfiguration Monastery – Brookline, MA, Apolytikion of Abbot Marcellus © Narthex Press, Kontakion of Abbot Marcellus © Holy Transfiguration Monastery – Brookline, MA.

The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyrighted 1946, 1952, 1971, and 1973 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. and used by permission. From the Online Chapel of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

Photo Credit: TimeOut


Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) is a 501(c)3 and an official agency of the Assembly of Canonical Bishops of the United States of America . It is a recognized leader in the Orthodox Media field and has sustained consistent growth over twenty-two years. We have worked to create a community for both believers and non believers alike by sharing the timeless faith of Orthodoxy with the contemporary world through modern media. We are on a mission to inspire Orthodox Christians Worldwide. We have reached 5.7 Million People in One Week and we want to reach millions more!  Signup to receive our newsletter email: info@myocn.net.

Do you find it hard to keep focused on Christ when you’re on the go? OCN makes it easy! You can be inspired daily by the OCN programming from where ever you are by plugging into our ListenReadWatch Worship.  To learn more about emerging Orthodox leaders in our Community check out OCN 30 Under 30 Initiative.  It is an opportunity to show support for and invest in this next generation of trailblazers.

Much like public radio, the Orthodox Christian Network relies on the support of our listeners, readers, volunteers, and fans. If you are interested in supporting our work, you can send your sustaining gift by direct mail, over the phone, or on our website. Your gift will ensure the continued growth of this encouraging Orthodox Community by providing faith-building, free, high-quality programming. Give today to help you and your Orthodox community stay connected no matter the location.

donate now


Click here to download the Spark OCN and Orthodox Prayer Book.

Posted by the Orthodox Christian Network. OCN is on Social Media! Follow us on TwitterFacebookYouTube, Google+, PinterestLinkedIn and Instagram

About author

Fr. Stavros Akrotirianakis

Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis is the Proistamenos of St. John Greek Orthodox Church in Tampa, FL. Fr. contributes the Prayer Team Ministry, a daily reflection, which began in February 2015. The Prayer Team now has its own dedicated website! Fr. Stavros has produced two books, “Let All Creation Rejoice: Reflections on Advent, the Nativity and Epiphany”: “https://amzn.to/2t1rXwh and “The Road Back to Christ: Reflections on Lent, Holy Week and the Resurrection.” https://amzn.to/2WAcfG0