Melinda Coffey Armstead, piano
Prelude to Worship
Chorale prelude on Nun danket alle Gott . . . Georg F. Kauffmann (1679-1735)
Chorale: Nun danket alle Gott (Now Thank We All Our God) . . . Johann Crüger, 1648; harmonization by J. S. Bach (1685-1750)
We Gather Together . . . Netherlands folk hymn, 1625
Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee (In the setting of G.F. Handel’s Prelude in G) L. van Beethoven (1770-1827), arr. by Cindy Berry
For mornings before the sun rises, the skies still star-strewn and the moon rising late in the Eastern sky with a sheepish smile, the narcotic rhythms of the sea comforting late sleepers, and the perfumed sea breezes anointing the faces of early risers, in thankfulness and praise, we give thanks to the Lord.
For the glue of love and affection that cements relationships and keeps our lives from fragmenting, for looks of understanding that remove the sting of failure, for the grace of the winners in life who touch our second class lives with praise, for the instant smile that greeted us when we were a stranger and afraid, for the exuberance with which a vividly alive person invades the grayness of daily life and starts the clocks of happiness, and for the lives of those marvelous friends who made life sing and whose memories arouse echoes of times when life was incredibly sweet, we give thanks to the Lord.
For the magic of music that plays along the strings of our hearts, for the beauty of brush and pigment that opens our eyes to see, for great literature that helps us get behind the veil of dailiness, for hearty laughter and welling tears which time cannot erase, we give thanks to the Lord.
And for all those who entered our lives and exacted our love and devotion and without whom we now must live sustained only by memories, for those strong and stalwart men and women who enter the nightmare corridors of war for us, willing to give up their young lives on our behalf, in awe and gratitude, we give thanks to the Lord.
Charles Anker – Thanksgiving prayer Nov. 19, 2006