How do Christian Scientists celebrate Thanksgiving?

By Mary Helen Black and Nancy Thayer

science and health_edited-1“Never did gratitude and love unite more honestly in uttering the word thanks, than ours at this season.”   MARY BAKER EDDY

Thanksgiving Day services have been held in Christian Science churches in the United States since 1902.  Today Christian Science churches in many countries that do not celebrate a special Thanksgiving holiday, hold services in their churches around the time of Thanksgiving Day in the United States.  It’s a way of celebrating the importance and universality of giving thanks from a spiritual point of view.

The Thanksgiving Bible Lesson includes citations from the Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy — the Discoverer of Christian Science and Founder of the church.  The Golden Text this year is “…the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord”.  (Psalms 33:5)  Included in the text of the lesson: “The Lord is good to all: All thy works shall praise thee O Lord; and thy saints shall bless thee.  They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power;” (Psalms 145: 9-11); and from Science and Health: “Good. God; Spirit; omnipotence; omniscience; omnipresence; omni-action. … God, Spirit, alone created all, and called it good”. (SH 587 & 339)

One highlight of these services is testimonies/sharing of gratitude appropriate for the occasion from those in the congregation. Music and hymn singing, time for prayer, reading the Thanksgiving Proclamation by the President of the United States round out the service. No collection is taken. Everyone in the community is welcomed.

Christian Scientists, their extended families, friends and neighbors make these services a regular part of their Thanksgiving Day celebration. Every family may also have other traditions they celebrate together on this holiday: volunteering to serve meals at soup kitchen; going for long walks; enjoying a football game; just being together.

Services will be held in Christian Science churches in the greater Detroit area on Thursday morning, November 26th.  Ann Arbor, Birmingham, Farmington, Milford, Plymouth, Port Huron, Rochester, Royal Oak and Trenton at 10:30.  Fenton, Flint, Grosse Pointe Farms and Oxford at 11:00.

Would you like to learn more about the 2015 Thanksgiving Bible Lesson right now?  You can download it today to listen to or print out.  You might also enjoy a two minute inspirational “The great Giver” from Mark Swinney, a Christian Science healer, teacher and lecturer.