The Thanksgiving Day Homily of Fr. Alexander Schmemann

The famous Thanksgiving Day sermon of Fr. Alexander Schmemann was the last sermon he preached shortly before his repose in 1983. He read it immediately following the conclusion of the final Divine Liturgy he served at St. Vladimir Orthodox Theological Seminary, where he had been the dean for many years. He reposed on December 13, 1983.

Fr. Matthew Howell read this homily at the end of the Thanksgiving Day Liturgy served at St. Herman Church on November 25, 2021.

“Thank You, O Lord!”
A Sermon for Thanksgiving Day
By Fr. Alexander Schmemann

+ 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[1], 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.
[1] St. Vladimir Orthodox Theological Seminary of Tuckahoe, New York