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The Surprising Origins of the Thanksgiving Hymn

November 23, 2011
The Surprising Origins of the Thanksgiving Hymn

Its mention of God makes it verboten in schools today. But not too many years ago this was the season when teachers would lead their students in the great ecumenical Thanksgiving hymn, "We Gather Together to Ask the Lord's Blessing." It's a singable melody, and the stirring lyrics speak directly of the Pilgrims' experience in overcoming religious persecution.

The Tragic Aftermath of the First Protestant Thanksgiving Service

November 27, 2008

In 1564, a group of French Protestants (Huguenots), in order to flee persecution by French Catholics, landed near present-day Jacksonville, Florida, and set a day of Thanksgiving on June 30, 1564. Their leader, René de Laudonniere wrote, "We sang a psalm of Thanksgiving unto God, beseeching Him that it would please Him to continue His accustomed goodness towards us." Whether there was a Thanksgiving fellowship meal afterwards is not known; what is known are the tragic events that followed this joyful Thanksgiving service.

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