Bishop George (Kuzma), formerly the Ruthenian Eparch of Van Nuys, was the hierarch who first blessed us to begin the monastery. His Grace believed very strongly that it was possible, even necessary, to take secular holidays like Thanksgiving and Memorial days and celebrate them as feasts of the Church. He believed that in this way our Church culture might engage creatively with the dominant secular culture with a view to converting it just a little bit more to Christ. After all, if the nation is supposed to stop for a day to give “thanks” then surely it behooves Christians to offer thanks for all to the source of all good!
But how to do this? Well, clearly for Christians in the Byzantine tradition the only way to celebrate a Feast is to have festal prayer texts for the celebration of the Divine Services: Vespers, Matins, the Hours and, above all, the Divine Liturgy. We were able to find one other complete service written for this celebration, but it seemed quite inadequate as an expression of the Byzantine liturgical tradition. So, it seemed necessary to start from scratch. This is the result.
Unless otherwise noted, all hymns in this service were composed by hieromonk Maximos. Copyright Holy Resurrection Monastery, all rights reserved. As with all prayer services and articles by monks of HRM published on this website, permission is given to republish this text provided a copy of this copyright notice is included.