top of page
  • Writer's pictureFr. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Morning Prayer on Thanksgiving Day 2020

Daily Morning Prayer

Thanksgiving Day (RCL Year A) November 26, 2020

Watch the Livestream at

Sunday at 9:30 a.m. (or anytime afterward)


I am posting this worship service online because we at St. Matthew's Church in Savannah are unable to gather together in person this week. Due to the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) outbreak, public health officials recommend avoiding large gatherings of people to avoid spreading the illness to more vulnerable people. Therefore, under the guidance of the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia, the Vestry has decided to keep our church building closed to all in-person gatherings.

At 9:30 a.m. on Sunday morning, I will broadcast the following worship service using Facebook Live at After the service concludes, you can re-watch it at any time.

Today's service is Daily Morning Prayer. This is for use at home while watching the live stream or reading the prayers when you cannot physically attend worship. Lay people may read the entirety of this service as printed.

May God protect you from this virus and protect the most vulnerable among us. May we be God’s hands and feet of compassion and service to all in need during this time. Amen.

Yours in Christ,

Fr. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Morning Prayer, Rite II

[BCP, p. 75]

Give thanks to the Lord, and call upon his Name; make known his deeds among the peoples.

[Psalm 105:1; BCP, p. 78]

The Invitatory and Psalter

[BCP, p. 80]

Lord, open our lips.

And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:

as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.



[Psalm 100; BCP, p. 81-83]

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, one God:

Come let us adore him.

Be joyful in the Lord, all you lands; * serve the Lord with gladness and come before his presence with a song.

Know this: The Lord himself is God; * he himself has made us, and we are his; we are his people and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise; * give thanks to him and call upon his Name.

For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; * and his faithfulness endures from age to age.

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, one God:

Come let us adore him.

Psalm 65

[BCP, p. 672; Read by Mrs. Terry Newton and Ms. Jayda Newton]

Read responsively by whole verse.

1 You are to be praised, O God, in Zion; * to you shall vows be performed in Jerusalem.

2 To you that hear prayer shall all flesh come, * because of their transgressions.

3 Our sins are stronger than we are, * but you will blot them out.

4 Happy are they whom you choose and draw to your courts to dwell there! * they will be satisfied by the beauty of your house, by the holiness of your temple.

5 Awesome things will you show us in your righteousness, O God of our salvation, * O Hope of all the ends of the earth and of the seas that are far away.

6 You make fast the mountains by your power; * they are girded about with might.

7 You still the roaring of the seas, * the roaring of their waves, and the clamor of the peoples.

8 Those who dwell at the ends of the earth will tremble at your marvelous signs; * you make the dawn and the dusk to sing for joy.

9 You visit the earth and water it abundantly; you make it very plenteous; * the river of God is full of water.

10 You prepare the grain, * for so you provide for the earth.

11 You drench the furrows and smooth out the ridges; * with heavy rain you soften the ground and bless its increase.

12 You crown the year with your goodness, * and your paths overflow with plenty.

13 May the fields of the wilderness be rich for grazing, * and the hills be clothed with joy.

14 May the meadows cover themselves with flocks, and the valleys cloak themselves with grain; * let them shout for joy and sing.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:

As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.

A Reading from Deuteronomy (8:7-18)

[Read by DJ Cope]

Moses said to all Israel: For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land with flowing streams, with springs and underground waters welling up in valleys and hills, a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey, a land where you may eat bread without scarcity, where you will lack nothing, a land whose stones are iron and from whose hills you may mine copper. You shall eat your fill and bless the Lord your God for the good land that he has given you.

Take care that you do not forget the Lord your God, by failing to keep his commandments, his ordinances, and his statutes, which I am commanding you today. When you have eaten your fill and have built fine houses and live in them, and when your herds and flocks have multiplied, and your silver and gold is multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied, then do not exalt yourself, forgetting the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, who led you through the great and terrible wilderness, an arid wasteland with poisonous snakes and scorpions. He made water flow for you from flint rock, and fed you in the wilderness with manna that your ancestors did not know, to humble you and to test you, and in the end to do you good. Do not say to yourself, "My power and the might of my own hand have gotten me this wealth." But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, so that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your ancestors, as he is doing today.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

LEV #76: Jesus in the Morning

1 Jesus, Jesus, Jesus in the morning

Jesus in the noontime;

Jesus, Jesus,

Jesus when the sun goes down!

2 Praise Him, Praise Him, Praise Him in the morning

Praise Him in the noontime;

Praise Him, Praise Him,

Praise Him when the sun goes down!

3 Love Him, Love Him, Love Him in the morning

Love Him in the noontime;

Love Him, Love Him,

Love Him when the sun goes down!

4 Serve Him, Serve Him, Serve Him, in the morning

Serve Him in the noontime;

Serve Him, Serve Him,

Serve Him when the sun goes down!

5 Jesus, Jesus, Jesus in the morning

Jesus in the noontime;

Jesus, Jesus,

Jesus when the sun goes down!

Words: Traditional, Public Domain.

Music: Negro Spiritual, Public Domain.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #92238. All rights reserved.

A Reading from the Second Letter to the Corinthians (9:6-15)

[Read by Ms. Olivia Jones]

The point is this: the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work. As it is written,

"He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor; his righteousness endures forever."

He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way for your great generosity, which will produce thanksgiving to God through us; for the rendering of this ministry not only supplies the needs of the saints but also overflows with many thanksgivings to God. Through the testing of this ministry you glorify God by your obedience to the confession of the gospel of Christ and by the generosity of your sharing with them and with all others, while they long for you and pray for you because of the surpassing grace of God that he has given you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Hymn #377: All People That On Earth Do Dwell

1 All people that on earth do dwell,

sing to the Lord with cheerful voice:

him serve with mirth, his praise forth tell,

come ye before him and rejoice.

2 Know that the Lord is God indeed;

without our aid he did us make:

we are his folk, he doth us feed,

and for his sheep he doth us take.

3 O enter then his gates with praise,

approach with joy his courts unto;

praise, laud, and bless his Name always,

for it is seemly so to do.

4 For why? the Lord our God is good;

his mercy is for ever sure;

his truth at all times firmly stood,

and shall from age to age endure.

5 To Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,

the God whom heaven and earth adore,

from men and from the angel host

be praise and glory evermore.

Words: William Kethe, para. of Psalm 100, Public Domain.

Music: Old 100th, alt.; harm. after Louis Bourgeois, Public Domain.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #84238. All rights reserved.

A Reading from the Gospel According to St. Luke (17:11-19)

[Read by Mr. Emmanuel Kelley]

On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee. As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance, they called out, saying, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!" When he saw them, he said to them, "Go and show yourselves to the priests." And as they went, they were made clean. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. He prostrated himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus asked, "Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" Then he said to him, "Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well."

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

The Homily

“More Than a Feeling” by the Rev. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Thanksgiving is more than a feeling. Thanksgiving is a decision and a commitment. It’s an attitude we can intentionally adopt as a remedy for our fear, anxiety, or sadness.

The other day, Rev. Kelly and I brought our dog to Skidaway Island State Park for the afternoon. Our plan was to hike the trail for a few miles, find one of the beaches, and let our dog swim in the water for a little bit so she tires out before going home for a bath. The weather was perfect--not too hot with some cool breeze. Reina the dog was enjoying herself. Kelly and I were having a great conversation. But about an hour in, I was feeling miserable.

First off, let me just acknowledge that I’m not much of an “outdoorsy” person. I get agitated pretty quickly when it’s too hot or too cold or too muddy. Though the weather was nice, the trails were wet and muddy and we were frequently sinking into holes where there is usually solid ground. I tried my best to get over that. But by the time we got to the marshy beach, I realized something critical. I forgot to apply or bring any bug spray. So while Kelly is calmly eating a snack and Reina is joyfully splashing in the water, I feel like I’m getting eaten alive by every mosquito, gnat, and critter in the marsh. And I can be a big baby about these things so I start complaining as we trek back toward our car.

My brilliant and patient wife, however, knows me well enough to help me snap out of these sorts of ruts. She asked me a question that totally changed the mood of our hike. “Tell me 10 things you are thankful for right now.” It’s a question we use for moments like this to try to reconnect with one another and with God, especially when one or both of us is down. And by about number 4 on the list, like clockwork, my mood begins to shift, and I start to realize that I don’t have as much reason to complain as I thought.

Thanksgiving is more than a feeling. Thanksgiving is a decision and a commitment. It’s an attitude we can intentionally adopt as a remedy for our fear, anxiety, or sadness.

This year, Thanksgiving Day might not feel as festive as it usually does. For the first time in my life, I’m not spending Thanksgiving with either my family or my wife’s family. As we considered the risks of traveling during a pandemic, we decided to stay here in Savannah and forge a new path. We have to embark on a different holiday tradition this year, and we have mixed feelings about it. I know from talking to many of you, members of St. Matthew’s, that I’m not alone in that feeling.

For others, you may have mixed feelings about family and loved ones who are traveling to see you from out of town. It’s a hard choice either way. We all have to weigh the costs and the benefits of seeing or not seeing loved ones in person during this public health crisis.

So you might be feeling a bit more down than normal. But that doesn’t mean you’re stuck. We can all use gratitude as a path to heal broken hearts, to remind ourselves and remind each other of all the blessings we do have even when things are hard.

In today’s Gospel story, Jesus met ten people suffering from leprosy, a life-threatening and highly contagious skin disease. When Jesus healed these ten, he changed their lives. Not only were they physically well, but they also became socially acceptable. They could return to their homes, families, and friends without fear of harming anyone else.

Jesus healed ten lepers, but only one came back and said thank you. More often than not, I’m more like the nine than I am like the one. More often than not, I’m consumed with my own problems or negativity, rather than acknowledging to God and those around me that I have been blessed with so much.

So today, take some time to talk to a loved one about what you’re thankful for. Ask them to share what they are thankful for. And in those conversations, know that you are sharing something holy, that draws you closer to the loving heart of God. Amen.

The Apostles' Creed

[BCP, p. 96]

I believe in God, the Father almighty,

creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only son, our Lord.

He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit

and born of the Virgin Mary.

He suffered under Pontius Pilate,

was crucified, died, and was buried.

He descended to the dead.

On the third day he rose again.

He ascended into heaven,

and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,

the holy catholic Church,

the communion of saints,

the forgiveness of sins,

the resurrection of the body,

and the life everlasting. Amen.

The Lord's Prayer

[BCP, p. 97]

V: The Lord be with you.

R: And also with you.

Let us pray.

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your Name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those

who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial,

and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,

and the glory are yours,

now and for ever. Amen.

Suffrages B

[BCP, p. 98]

V. Save your people, Lord, and bless your inheritance;

R. Govern and uphold them, now and always.

V. Day by day we bless you;

R. We praise your name for ever.

V. Lord, keep us from all sin today;

R. Have mercy upon us, Lord, have mercy.

V. Lord, show us your love and mercy;

R. For we put our trust in you.

V. In you, Lord, is our hope;

R. And we shall never hope in vain.

Collect of the Day: Thanksgiving Day

[BCP, p. 246]

Almighty and gracious Father, we give you thanks for the fruits of the earth in their season and for the labors of those who harvest them. Make us, we pray, faithful stewards of your great bounty, for the provision of our necessities and the relief of all who are in need, to the glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Collect of the Day: Proper 29

[BCP, p. 236]

Almighty and everlasting God, whose will it is to restore all things in your well-beloved Son, the King of kings and Lord of lords: Mercifully grant that the peoples of the earth, divided and enslaved by sin, may be freed and brought together under his most gracious rule; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

A Collect for Guidance

[BCP, p. 100]

Heavenly Father, in you we live and move and have our being: We humbly pray you so to guide and govern us by your Holy Spirit, that in all the cares and occupations of our life we may not forget you, but may remember that we are ever walking in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Offertory

Many people are feeling the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis, including the church. We still need your support to pay our staff, pay our bills, and provide for these online live streams. If you pledged a donation in 2020 and are able, please continue making those contributions. If you have not pledged, please consider donating to St. Matthew’s now and in the future. There are several ways to give, but the simplest are these:

  1. Mail us a check or money order at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, 1401 Martin Luther King, Jr., Blvd, Savannah, GA 31415; OR

  2. Make a secure online gift to St. Matthew’s and/or automate future gifts at:; OR

  3. Text “stmattsav” to 73256 to make a secure online donation through your phone.

NOTE: Donations made online (#2 or #3) through Realm incur a processing fee of about 2.5%. Please consider adding an additional 2.5% to your online gift to cover these costs.

Offertory Hymn: Thank You, Lord

1 Thank You, Lord,

Thank You, Lord,

Thank You, Lord,

I just want to thank You, Lord.

2 Been so good,

Been so good,

Been so good,

I just want to thank You, Lord.

Words: Traditional [see AAHH #531], Public Domain.

Music: Negro spiritual, Public Domain; arrangement by Guillermo A. Arboleda

A Litany of Thanksgiving

[BCP, p. 836; Read by Mrs. Joenelle Gordon, Mr. Charles Gordon, and Ms. Maya Brown]

Let us give thanks to God our Father for all his gifts so freely bestowed upon us. For the beauty and wonder of your creation, in earth and sky and sea. We thank you, Lord. For all that is gracious in the lives of men and women, revealing the image of Christ, We thank you, Lord. For our daily food and drink, our homes and families, and our friends, We thank you, Lord. For minds to think, and hearts to love, and hands to serve, We thank you, Lord. For health and strength to work, and leisure to rest and play, We thank you, Lord. For the brave and courageous, who are patient in suffering and faithful in adversity, We thank you, Lord. For all valiant seekers after truth, liberty, and justice, We thank you, Lord. For the communion of saints, in all times and places, We thank you, Lord. Above all, we give you thanks for the great mercies and promises given to us in Christ Jesus our Lord; To him be praise and glory, with you, O Father, and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever. Amen.

Concluding Sentences

[BCP, p. 102]

Let us bless the Lord!

Thanks be to God!

Glory to God whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine: Glory to [God] from generation to generation in the Church, and in Christ Jesus forever and ever. Amen.

Permissions: This service is reproduced from The Book of Common Prayer 1979 (BCP), The Hymnal 1982 (Hymn), Lift Every Voice and Sing II: An African American Hymnal (LEV), African American Heritage Hymnal (AAHH) and other sources cited. Unless otherwise noted, the Scripture readings and quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) of the Bible

Cover Image:

22 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page