Why celebrate Thanksgiving?


If Thanksgiving day is not a Catholic holiday, why celebrate it? And since it’s not a Catholic holiday, does a Catholic HAVE to go to Mass?

I’m going to celebrate it with my family just because my cousin’s bday falls on that day and I will be going to Mass, but I believe this is more of an American holiday than it is a religious one, so why the big fuss?


It is an American holiday, but I’m proud to be an American! :smiley: Plus, it’s also a time of family gathering, which is not terribly often in my family. We’re visiting my in-laws for this holiday and they live two states away, so it’ll be nice to see them and share delicious food :).

No, it’s not required to go to mass on Thanksgiving, but it’s nice to always remember Christ esp. on a day when you are supposed to remember what you’re thankful for :).


Why would it have to be a Catholic holiday for us to celebrate it? I guess no one is required to, but I think if Christ were on Earth he would approve of it. (Since most of us will be thanking HIM.)


Birthdays are neither national or Catholic holidays, but certainly the reasons we celebrate them are numerous. Then we have the 4th of July and Veterns’ Day. These are special days where we, as Americans, find common ground and celebrate together by doing things that unite us in tradition.
I love Thanksgiving. Daddy is an agnostic, my brothers and (step-mother) are quasi-agnostic-protestant. I don’t get togteher with them on Christmas or religious holidays (obviously) because our little family is involved with our parish and our customs. Thanksgiving I get to act as a family with my husband, our children, and my parents. We even say grace before we eat in their house. If we only celebrated Catholic holidays, who would witness to my parents and remaining brothers?
Besides, religious freedom is an awesome thing to celebrate.


Eucharist means - Thanksgiving.

I think that celebrating the Eucharist on Thanksgiving Day is quite appropriate.

I celebrate the day because it gives me an opportunity to be thankful for the grace and blessings in my life.



It really is a pretty religious holiday at its core…

Thanksgiving Proclamation

The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added which are of so extraordinary a nature that they can not fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God.

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign states to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theater of military conflict, while that theater has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense have not arrested the plow, the shuttle, or the ship; the ax has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well as the iron and coal as of our precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege, and the battlefield, and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the imposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the divine purpose, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity, and union.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, this 3d day of October, A.D. 1863, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-eighth.

  • Abraham Lincoln


Who do you think we are “Giving Thanks” to ???
(The answer is… GOD)

What better reason to celebrate than to give thanks to our Creator, Redeemer, Savior and Lord?


As long as we remember why we are celebrating, I see no problems with it. I do take issue when Thanksgiving turns into “Let me gorge myself on all my favorite foods” day, centered on ME ME ME! I love the idea of bringing turkey meals to shut-ins or the homeless on this day. What a wonderful way to remember all the blessings we take for granted. Of course, I’m not against a big family Thanksgiving meal either :smiley: That’s what we’re doing this year, right after Mass.

By the way, why would you not want to go to Mass on Thanksgiving? Do you think you’d be spending your time more wisely by staying home? No way! Go ahead and store up those treasures in Heaven :thumbsup:


You’re lucky in America to have “Thanksgiving” to celebrate. That you can comine it and have a Thanksgiving Mass? Be thankful!


Nothing fantastically innovative or uncatholic about Thanksgiving.

For centuries, Catholics in Europe celebrated Martinmas (Nov. 11) as a kind of thanksgiving…

If it makes you feel any more Catholic,just celebrate Nov. 11 with a turkey, you already probably have the day off for Veterans Day.


In regards to the quote above: Not really…

but I guess all of you got my post the wrong way. I wasn’t saying there’s anything wrong w/Thanksgiving, in fact, I thank God every day before any meal. I just don’t think that National holidays should be taken as religious holidays.

I will be celebrating it and will be going to Mass, but I really don’t think we need a special day to give thanks if you already thank God every day.

Either way, hope you all have a great Thanksgiving!


Keep in mind that you’re addressing a group that would ideally go to Mass every day of their lives, schedule permitting.

Thanksgiving is a day off, so…the schedule is permitting! It is a national day of thanks, which is so much the better. Put another way, if Labor Day doesn’t get you to Mass, surely Thanksgiving would!

Nevertheless, it is not a day of obligation.

As far as not needing a special day…well, why have any liturgical calendar at all? Don’t we rejoice in the Resurrection every day? Don’t we call our sins to mind every day? And so on. We can’t put all those things in special focus every day. Having a calendar of celebration puts us on the same page as to where our focus is. Since we function corporately both as the Body of Christ and as a nation, I think that is a very good thing.


Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year - we get together as a family without all the fuss and commercialism of Christmas expectations.

Christmas with my extended family is all about GIFTS! Ugggh. I struggle every year to bring in the true meaning of Christmas. When I do I see eyes roll and hear “don’t get her started”. So I cherish Thanksgiving.


A day off from work, being with family from near and far, reflecting on what Blessings God has given the past year


Why not…heck man you Americanos have a heck of a lot to be thankful for

you can put food on the table for your family three times a day (much of the world cannot)

you have a roof above your heads

you are able to clothe your family appropriately

you are able to go about your daily lives in relative safety

you can celebrate religious customs without overt bigotry

you can dream of a better future and with hard work achieve it

you can criticise your government without fear.

I am not American and have never seen nor attended Thanksgiving but here in our neck of the woods we celebrate Australia Day and ANZAC day as National celebrations of us-ness, honouring those who have gone before and have helped make me PROUD to be Aussie.

You surely are not perfect but I for one am glad that America is part of our world…


Wow, are we related? Last year I proposed that this year, instead of a $50 grab bag gift we should all donate $25 of the $50 to adopt a family and only buy each other a $25 gift. Talk about a big shut down. I am not going to partake in the grab bag (after years of being shut down about that) b/c they are sick of my saying that it ISN’T ABOUT THINGS!!! It’s about Christ! They just don’t get it. :banghead:


I guess you’re right… I guess my point of view comes from the fact that I am Mexican and we do not have Thanksgiving and my family almost never celebrates it here. But like you said, it’s is a free day for all of us, so it’s a good reason to go to Mass…


I don’t know where you are posting here, but Mexicans and Americans of Mexican descent are 90% of the population here and judging by the scene at the grocery store this morning Thanksgiving is huge here. Esp. deep fried turkeys. Evidently menudo is a necessity because I see people buying the bags of tripas and huge cans of hominy (forgot the word).

We make a bigger deal of Thanksgiving and Memorial day than we do of 5 de Mayo here.



Just curious - does your husband’s religious views have some effect about your feelings on the holiday (secular vs religious)?


Not at all. I still am celebrating the holidays I celebrated before I married him. Still celebrate bdays (in fact, he does too now), still have strong feelings about celebrating xmas and decorating, still celebrate Easter, still do the fasting… I don’t know if your question is regarding the comment I made on Thanksgiving, but it has nothing to do w/him. I just never celebrated this holiday nor did my family. Maybe once or twice ever since we moved to the US. My mom grew up in SF and she never celebrated it w/her family. When she maried and moved ot Mexico, still didn’t celebrate. Came back here and maybe once or twice we had a special dinner on this holiday. This year we’re only doing it because my little cousin turns 5 on Thanksgiving day and she has never had a bday party because my aunt was never able to afford a party. This is her 1st time having a bday party, and because it fell on Thanksgiving, we’re also celebrating the holiday.

And the fact that my husband is a JW will never change my way of thinking about the holidays. I get him Valentine’s day presents, and xmas and bday presents. The only one he refused to “celebrate” was valentine’s. He gave me presents for the other 2, but he still believes these holidays are wrong. I don’t. My family loves any excuse to get together and enjoy each other’s company, and so do I.

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