Three Sonnets for Thanksgiving

The chill in autumn with damp, dreary weather,
The harvest all gathered before the storm.
The November feast brings family together,
With great delights of fall the soul to warm.

Preparations first on the football field,
The kitchen next with oven hot blazing,
The smells, the spices, the potatoes all peeled,
Sautéing, seasoning, sour-dough raising.

The turkey drumstick, bacon-wrapped with zest,
Cranberry sauce, giblets, and gravy gleam,
Heaping platters of corn and yams all dressed,
Save room for the pie, spice topped with whipped cream.

Give thanks to our God, all sweetness and light,
For blessings all, so true, so fair, so right.

Three crosses on the hill outside the gate.
The bodies tortured, arms tied to the beam,
The one in the center, the truly great,
With single cry, the whole world to redeem.

The spear opens mercy, piercing the side.
Life for the world, flowing blood and water,
Freely forgiven, destroying the pride,
Paid in full by the innocent slaughter.

Laid in the tomb, but no death could contain,
He rose again victorious, ruler of all.
Not slavery, but freedom did He ordain,
Justice and peace for the great and the small.

Give thanks to our God, all sweetness and light,
For blessings all, so true, so fair, so right.

The Word of God with eagerness proclaimed,
Recalling our sins and pointing the way.
With vices crushed, the virtues are reclaimed,
Revealing the path more fully each day.

The altar of sacrifice, plain and white,
A small round host in the hands of the priest,
Raised up on high, like the cross, in plain sight,
Shows to us our Savior, the greatest feast.

The chalice containing the blood so pure,
While all were yet sinners, for us outpoured,
Healing for every ill, the only cure,
Illuminating the way of the Lord.

Give thanks to our God, all sweetness and light,
For blessings all, so true, so fair, so right.

Image: Jennie Augusta Brownscombe, The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth

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Br. Nicholas Schneider, O.P.

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Br. Nicholas Schneider, O.P. was born and raised in Vermont. He spent his final semester of high school studying in Russia, and went on to earn a BA in History and Russian at Youngstown State University (OH) and an MA in Russian History at Georgetown University. He served as Director/Assistant Dean for Admissions at Georgetown University School of Medicine for five years prior to entering the Dominicans. On DominicanFriars.org