Thanksgiving is the last of the American religious holidays. Itâ€™s about gratitude; more specifically, itâ€™s about thanking God. Expressing gratitude to God should not be a dry practice. It is a practice that is full of love and joy. Few things reach the core of the heart more than song, and few songs have been sung in celebration of Thanksgiving than â€œWe Gather Together.â€
Captivating melodies often originate in folk tunes, and such is the case with â€œWe Gather Togetherâ€. Itâ€™s origins have been traced back to sixteenth century Netherlands. There, new lyrics were put to the melody to celebrate the end of Spanish oppression of the local protestants. It has been speculated that the Pilgrims may have actually been familiar with the song, having spent time in the Netherlands before sailing for Virginia and ending up in what was to become Massachusetts.
I donâ€™t want to give away my age, but I am old enough to have fond memories of singing this hymn every year for the Thanksgiving concert at my local government school (we also sang Christmas carols in Latin, but that is a story for another time).
Actually, â€œfondâ€ is an understatement. When I hear it, I get choked up and tears come to my eyes. If you want to see what I mean, click the following link and read the lyrics while the melody plays:
Happy Thanksgiving. Thank you God.