The many gifts of nature: Sukkot & Thanksgiving
A Christian voice
For Thanksgiving, churches and altars are colourfully decorated with all kinds of fruits of the field. God’s abundant creation becomes visible and tangible. At this festival, the focus is on giving thanks for the gifts of nature. Behind this is the experience that man does not owe himself to himself. The Christian tradition – like the Jewish tradition – sees God as the Creator of the world, Who gives it life and nourishment. At the same time, the feast reminds us that the gifts of creation are to be shared equally.
In the liturgical celebration of Thanksgiving, the harvest gifts that adorn the altar are blessed, thanks are given for the harvest, and prayers are offered for solidarity with those in need. Afterwards, the gifts that decorate the altar are often given to people in need.
In addition to the church services, the harvest festival is characterized by very rich and regionally diverse customs. There are parades, processions and harvest dances, as well as town or village festivals where eating and drinking together play a major role.
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#Jewish & Christian – Closer than you think?!