Thursday, November 27, 2008

Oh gee, Thanksgiving.

My extended family is a confusing morass of great-aunts, removed cousins, adoption, marriage, remarriage, re-remarriage, and random unrelated folk tacked onto the edges. The English language needs more specific terms for cousin relationships and chosen-family relationships. There were at least twenty people, maybe twenty one, swarming the house today--we had people eating in the dining room, the den, the living room (which should be called the parlor) and the foyer. I hadn't ever met one of them before today--my grandmother's cousin's daughter's boyfriend's son. It sounds like the route traveled by urban legends.

I don't even really feast fully on Thanksgiving--turkey isn't really good until at least the next day. But my extended family are generally Moravians (instead of Baptists--we're in the Baptist church because of my dad) so there was no long drawn out blessing and giving of thanks, just the short and simple Moravian blessing, said in unison:

Come Lord Jesus, our guest to be,
And bless these gifts bestowed by thee.

Bless our loved ones everywhere
And keep them in thy loving care.

The second verse is even optional. Sometimes when there are enough people who know it, grace is sung:

Be present at our table, Lord,
Be here and everywhere adored.
From thine all-bounteous hand our food
May we receive with gratitude.

It's sung to one of the melodies of the Doxology; not the Old 100th, the other one. In searching on YouTube I've found it sung to the Talis Canon as well.

Obviously, I'm rambling. But I like the communal aspect of the Moravian blessing; which is a lot like the Moravian church in general, the motto of which is:

In essentials, unity; in nonessentials, liberty; and in all things, love.

I'll have more to say later; this blog is getting dusty with disuse.

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