Our houses of worship often host special services. My local church has one the Sunday night before the Thanksgiving holiday. Most churches that I know will celebrate this incredible theme, on point with millions together in our nation. We truly are a blessed nation and blessed to live here in America! It is a special opportunity to pray and sing this month with Thanksgiving on our lips and in our hearts.
30 Thanksgiving Worship Songs For Your Thanksgiving Worship Service
Thanksgiving tradition isn’t only about the turkey as we all know. Just to remind us, Our truly American Thanksgiving holiday is traced to 1621 when the Plymouth colonists and local Native American tribe Wampanoga partook together in a feast for autumn. Each colony and state celebrated this tradition for a couple hundred years before Civil War president Abraham Lincoln proclaimed that we celebrate a day of thanks in November. Part of our practice as a secular nation is surely inspired by our tradition as Christians to offer thanks. Thanksgiving is an act of worship as central as one can find. We are grateful for a God who has met us where we are in Christ, saving us from sin and death in the Cross. We are grateful for the fact that blessings truly come from God, our creator. Living in gratitude is such a virtue of not only worship but of practicality. When we live with thanksgiving as our attitude we see everything differently.
Here at Sharefaith, we thought it would be great to offer you 30 Thanksgiving Worship Songs songs you could use in a Thanksgiving worship service. The opportunity in sharing these Thanksgiving worship songs is that you can also use these for your personal devotional times this month and beyond. It is also nice to know where the songs come from and who wrote them, so we included that information as well as links to music. The Thanksgiving worship songs are listed in three categories–hymns, contemporary, and modern. Hymns are traditional songs many know of, but maybe some of you never heard of. The poetry of these alone are worth the read of the lyrics but some of these have also been put to modern or contemporary settings. Contemporary songs are choruses over the last 20 or so years that have been sung in church. Modern songs denote songs that are new to the scene. Here are the top 30 Thanksgiving Worship Songs:
Lyrics by Folliot Sanford Pierpoint (1864)
Music by Conrad Rocker (1838)
Mr. Pierpoint originally meant this as a song for the Eucharist (Communion) where Christ’s sacrifice was highlighted. This is appropriate as the word “Eucharist” means thanksgiving as the song later become known for. Sometimes it works best to keep some tradition in your services and this song is a classic that many who don’t even attend church may have heard in movie soundtracks.
Lyrics/Music by Martin Rinkart (1636)
The author, Martin Rinkart, wrote this song during the horrendous 30 Years’ War and was the only clergy left alive in his city of Ellenburg. Due to the disease and famine in his city, it meant he had to perform 40-50 burials per day. In this midst of such, he wrote this amazing song of thanksgiving.
Author: Joachim Neander (1680); Translator: Catherine Winkworth (1863)
I love the hymn writers question: “Praise to the Lord, above all things so wondrously reigning; sheltering you under his wings, and so gently sustaining! Have you not seen all that is needful has been sent by his gracious ordaining?” God is in control. But, his control is to defend us and shelter us! That is good news.
By Charles Wesley (1744)
It is a comfort to know that Christ conquered death as well as sin! Verse three of this Charle’s Wesley hymn says, “His kingdom cannot fail, He rules o’er earth and heav’n; The keys of death and hell, Are to our Jesus giv’n: Lift up your heart, Lift up your voice! Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!”
Performed by Tommy Walker and company
Translator: Frances Elizabeth Cox; Author: Johann Jakob Schütz (1675)
Our work brings us to exhaustion at times. However, when we are thankful we gain strength by the proper placement of God’s reign in our lives, especially in our work. In verse three, the song says the following: “Thus all my toilsome way along, I sing aloud thy praises, that earth may hear the grateful song my voice unwearied raises.”
Paraphraser: William H. Draper; Author: St. Francis of Assisi (1225)
It is enriching in our worship to know that a song we can sing in a modern musical setting originated from the 12th century by St. Francis of Assisi. Thanks to William Draper, the song was brought into the 19th century. Today, we still sing this—even in 21st-century style. I must note that this is yet another worship song that calls us to worship the Trinity. The 6th stanza reads, “Praise, praise the Father, praise the Son, and praise the Spirit, Three in One.”
By Thomas Ken (1674)
This well-known hymn is sung often at the offering. This song is rich in that it involves the Trinity in our worship of thanksgiving. My best memories may be like yours. This song sang a cappella in the church always seemed to bring a sense of awe as I grew up in the church. However, it is notable that it has been put to modern settings of music. What a marker of the song’s powerful message and acknowledgment of the Trinity in our worship.
Performed by Phil Wickham
Lyrics by Robert Robinson (1758)
Music by unknown author
In 1755, Robert Robinson went to a revival meeting to heckle and make fun of the Christians but found his faith instead, by hearing a sermon that night from George Whitfield. Later, Robinson entered the ministry and penned one of our favorite hymns. Every blessing comes from God, even when we have other expectations or agendas.
Performed by Chris Rice
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Contemporary Thanksgiving Worship Songs (10)
By Andrae Crouch
Birthed in the 1970s, “My Tribute” is one of the greatest modern gospel songs ever written and sung in churches. As far as thanksgiving, we have to ask who deserves the honor and glory. This song answers its own question, “how can I say thanks?”
By Henry Smith
This song broke through right as the 1980s produced the Praise and Worship movement. Contemporary worship became mainstream with an album by Integrity Music and the rest is history. This song is still sung all over the world!
Performed by Unhindered
By Chris Tomlin
This has now become a classic. A good call to worship, this song asks us to give thanks to a God whose “love endures forever.” Verse three says this: “From the rising to the setting sun/His love endures forever/And by the grace of God/We will carry on.” No matter the circumstance, His love never fails us!
Performed by Chris Tomlin
By Tim Hughes
After reading Philippians chapter 2, Tim Hughes reflected on the attitude of servanthood Christ displayed and wrote the verses to the song. How do we respond to our God when we approach him? This song offers us a posture of bowing down in humility. If Christ was humble, should not our worship also reflect that, too?
By Beth Redman, Matt Redman
There are few songs that appropriately deal the emotional and circumstances around laments. This song provides that. Not all of us are coming to a Thanksgiving service with gleefulness. Loss is a real part of our lives this side of heaven. As we bring our offering of thanks, something we need to honestly offer it in the pain our very real circumstance.
Performed by Matt Redman
By Darlene Zschech
The writer of the bat calls us to remember the sacrifice of Christ. “Thank You for the cross Lord/Thank You for the price You paid/Bearing all my sin and shame/In love You came and gave amazing grace.” Shame is a concept we often forget to address in worship. If we are free from sin, are we not also free from shame?
Performed by Hillsong United
By Ben Fielding, Reuben Morgan
The writers from Hillsong remind us of the promise and favor we have in God with this song. “Thank You for Your promise/Thank You for Your favor/Thank You for Your love/Everything You’ve done for me.” A promise is not something we see in the present, so as we worship this Thanksgiving we need to hold on to the promises of Christ.
Performed by Hillsong United
By Matt Redman
Matt Redman gets us to think about the cost of Christ’s gift to us. This song is a beautiful prayer, full of the emotional responses we have when we remember the Cross. “Once again I look upon the cross/Where You died/I’m humbled by Your mercy/And I’m broken inside/Once again I thank You/Once again I pour out my life.”
Performed by Matt Redman
By Brian Houston
Psalm 100:4 says to “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.” We could not bear put a list together without a song that quotes one of the most famous Thanksgiving passages.
By Israel Houghton
We cannot forget Psalm 100:5, either. “For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” Hougton’s vibrant song gets us to our feet to proclaim our purpose as God’s people.
Modern Thanksgiving Worship Songs (12)
By Jonas Myrin, Matt Redman
Matt Redman describes “10,000 Reasons” this way on the Christian Post: “It’s about the many, many reasons there are to worship God. And of course when I say ‘10,000 Reasons’ that’s obviously a huge poetic understatement. When it comes to worship, there is an eternity of reasons to respond to God and His worth…”
Performed by Matt Redman
By Steve Fee, Vicky Beeching
Thanksgiving means we offer all we are to the one who provides all good things to us. In an interview, Steve Fee says, “The massive thought is that everything in our lives gives glory to God. It strikes the very core of why we were made. I believe this is a song that was already in us to say that God created us to give glory to Him.” (newreleasetoday.com)
By Matt Maher
Matt Maher was born in Canada and a Catholic wrote this song that is still a mainstay in many houses of worship around the world. The idea of God’s grace being sufficient means we did not work for it. We are thankful for what God has done, not what we have accomplished.
By Martin Smith
Martin Smith is well known as the lead vocalist and songwriter for the band Delirious. “What can I give to You/What can I offer to a King.For all the love You’ve shown/For all Your mercy over me” says Martin in the lead lyrics, calling us to an attitude of gratefulness in our lives.
Performed by Delirious
Matt Redman invites us to sing a very personal prayer about our personal need for healing, another important aspect of Thanksgiving. Redman says “I was dead to the truth of You/But my healing was in Your wounds” to lead us to humbly respond in worship.
by Ben Cantelon
UK Worship Leader Ben Cantelon leads us to remember we didn’t reach up. God reached down. The Bridge of the song reads: “Love came down and rescued me/I thank/You yes I thank You/I once was blind but now I see/I see You yes I see You”
By Vertical Church Band
Essential worship artist Vertical Worship Band is based at the Harvest Bible Chapel in Chicago. The idea of not only thanking God for the past but also the future is present in this song. With uncertainty, we can look to the past and trust God with our future.
Performed by the Vertical Church Band
By Vertical Church Band
Harvest Bible Chapel gives us this sweet confession of thanks, “Thank You Jesus for the Cross.” Confession is part of thanksgiving. We must offer our honest, sinful selves to our Savior. The grace we have spurs us to be thankful, hopefully not just in song but in our daily lives.
Performed by Vertical Church Band
By Leslie Jordan, David Leonard, Jason Ingram
Duo All Sons and Daughters recently released this anthem of thanks. We thank God as a Creator. This traditional theme of thanksgiving is presented will in this song of prayer and praise.
Performed by All Sons and Daughters
By Pat Barrett
“Good Good Father” has become widespread in our houses of worship all over the globe. I think the reason may be that we needed in this moment in time a reminder that our God is indeed a good God. Our Father defines who we are. That is comforting in a world where we think we have to follow the pack.
Performed by Kalley Heiligenthal
By Jeremy Riddle Josh Farro Phil Wickham
Verse three says this: “Who brings our chaos back into order/Who makes the orphan a son and daughter/The King of Glory the King of Glory” This is my favorite lyric in the song. God brings all things together. And, God’s aim is for us to be his son or daughter. What a powerful message in a world that seems out of control.
Performed by Jeremy Riddle
By David Leonard, Jason Ingram, Leslie Jordan
Thanksgiving is about recognition of God as the Creator. A profound prayer can be found in this line from the song: “It’s your breath in our lungs, so we pour out our praise, pour out our praise.” At creation, we have breathed life as a race. When we receive the Spirit, we once again familiarize ourselves with that fact.
Performed by All Sons and Daughters
If you love these songs and want to listen to them all, we have created a YouTube Playlist just for you with these 30 Thanksgiving Worship Songs. Did your favorite Thanksgiving worship songs make our list? How do you plan on using these Thanksgiving worship songs at your church service? Let us know in the comments below!
Thanksgiving Sermon & Worship Media
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