Thanksgiving is one of those services that begs for community participation. It never gets old when we reflect on the previous year and hear from every voice about what they are thankful for in that moment. So, we want to give you the outline for an entire service we’ve used the past few years on the Sunday before Thanksgiving. It’s called “Gather at the Table”.

With all the craziness of Christmas looming, it’s a nice and refreshing break to hold a low-key, low production, family-style worship gathering just before Thanksgiving.

Here are a few of the reasons why we love it:

  1. It brings our community together.

Sometimes less is more for this sort of thing.

  1. It allows us to hear from many voices.

We have a different person read each prayer moment.

  1. It gives a great chance for the community to share about the past year.

We ask for a response from people as they come up for communion.


For each prayer, we choose a different person or family to highlight that specific area of focus. They have a script to read, which we give them ahead of time, so they can familiarize themselves with it, or even make it their own (oh- and you can download those for free below… boom!).

In the past, we have used our video The Table to connect the Thanksgiving table to the Lord’s Table, and that gives us a great chance for people to write what they are thankful for. If you haven’t had a chance to watch this video, you can preview and purchase it now.



Below, you can find the detailed outline and script we use each year. Feel free to copy and put your own spin on it, as we used several other resources when putting this together.

About our Gather at the Table Outline:

  • Prayers – Use as written, or just as a starting place for your own prayers. Please note: this service will also work well with only one or two people leading the prayers, so use it in a way that makes sense for your community.
  • Song Ideas – These are only our suggestions, but of course, you’ll want to use songs that will connect with your congregation.
  • Media – While any one of our Thanksgiving mini-movies work great, we think The Table works best for this particular service. We’ve included some still images related to The Table in this free download pack (video sold separately).
  • Response Cards – Postcard-sized handouts we placed on each seat before the service started. These are included in the download (you’ll have to cut them).
  • Communion – We had people bring their cards, fold them like a place card, and leave them at the communion table as they took their elements. Then, the prayer readers chose a few of the cards and read them aloud.