Thanksgiving Service Celebrates All Faiths

News Story: November 19, 2015


View additional photos from the service

Thanks and praise were common themes celebrated at Wednesday’s Thanksgiving Interfaith Prayer Service at the Chapel of the Holy Spirit at Sacred Heart University.

Religious leaders representing a variety of faiths came together to celebrate the approaching holiday and to give thanks to God for everything He has done. Before psalms were read and songs were sung, students, faculty and members of the community gently piled boxes filled with non-perishable goods on the altar. The food will be distributed to the needy two days before Thanksgiving.

“This is an annual celebration of multi-faiths and traditions coming together in the spirit of service,” said Matthew Kaye, director of Volunteer Programs and Service Learning.

Kaye said it’s important to have many faiths represented at the service. “It demonstrates the commitment Sacred Heart has in partnerships with our community and the shared love of service.”

At the chapel, reflections and prayers were read by a variety of clergy representing Catholicism, Judaism, Greek Orthodox, Muslim and Baptist faiths. The SHU Liturgical Choir as well as SHU LOVE and the Pioneer Choir all sang songs throughout the service.

Rabbi Suri Krieger, a SHU adjunct professor, talked about the Hebrew word for thanks, “hodu.” She said rather than talk about thanks, she thought it would be a good idea to sing one of the many Hebrew songs that includes the word. With guitar in hand, she taught the congregation a song containing the new word and encouraged everyone to join in.

Rev. Tommie Jackson of the Faith Tabernacle Baptist Church in Stamford, gave a prayer praising God and thanking Him no matter what happens in the world.

“It was great,” said Andrea Canuel, assistant director of Volunteer Programs and Service Learning. “I think it’s a wonderful time to get together and celebrate different traditions.”

After the service, attendees enjoyed refreshments and were reminded they could still drop off non-perishable goods or cash donations until Monday.

The event was sponsored by Campus Ministry and the Office of Volunteer Programs & Service Learning.