Thanksgiving Day in the United States is often summarized by these two words: food and football. Families across the nation will come together to share a meal and enjoy watching the annual football games that are televised throughout the day.

One tradition that many Catholics have incorporated into their day is the celebration of Mass. Parishes often have a special Thanksgiving Mass that is scheduled later in the morning and is sometimes connected to an act of service, such as a meal for the poor or elderly.

A reason why the Mass is an appropriate way to celebrate Thanksgiving Day is because the Greek word Eucharist means “thanksgiving.” The Mass has always been associated with a desire to give thanks to God for the many blessings that we have received.

For this reason the first Catholics who came to the United States offered a Mass of thanksgiving, thanking God for preserving their life after a long voyage over the Atlantic Ocean.

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