Happy Thanksgiving. On the walk back from 7:30am Mass at Epiphany in Georgetown this morning, I stopped to admire this perfect autumn scene, with its contrast of white home and picket fence and red-orange radiant foliage.

I’m catching a train from Washington to Philadelphia to be with family early this afternoon, and sharing two things today. First, from President Washington’s 1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation:

“[I]t is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits … who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be…”

And second, a hymn that seems appropriate for the season—reading “night” both literally and as the “night” of late autumn and winter.

O God, Creator of all things,
Who rules the firmament as King,
Who clothes the day with gilding light,
And with the grace of sleep, the night,

We hymn you thanks for this done day,
And for the rising night we pray,
That you will hasten to our aid,
To help us fill the vows we made.

To you our deepest hearts resound,
To you our voices’ tuneful sound,
To you arises high above,
From sober minds, our purest love.

And when the darkness is profound,
And day lies in dark’s prison bound,
May faith not know the want of light
But light the very dark of night.

O Christ and Father, we request,
From you and from your Spirit blest,
That you who rule with single might
May care for us throughout the night.