Gratitude and Framing of the Civic Seder Ritual for Thanksgiving 2020

This year, 2020, we join together at Thanksgiving as citizens at a time our nation is experiencing massive challenges. We recognize the brokenness of our current circumstances and resolve to participate in the Civic Seder Ritual as a way to energize our “Better angels”.


We sit down at the digital Thanksgiving Civic Seder Table, a place of gratitude, yet recognizing and committing to the vision that we share that is articulated in our Declaration of Independence. We recognize the injustice and the contradictions that filled the origin of the nation and persisted through the course of the past 400 years. We attempt to integrate the inhumanity towards many and yet appreciate the long fought journey from a nation of select few white men articulating a vision of human rights while denying it to so many others until our time where we are still needing to actualize the rights articulated in the United States Constitution.


We recognize that we are as individuals at different personal, social, economic, political places, yet we are committed to a more just and equitable society envisioned in the Declaration of Independence and fought for by many of our fellow citizens.


It is hard to really put into words the depth of the feelings in our hearts, the ache in our bones, and the uncertainty in our minds. This plague we are living through will hopefully teach all humanity that our lives and well-being are intrinsically tied to the well-being of everyone else on this planet. With the Civic Seder Ritual we celebrate tonight, as we live in and with this plague that keeps us separate, let’s celebrate that we can still experience social solidarity, that we can still see and hear one another, that we can still engage in a ritual that celebrates the remarkable accomplishments of the United States while acknowledging and committing to rectify the abuses and pathology that have been part of the journey. We create the space to cast our hopes and invite all, but mostly the younger generation, to imagine a future that reclaims the vision articulated in the founding of the nation.


As many of us sit in our separate homes, so far and yet, through the amazing technology we are using, so close, let’s take a moment to acknowledge how different this Thanksgiving is from all others. In previous Thanksgivings, we would gather together with family and friends and in community, sometimes with many, many people. This year we are following guidelines for social isolation, limiting personal contact in an effort to arrest the raging deadly pandemic.


This year, advances in technology have enabled connection among people in unprecedented ways. As you engage in the ritual through digital means, allow yourself to envision being together with the several hundred people on this call, or perhaps fellow Americans across the nation, reaching out our arms to one another, and connecting in person.


The Civic Seder Ritual of Thanksgiving, launches into the body politic as a seed to be nourished and claimed by everyone. It is our hope to build the ritual into a regularly occurring celebration and a thanksgiving for the vast benefits of Americansim. We invite you to help grow the ritual.




For a more detailed explanation, including the objectives, background, resources for the Civic Seder Ritual for Thanksgiving click here

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