Thanksgiving and Lament

Thanksgiving alone might be misunderstood to be an acceptance of the status quo, as if the truly religious heart would rise above all actual material suffering to perceive some unearthly religious meaning and so to praise God for all conditions and realities, as if there were no need of God’s promise or God’s future. Lament alone could be a refusal of comfort and of hope, a choice to hold on to bitterness, as if there was no truth to God’ past giving grounds for hope. Even the great lament psalms of the psalter speak the truth of the community’s need in the context of praise and hope. Biblical prayer is the lively juxtaposition of praise with beseeching.

Gordon W. Lathrop, Holy Things: A Liturgical Theology (Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Fortress, 1993), p. 57. ISBN: 978-0-8006-3131-4.