Thanksgiving services are held in churches so as to thank god for the divine blessings he has bestowed on us. The procedure followed during the Thanksgiving service may vary from one church to another.
The service may proceed in the order as given below:
Reading the Book of Habakkuk: To begin with, the church may want the worshippers to remember the first Thanksgiving by listening to the reading of Habakkuk 3:17-19. Habakkuk was a prophet mentioned in the Hebrew Bible. The Book of Habakkuk is the 8th book of the 12 minor prophets of the Hebrew Bible.
Offering prayers through hymns: A Christian hymn associated with Thanksgiving Day is "We Gather Together", written in Dutch by Adrianus Valerius. This hymn is recited so as to celebrate the triumph of the Dutch over Spanish army in the battle of Turnhout. This hymn is often sung at family meals and religious services held on Thanksgiving Day.
Reading out the Colossians: The 12th book of the New Testament is called 'Colossians' or 'Epistle of Colossians'. This religious book mentions that Christ is supreme over all beings in the universe. It instructs Christians to lead a holy life. The 'Colossians' explains that Jesus Christ is the only one to be worshipped, as he is above all creations in this universe. By reading out 'Colossians 3:15-17', people thank Christ for the blessings he has showered on them.
Reading Hallel Psalms: The Hallel comprises six psalms which are read out as a single unit on festive occasions. Hallel is recited first as a morning prayer, followed by the main prayer. There may be an evening prayer as well. The Hallel psalms (145 or 147) are recited during a Thanksgiving service, in praise and honor of Lord Jesus Christ.
Homily: The reading of the Hallel psalms is followed by a homily through which we appreciate god's initiative to bring us into the world.
Reciting hymns: The Christian hymn "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" may be recited after the homily. Another hymn "O Let Your Soul be Filled with Gladness" written by Peter Aschan is often sung during a Thanksgiving service.
Song of praise: The hymns are followed by a song of praise such as "Give Thanks with a Joyful Heart" which includes the following lines:
Give thanks with a grateful heart,
Give thanks to the Holy One;
Give thanks because He's given Jesus Christ, His Son. (repeat)
And now let the weak say, "I am Strong,"
Let the poor say, "I am rich"
Because of what the Lord has done... for us.
Benediction: A benediction is all about invoking the Lord for divine help and seeking his blessings after a worship service is over. A Thanksgiving service usually ends with a benediction.
This is how a Thanksgiving service is conducted in U.S. churches on this special day.