How Freemasons should mark
this day of Thanksgiving

While President Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday to be held on the last Thursday of the month of November, it may not surprise Masons to learn that Bro. George Washington was the first to issue a Presidential Proclamation in 1789. As President, Bro. Washington at the request of Congress, proclaimed November 26, 1789, as a day of “public thanks-giving” to reflect on the creation of the United States and US Constitution.

The striking difference between the Presidents’ proclamations, written almost 75 years apart, is the tone. Washington’s proclamation has a celebratory feel mixed with a sense of obligation, “…with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.” This contrasts Lincoln’s proclamation which contains overtones of grief due to the Civil War, looking to God for care and counsel, “…with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation…”.

As we prepare to gather with family, loved ones, and friends let us pause to reflect and appreciate the many blessings and positive moments we have benefited from this year. And let us celebrate the happiness and joy our loved ones have experienced as well. Masonically, Thanksgiving should serve as a day to mark this moment in our travel across the level of time by giving thanks to the Grand Architect for providing the opportunity for guidance and inspiration throughout our journey.

The Working Group at Craftsmen Online wish you and yours a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

Written by:
Bro. Michael Arce
Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Craftsmen Online