Perfect weather graced the Thanksgiving Prayer Circle on the Quad this year, and warm sunshine shone through the trees, dappling the bright green grass as students stood in respectful silence during the morning service.
In every culture, country, and faith, there are seasons and festivals that give thanks, and the St. Andrew’s multi-faith service marks Canadian Thanksgiving at the beginning of October during the time of harvest, explained Dave Stewart, Associate Director, Upper School, as he opened the Oct. 6 service.
“We at St. Andrew’s are especially grateful for the diversity of our community and especially for the unity within that diversity, a tapestry of humankind. And given what is going on around the world, it is especially fitting for us to pause our busy lives and give thanks as all of us here today have so much to be thankful for,” Mr. Stewart said, standing at the podium set up in front of Dunlap Hall. “Today, that diversity will be represented by graduating Andreans from various backgrounds and faiths who will share their gifts.”
Following were readings by students from Jewish, Christian, Muslim, African, and Anishinaabe traditions, read in Arabic, Hebrew, German, Spanish, Kikuyu, Persian, Punjabi, Mandarin, Igbo, French, and English.
“Although not every faith, language, or cultural background can be represented here today, they are with us just the same. Let us be thankful for who we are, what we share, and who we shall become,” Mr. Stewart said.
The service started with a drumhead service that entailed the piling of the drums on the Quad. Grade 12 student David Buckley performed his original song, Call on Me, Brother, with accompaniment from Carter Babcock, Noah Green, and Andrew Kam.
As the service drew to a close, Pipe Major Henry Paluch played For the Beauty of the Earth.
“As you leave here, I would ask that you take some time today and in the coming days to remind yourself of the many things you have to be thankful for,” Mr. Stewart said to the students, who are heading on a four-day weekend. “And, as always, be humble in your approach, be kind to all those around you, live your life to the fullest, and surround yourself with people that you care deeply about.”
Please see our photo gallery
from the Thanksgiving Prayer Circle.