/ Gentle Reformation

A Thanksgiving Psalm

After Psalm 23, perhaps Psalm 100 is the most known of the psalms in the American church. With the tune known as Old Hundredth, this psalm has been sung for generations. Psalm 100 is a wonderful Thanksgiving Day psalm that is often sung at Thanksgiving worship services and in homes for family worship on this day.

Many readers would be familiar with the following versification sung like the congregation in the following video.

1. All people that on earth do dwell,
Sing to the LORD with cheerful voice.
HIM serve with mirth; His praise forth tell;
Come ye before Him and rejoice.

2. Know that the LORD is God indeed;
Without our aid He did us make.
We are His folk; He doth us feed,
And for His sheep He doth us take.

3. O enter then His gates with praise;
Within His courts your thanks proclaim;
With grateful hearts your voices raise
To bless and magnify His name.

4. Because the LORD our God is good,
His mercy is forever sure;
His truth at all times firmly stood
And shall from age to age endure.

Did you know that Psalm 100 with this same tune was found in the psalter used by the Pilgrims? The Ainsworth Psalter was developed by an English pastor named Henry Ainsworth and published in 1612. The Pilgrims brought this psalter to the New World in 1620. As the following picture shows of Psalm 100, it was produced with some commentary notes in the heading then a double column style following, with the Scripture text of the Geneva Bible in the left column and the psalm tune with words in the right column.

Given that the Pilgrims came to this land to experience freedom of worship, today is a wonderful day to remember the rich, Christian heritage upon which our land was founded. Though our country's dedication to Christ was not nearly complete enough back then, and is certainly forgotten today, still we can give thanks for the wonderful history and freedoms the God of nations has given to us. We can pray that the Lord would strengthen our churches and return us to Him once again.

Perhaps to remember this heritage and pray for these things, you could even sing the same words the Pilgrims would have used as they crossed the Atlantic and disembarked at Plymouth Rock. Here they are below, printed in an easier-to-read format.

Shout to Jehovah, all the earth;
Serve ye Jehovah with gladness.
Before Him come with singing mirth,
Know that Jehovah He God is.
It’s He that made us, and not we,
His folk, and sheep of His feeding.
Oh with confession, enter ye
His gates, His courtyards with praising.
Confess to Him, bless ye His name.
Because Jehovah He good is;
His mercy ever is the same.
And His faith to all ages.