'Come, Ye Thankful People, Come'
The hymn “Come, Ye Thankful People, Come” was written in the 19th century by Henry Alford, an English priest in the Anglican Church.
The hymn was first published in 1844 in Alford’s Psalms and Hymns, adapted to the Sundays and Holydays throughout the year. It was later revised, with a final version released in 1868.
Tom Stewart of What Saith the Scripture explained that although the hymn is often sung around Thanksgiving in the United States, it drew from the harvest festivals tradition in England.
“It addresses the common theme of harvest festivals, called in England the Harvest Home, which is celebrated in English churches usually during the month of September,” wrote Stewart.
“A thanksgiving service would be held in the church, where the bounty of the harvest is collected, displayed with the fall trappings of pumpkins and autumn leaves, and then dispensed to the needy. And, of course, unlike the humanist that is essentially grateful to only himself, a true Harvest Home celebration acknowledges the provision of God …”