Eucharistos and Chariti: Translating Thankfulness

Eucharistos and Chariti: Translating Thankfulness November 4, 2022

Happy November! I love exploring the root meanings of words in the scriptures, and the Greek definitions of thankfulness are some of my favorites.  Translators used thanks and thankfulness when translating several different words from Greek to English.  Two of the coolest root word definitions (to me) are for eucharistos and chariti (found on BibleHub.com.)

Eucaristos essentially means “to be grateful, express gratitude towards, to say grace at a meal, to give thanks, thanksgiving.”  Today Eucharist is the ritual commemoration of the Last Supper and especially signifies its consecrated elements — like the body of Jesus Christ.

Chariti means “grace, kindness, favor, a gift or blessing, gratitude, thankfulness, a token or proof of grace, capacity and ability due to the grace of God.”  Chariti’s root word is chairó meaning “to rejoice, be glad, God speed, joy.” It means “leaning towards to share benefit” and is “preeminently used of the Lord’s favor … because He is always leaning towards them.” It refers “to God freely extending Himself (His favor, grace,) reaching (inclining) to people because He is disposed to bless (be near) them.”  To us, charity means “the pure love of Christ,” that love that supersedes ego and selfishness and gives the courage to see and treat those around us as beloved children of God.

What beautiful words that deepen my experience with thankfulness!

As we step into this month of Thanksgiving, I pray that you feel our Lord “always leaning” toward you! That you feel Him beside you in your trials and triumphs and that you can rejoice—finding joy in the mundane and especially in those consecrated elements blessing our lives.

Beside us to guide us, our God with us joining,

Ordaining, maintaining his kingdom divine;

So from the beginning the fight we were winning;

Thou, Lord, wast at our side;

All glory be thine!

~Prayer of Thanksgiving, Hymn 93

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