Sunday, December 9, 2007

Grace Before Meals

I was reading my friend's very wonderful & contemplative blog
(Civilization of Love) today and it made me wonder what prayers others grew up saying before or after meals.

When I was very young we said,

"God is great
God is good
So we (or "let us") thank Him
for our food.
By His hands we all are fed
Give us Lord our daily bread."
I remember thinking that the last line sounded pretty bossy. That bothered me. I knew enough not to demand anything from God :-). Remember, this was the thinking process of a 5 or 6 year old! It didn't cross my mind to think of it as a sincere request.

Our family began (and continues) to say:
"Bless us, O Lord and these thy gifts
Which we are about to receive from thy bounty.
Through Christ our Lord we give Thee our thanks."
Amen
Good friends of mine say the same prayer but after the collective "Amen" the kids say, "Thank you Mom, Thank you, Dad!"
After nearly 20 years I still smile when I eat at their house. The kids (now 18, 22 and 25) thank God first and foremost but then after the blessing they acknowledge their parents.

Here are a couple of prayers readers left as a comments -- very nice!
  • “Lord you give all that we need, we ask only one thing, thankful hearts.” (From Andrew who gives credit to a Franciscan monk)
  • “Lord, give all people the food they need, so that they may join us in giving you thanks.”
    (from Alexandria who acknowledges CatholicCulture.org )

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