In our family, the person who made dinner starts by saying "let's remember to be thankful for the food on the table and..." and then they add to it. It then goes around the table and everyone says a few things (with our kids I hear anything from "our cats" to "toilets") and then we squeeze and then we're done!
If you say grace or have a prayer before eating, what do you say? All faiths/spiritualities welcome! - Page 3
"We are thankful for our food, and remember those who are hungry
We are thankful for our friends and our family, and remember those who are alone
We are thankful for our health and remember those who are sick
We are thankful for our freedom and remember those who are oppressed.
Peace on Earth, Amen."
We are a somewhat Pagan, nature-based and ritual-happy spiritual family. My oldest children (4& 6) know this by heart and remind us if we forget to say it ;)
We are very simple in this household. We simply say "thank you" while holding hands. We do this at every meal even if eating out. The thank you's sometimes go on to thank the animal, the plants, Mother Earth, the rain, the sun, and anything and everything else.. Even Ikea has been thanked at our table. (Note to self: when your child thanks Ikea it probably means you go too much)
Funny, I was raised (still am) Catholic but never even heard the "Bless us O Lord" one until a couple years ago!
Growing up, we said, "Thank you Jesus for our food, thank you for the things we eat. Amen." (Not sure why it's so redundant but that's what we said lol!) followed by each family member saying something they were thankful for.
Now we just each say what we're thankful for... DS usually says, "Playgrounds... Food, Daddy and Mommy... Daddy eat cows?" (I have no idea how DH not being vegan like me & DS somehow became part of DS's prayer lol... but I love toddler prayers, so random but can be so touching!!)
I would like to incorporate a more formal prayer as well but haven't found the right one yet. During Advent we sang O Come O Come Emmanuel and DS absolutely loved that so I'm thinking we'll try to find a song we can sing that might change at several points throughout the year based on the liturgical calendar and/or the season.
We're Pagan, and although we have a few our two most common are:
Thank you to all the life energy that went into this food.
May everyone in the world have enough food to eat
and may our spirits be filled.
Blessing on the blossoms,
Blessings on the fruit,
Blessings on the leaf and stem,
Blessings on the root.
I think this is a Waldorf blessing.
We're currently Catholic, but raised Protestant and mostly use a prayer that my parents used when I was young:
Bless us o Lord this food to our use
and us to thy loving service.
Make us ever-mindful of the needs of others
in Jesus' name, Amen.
My grandfather liked this one even if my grandmother always yelled at him about it (so since his death we younger people try to get away with using it at holiday dinners sort of as a nostalgia thing--it doesn't work for us either).
We used the Johnny Appleseed one when I was a kid, but since I learned about the reality of why you plant apples from seed I just can't bring myself to use it (or keep a straight face when other peoples' kids do use it). (Basically, apple trees planted from seed make apples that are inedible and only suited to making hard cider, so Johnny Appleseed wasn't bringing healthy fruit to the frontier, he was bringing booze. The context issues really amuse me.)
I'm a little late joining this thread, and I've enjoyed reading everyone's postings! We're Episcopalian, and when we visit with my MIL and FIL, we generally say a simple grace before dinner: "Lord bless us and make us thankful for what we are about to receive, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen." My DH and I agreed that we would like to continue this tradition on our own, but we have not been very good about follow-through. Recently, though, DS has been reminding us to "hold hands", even when it's a hectic evening! We also may include an additional prayer if something siginificant is happening - birthday, holiday, travel, etc.