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Meal time blessings

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

I wasn't sure where to post this and here seemed like a general spot, so I hope it's OK here.

 

I would like to make meal times a little more meaningful and one of the ways I'd like to do that is get in the habit of saying a blessing or giving thanks before each meal. We have been using a little prayer that DS learned at a preschool he briefly attended a few years ago that is very simple and sing songy and well kind of empty. As he is getting older, 5.5 now I think it's time for something more mature but still something he can grasp. Does anyone have a favorite meal time blessing or prayer? Not necessarilly religious but I'm not opposed to religious references either.

post #2 of 22

We are believer in Jesus....We just say a simple blessing.

 

Thank You Lord for our food. (If we are out we will add the People that made it.)

 

You need to go with what you feel is right for your family. To me it is just saying and meaning that we are thankful. Showing our children what we believe is something that only you can do.

post #3 of 22

We usually just make the sign of the cross.  There are prayers to be said before as well as after meals but I am a total slacker.  I really need to get better.  

 

 

 

Quote:

 

Before:

Christ our God, bless us Your servants, our home, the food and drink before us for You are the Source of all blessings, now and forever and ever. Amen.

 

or


Lord Jesus Christ our God, You blessed the five loaves in the wilderness and fed the multitudes of men, women and children. Bless also these Your gifts and increase them for the hungry people in the world. You are the One who blesses and sanctifies all things and to You we give glory forever. Amen.

 

or


The hungry shall eat and shall be satisfied. Those who seek the Lord shall praise Him; their hearts shall live forever. Bless us Lord and Your gifts which we are about to receive. You are blessed and glorified forever. Amen.

 

 

After:

We thank you, Christ our God, for providing us with Your earthly gifts. Deprive us not of Your heavenly Kingdom. Lord, as you entered among Your disciples to give them peace, enter among us, give us Your peace and save us. Amen.

 

or

Glory to You, Lord and King! You have gladdened our hearts through Your earthly gifts. Fill us also with the gift of Your Holy Spirit, that we may abound in every good work to the glory of Your name. Amen.


 or

 

We thank You Lord, Giver of all good things, for these Your gifts and all Your mercies, and we bless Your holy name forever. Amen.

 

 

post #4 of 22

I'd make it creative, if possible. I think that would be more meaningful. Growing up, before every dinner we said "Bless us our lord, and these and thy gifts, which we are about to receive, through the bounty, through christ our lord. Amen." It was not a prayer. It was not meaningful. It was regurgitation of the same memorized words, day after day, year after year. 

 

I remember a friend, who they would hold hands at the table, which I thought was more warm and friendly, and would say a different thing each time. Just short and friendly like "thanks mom for making this great chicken, and thank you lord for having Allison as company today." Next time it would be someone else's turn to say a prayer and it would be whatever was at the top of their mind at the moment. 

post #5 of 22

I sing a song from the book "Seven Times The Sun" by Shea Darian, to call everyone to the table, it's called "A gnome in the garden". Here are the lyrics:

 

A gnome in the garden told me of the wind that carries the rain.

Of the rain that feeds the earth, of the earth that holds the grain.

A gnome in the garden told me of the sun's shining rays.

And, the gardener who dwells there waiting patiently today.

The gnome said please remember thank the wind, and rain, and land.

Thank the bright and shining sun, and the gardener's tending hand.

 

 

We also say a blessing, from the same book, and that is:

 

Blessings on our meal, and peace on earth the home for all.

post #6 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllisonR View Post

I remember a friend, who they would hold hands at the table, which I thought was more warm and friendly, and would say a different thing each time. Just short and friendly like "thanks mom for making this great chicken, and thank you lord for having Allison as company today." Next time it would be someone else's turn to say a prayer and it would be whatever was at the top of their mind at the moment. 


This is how we say our prayers. We all hold hands, even our 17 month old, bow our heads and whoever feels led to will lead us in prayer. Most of the Quakers I know, though, hold hands and have a moment of silence, squeezing each other's hands at the end.

 

post #7 of 22

We light a candle and pick a blessing from the book "A Grateful Heart: Daily Blessings for the Evening Meal from Buddha to the Beatles" by M. J. Ryan.  We've used this since our DS, now 11, was a baby and he went from just watching to now either lighting the candle or reading or both. We also use it at the holidays.

post #8 of 22

If you are looking for a blessing that is not geared towards a specific religion, we like to use this one: For food and friendship always great, we are truly thankful." It's short and sweet, and works for us. Offbeat Mama had a great post about this a while back.

post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by robin3 View Post

We light a candle and pick a blessing from the book "A Grateful Heart: Daily Blessings for the Evening Meal from Buddha to the Beatles" by M. J. Ryan.  We've used this since our DS, now 11, was a baby and he went from just watching to now either lighting the candle or reading or both. We also use it at the holidays.



I really like the lighting of a candle.  We do this for evening prayers and it really shifts things.  I can't really explain it but it is like opening a door.

post #10 of 22

When our children were small, and now when friends of a different faith are visiting, we use one that started in Waldorf preschool "Thank-you earth who grew our food/ Sun that makes it ripe and good/Mother earth and father sun/ Thank-you for all that you have done

Now that our children are older and understand the concepts of our faith (we are Anglican, which is like the American Episcopalian) we sing the Doxology

"Praise God from whom all blessings flow

Praise him all creatures, hear below

Praise him above, ye heavenly host

Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost"

 

Outside of religious reasons, I really think that a mealtime blessing promotes mindfulness at the tabled and gratitude.

post #11 of 22

When we do a "blessing" we have sung "All I really need"  (All I really need is a song in my heart/ food in my belly/ and love in my family....) or "Thanks a lot" (I think that's what it's called) and we make up verses after the first few.  We haven't done this in a while, it would be good to get back to it.  I know it might not be the next level of maturity that you might be seeking, but my girls are 6.5 and 4.5 and they love it.  In "Thanks a lot" you could make up a verse that is more specifically religious, if you want.  We keep it secular, or thank Mother Earth for the bounty of the table.

    Raffi sings both of these songs on his albums.

post #12 of 22

My oldest picked our mealtime prayer, a sung one, and both girls insist on doing it even when we are out to eat at, say, McDonalds. It's sung to the tune of "London Bridge is falling down".

 

Lyrics:       "God is great and God is good, God is good, God is good

                   Let us thank Him for this food

                   Alleluia" 

 

We're Catholic, so we start and end with the Sign of the Cross. 

post #13 of 22

thats so cute!

 

post #14 of 22

We, too, hold hands and give thanks.  We do our best to remember all the hands and energy that went into the food arriving on our plates.  Then, we further bless it acknowledging that It is a blessing to our bodies to grow bigger and stronger, and help us rise to our greatest Good.  We give thanks for All Good. Amen.  or And So It Is.

 

If we forget our 3 year-old reminds us.  It really helps him to bless his veggies, and to remember how great his veggies are for him when we trace them back to the Earth and recognize how exciting it is to eat things that will help him grow.

post #15 of 22

So as Muslims, we say, "Bismillah-ar-Rahman-ar-Rahim" which means "In the name of God, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate."

 

At the end, we say, "Alhamdullilah" which means "All thanks to God."

 

When my kids visit my Mom, they sing (to the tune of the ABC song).."A-B-C-D-E-F-G  Thank you God for feeding me."

 

When I was a little tyke, we used to sing part of the Johnny Appleseed song, which I really used to love.  If you search on YouTube I'm sure you can find the tune.. but basically, the lyrics are..."The Lord is good to me...and so I thank the Lord...for giving me...the things I need...the sun, and the rain, and the apple seeds...Oh the Lord is good to me."

post #16 of 22

When we decided we wanted to do a meal blessing we asked each girl to suggest a poem, song, verse, whatever that they wanted to use and dd1 picked a poem while dd2 picked a song.

 

So first we sing the meal blessing from dd1's waldorf preschool:

 

blessings on the blossom, blessings on the fruit

blessings on the leaf and stem

blessings on the root

 

and then we sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star!

 

I think for us the important element is being mindful and taking a moment, actually observing the ritual and rhythm of meals, so twinkle twinkle is just as effective as anything else.  :)  Maybe ask your little one what they would like to use?

post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by robin3 View Post

We light a candle and pick a blessing from the book "A Grateful Heart: Daily Blessings for the Evening Meal from Buddha to the Beatles" by M. J. Ryan.  We've used this since our DS, now 11, was a baby and he went from just watching to now either lighting the candle or reading or both. We also use it at the holidays.


I like the candle lighting idea, I might have to add that!  We hold hands for a moment just to connect with each other before we share a meal.

 

post #18 of 22

Thank you all!  There are so many gems here!

 

Here are a few more I've come across:

 

Earth, we thank you for this food,
for rest and home and all things good,
for wind and rain and sun above,
but most of all for those we love.
 
and 
 
 
Thank you for the food we eat.
 
Thank you for the world so sweet.
Thank you for the birds that sing.
Thank you God for everything. Amen

 

post #19 of 22

My 3 year old leads us in a song, which we repeat after her for each verse: "God our Father, hear us pray. Bless our food and family, Amen." It's really sweet to hear our kids insist on this. We are Catholic.

post #20 of 22

Love it!

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