As a child, we said:
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.
I know the traditional Catholic prayer is:
Bless us oh Lord
and these thy gifts
which we are about to receive
from thy bounty
through Christ our Lord, amen.
My Catholic and very comedic grandfather used to joke around and say:
Good food, good meat,
good God, let's eat.
I just read somewhere about using the Johnny Appleseed song as grace:
The Lord is good to me
and so I thank the Lord
for giving me the things I need
the sun and rain and the appletrees,
the Lord is good to me.
(There are more verses too)
raising my two sunshine children.
I am Christian and I sometimes use
God is Good, God is great
Let us thank him for our food.
By his hands, we are fed
Give us Lord our daily bread.
But most of the time I just give my own words of thanks and blessing. However, I know a billion songs for grace from camp as a child and from working as a camp counselor.
We used to do the "Bless us O lord ... " prayer, but it became so rote that I didn't like it. There was no real feeling, just a drone.
Now, we begin by blessing ourselves, and one of the kids volunteers to pray about the things he/she is thankful for in that day, including of course the food. We might also mention someone or something that especially needs Our Father's grace and blessing that day. The kids seem to like it, and I like that it makes them really think about what they are thankful for that day. I'm also proud that they are learning to formulate prayer on their own, and that they are doing a fabulous job of that.
We have suspended the above practice for the season of Advent, and we are using a great booklet called Grace Upon Grace: Catholic Family Prayers for Each Day of Advent. Each reading begins with a short reflection & Scripture passage (to be read by a child), then a longer reflection which is read by a parent, then ends with a prayer read by a child, with a recitation of the Lord's Prayer rounding out the entire thing.
I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
I was raised Catholic and always said the, "Bless us O Lord" prayer.
My kiddo learned a sweet one at Sunday school that we sometimes say at home, "Thank you for the world so sweet. Thank you God for the birds and trees. Thank you for the food we eat. Thank you God for everything". She's 3, so this is her version. She does hand moves with it. I have no idea how it was taught to her. We're UCC if that matters.
When I was a little girl, my Nana always used
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"
Now, we sometimes use the Johnny Appleseed one, or occasionally if things are really harried,
"For these and all his many mercies, may the Lord make us truly thankful"
Bless O Lord this food to our use, and us to thy service, and make us ever mindful of the needs of others. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
But most of the time we use this, from the psalms:
Leader:The eyes of all wait upon thee O Lord;
Answer: And thou givest them their meat in due season.
Leader: Thou openest thine hands;
Answer: And fillest all things living with plenteousness.
Leader: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;
Answer: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be. World without end. Amen
As Muslims, we say, "Bismillah" or "Bismillah ar Rahman ar Rahim" which means "In the name of God" or "In the name of God, the most Gracious, the most Merciful"
My Aunt, a nice Lutheran lady who also taught PreK and Kindy for 20 years, taught my kids this little grace, "A-B-C-D-E-F-G thank you God for feeding me." (Sung to the ABC song tune.)
Muslims also say "Alhamdullilah" at the end of eating (or drinking)... which means, "All praises are to God" or basically "Thank you God."
Oh....growing up (Presbyterian)....we used to say, "For what we are about to receive, may the Lord make us truly thankful. Amen."
Mom to DS(8), DS(6), DD(4), and DS(1). "Kids do as well as they can."
Jewish here. We say different blessings depending on what food or foods we are about to eat. One thing that I've always found interesting is that we bless God (rather than asking for a blessing ourselves). So when we eat bread, we wash our hands, and then (in Hebrew) bless God, "who has brought forth bread from the earth." Also, when we eat bread, we say a longer grace -- but it comes AFTER the meal has ended. There are wonderful melodies for this grace after the meal ... it takes maybe ten minutes to sing it all, and is a wonderful way to end a communal meal.
I used to attend Quaker meetings a few years back and we would sing this as grace.
The prayer I say now is a verse from the Bhaghavad Gita (V. 4.24)
Brahmagnau brahmana hutam
Brahmaiva tena gantavyam
Om shanti, shanti, shanti
May I remember the truth: That the food being offered is Brahman, the individuals offering the food are Brahman, and the very process of offering itself is also Brahman. Therefore, we perform this offering with full awareness of Brahman alone. May this entire act of cooking, serving, and eating be transformed into sadhana, the spiritual practice leading us all toward Brahman, the highest goal of life. Through this offering, may the universal consciousness, which pervades and permeates our individual consciousness, be worshipped and satisfied. OM, peace, peace, peace.
Although my other favorite prayer is one that I learned from my (Catholic) father who learned it from his father (A convert to Catholicism):
"In the name of the father, the son, and the holy ghost, whoever eats the fastest, gets the most. Amen."
I am United Church of Canada/Anglican. The prayer we have taught our children is one I learned as a young child.
Our hands we fold,
Our heads we bow,
For food and drink we thank thee now.
In Jesus's name we ask it.
I guess you'd say that we self-identify Christian. We really like:
We gather round the table,
Where bodies are renewed,
Where hearts appease their hunger,
For we feast on more than food.
I think I found it in "Seven Times the Sun" by Shea Darian or something like that.
Well, we're not particularly religious and for whatever reason family members like to call us out to say grace. But these are the ones we tend to say.
Thanks for the grub
Good God, Let's Eat!
As Muslims, we say Bismillah(in the name of God) before eating or drinking the tiniest thing, not just before meals, but we can make it longer, usually by saying(usually in arabic) O God! Bless everything you have given us, and protect us from Hellfire.(then say bismillah)
Our family is Christian, our girls are 9 and 7. We go around the table and let whoever wants to pray aloud pray. We don't have a prayer we use over and over, we lift up whatever happened that day that we are grateful for and thank God for that. Sometimes we forget to thank God for the actual food and go back for a quick second prayer
We are an interfaith family. To the tune of "Frere a Jacques" or however you spell it, we sing:
We are thankful
We are thankful
For our food
For our food
And our many blessings
And our many blessings
Partner to R ('03); Parent to T ('07), A ('10), and E ('13)
My husband is atheist and I'm follow yoga as a spiritual practice.
We go around the table and each say something from our day that we are grateful for. It often flows into a nice dinner conversation.
but everything has pros and cons
Depends on who is praying. My DS does several of the little kids prayers. If it is one of us, we do not have a formula, just usually thank G-d for the food and the hands that prepared it. For a while, my DS would specifically thank G-d for each item on the plate (hank you for the broccoli, and the fish...) Once after DD was in the hospital for a week, he added and thank you that mommy cooked the food because she makes it tasty.
My family is Christian. When we were little we used to say "Thank you Jesus for our dinner. Amen." I'm not sure where it came from. These days it is freeform but usually includes saying thank you for the food, the people who prepared it, and the company and asking God to be with people who are notably absent. We sometimes also mention specific things for which we are particularly thankful. That sounds like it's really long but it usually isn't. It might be something like "Father God, thank you for a great day today. Thank you that we can all be together tonight. Please be with [absent relative] and take care of them. And thank you now for this food. In Jesus' name, Amen."
Mother of two spectacular girls, born mid-2010 and late 2012
non christians here.
usually 3 parts to our prayers.
can happen in any order
1. this one is always there - its teh essential part of our thanks and dd's fav. part - thank all those who gave up their life to provide nourishment for our bodies. 'all those' = plants and animals and all those who worked hard to put the food on our table - includes truckers, farmers, cook, etc.
2. may it provide nutrition for our body hearts and mind. and may all impurities turn into necessary nutrients
3. any other piece you want to add. holpes, desires.... related to food. like when gpa was ill pray for him and that he has the strength to take in the nourishment.
btw we started 'grace', 'thank you' - or whatever you may call it when dd was 4 when she heard someone else say grace at the table and she thought it was a great idea to just be thankful before eating.
Growing up we said: Come Lord Jesus, Be our Guest, and let these gifts to us be blessed. Amen. Now I don't say anything but would like to, hence subscribing to this thread! (and I'm sorry, my enter key is not working!)
DS 7 ~ DS 3
Interfaith here... sometimes DH (Christian) leads the prayer, sometimes I (non Christian UU with earth based leanings) lead the prayer.
We don't have a set prayer, and we take turns leading prayer. Whoever doesn't cook, leads the prayer.
When I lead prayer, it will often be something along these lines:
"We are grateful for this food and for the hands that prepared it.
We are grateful to the earth which provides our food.
May we remember those who do not have a meal to share tonight
and those who do not have someone to share a meal with
May we always remember to have grateful hearts and helpful hands.
When DH leads the prayer, it will often sound something like this
"We are grateful for this food and for the hands that prepared it.
May it nourish our bodies as you nourish our souls.
We pray for a restful and relaxing end to our day.
All this we ask in the name of Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen"
And depending on the need, we may remember a friend/family member in need during our prayer. In extreme weather (heat, cold, snow, ice, etc), we always remember people who do not have adequate shelter from the elements.
Pagan and Buddhists here. We've been singing a song my DD bought home from school:
For the golden corn
And the apple in the tree
For the golden butter
And the honey in our tea.
For fruits and nuts and berries
That grow along the way
For birds and bees and flowers
We give thanks everyday.
What a sweet thread! As a Lutheran in a long line of Lutherans, I grew up saying "God is great, God is good. Let us thank him for our food. Amen." but sometimes my grandpa will sneak in the "Come, Lord Jesus, be thou our guest and let this food to us be blessed" that applecider mentioned. Lately I've been using "Thank you for the birds that sing, for rain and sunny weather. Thank you for the food we eat and that we are together."
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We start dinner time conversation by going around the table and saying something we're grateful for today.
We end the meal by blowing out our candle(s) and asking the smoke to carry our prayers to God.
Just stumbled on this thread from the Home page/recent discussions. When my children were young, before meals they liked to recite:
We love our bread
We love our butter
But most of all
We love each other
- Ludwig Bemelmans (from Madeline)
Then they would also toast everyone with their milk glasses. "To family, friends and happy times!" was typical.
BTW, this wasn't taught and DH and I don't usually say grace ourselves at every meal. The kids picked up these customs themselves and decided they liked them. We are very casual Protestants, with DD 15 y.o. probably being the most faithful of us and DS 17 y.o probably self-identifies as atheist now.
(from Bhaktivinoda Thakura's Gitavali)
sarira abidya-jal, jodendriya tahe kal,
jibe phele bisaya-sagore
ta'ra madhye jihva ati, lobhamoy sudurmati
ta'ke jeta kathina somsare
2) krsna baro doyamoy, karibare jihva jay,
swa-prasad-anna dilo bhai
sei annamrta khao, radha-krsna-guna gao,
preme dako caitanya-nitai
"O brothers! This material body is a place of ignorance, and the senses are a network of paths to death. The senses throw the soul into this ocean of material sense enjoyment and, of all the senses, the tongue is most voracious and uncontrol-lable; it is very difficult to conquer the tongue in this world. O brothers! Lord Krsna is very kind to us and has given us such nice prasada, just to control the tongue. Now let us take this prasada to our full satisfaction and glorify Their Lordships, Sri Sri Radha and Krsna and, in love, call for the help of Lord Caitanya and Prabhu Nityananda."
Growing up we would say:
Come Lord Jesus, be our guest
and let these gifts to us be blessed
Now that I have my own family, my DH will say a prayer before the meal asking a blessing on it and our family and touching on anything else he feels like. My DD will add an enthusiastic AMEN! to the end of it and sometimes will say her own little prayer. It usually goes something like this:
Dear She-she (how she pronounces Jesus - it's hard not to laugh)
gibber-gibber-gibber (completely not understandable chatter)
We are pretty down to earth in our prayers. We are Christians but the prayer we say could be easily modified for people of other beliefs.
It generally goes something along the lines of
God, thank you for the opportunity to spend this meal together. Please bless this food and the hands that made it. In Jesus name, Amen.
jess- capturing His creation from behind my Nikon and nurturing what bit of it He gave me when He made me a mother.
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