pagan (?) verses before / after meals? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 23 Old 08-27-2006, 05:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i googled, but maybe i am not using the right keywords. i am looking for simple verses to say before and after meals. we are not pagan, but i am leaning towards it, and i would like to have some kind of ritual for meals. i remember seeing something that i liked on waldorf sites, but now i can't find it i either.

thanks!
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#2 of 23 Old 08-27-2006, 05:50 PM
 
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try seraching for "pagan meal blessing" or "pagan grace".

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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#3 of 23 Old 08-27-2006, 05:52 PM
 
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heyla mama!

beliefNet has some great pages...a general pagan prayer page at http://www.beliefnet.com/prayerofthe...ers.asp?paid=9 and a "meal specific" page at http://www.beliefnet.com/prayerofthe...paid=14&faid=9

My family is pagan and we actually change the grace before meals every few weeks or so. Some I borrowed and adapted from the beliefnet ideas, but I also have two great books of short poems, prayers, and verses from a variety of religious/philosophical paths (by the same author, one is Earth Prayers From around the World and the other is Life Prayers From Around the World) and DH and I will choose something to use as a grace before meals.

We're thinking of finding a short grace to use on a more regular basis (with a longer meditation/verse for after dinner before we leave the table...something to think about as we clear the table and tidy the kitchen) now that dd is getting older and we want to have familiar family rituals for her.

hth...have fun!

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#4 of 23 Old 08-27-2006, 05:55 PM
 
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Earth that grows for us this food

Sun that makes it ripe and good

Dear God/Goddess we thank you

for sending us these gifts





Great Spirit,

We thank you for the gift of this food.

We send blessings of peace, love, and release to all whose bodies energies brought us this nourishment. We honor you in our enjoyment and utilization of this meal.

May it bring us health and joy, reminding us of our interconnections with all that is.

As we receive, so do we give thanks for this gift.



With young children, it is best to keep prayers short, simple, and to the point as below.


Thank you, Great Spirit

Thank you, chicken and peas and milk (or other food items)

Thank you, Mother Earth

We love this food.




Holy mother earth,
yours is the power
to grow,
to destroy,
to give birth.
We conjure you now,
by seed and by shoot,
by flower and fruit,
by light and by love,
from below and above,
in your ancient names:
Kore, Demeter, Persephone.
Grant us the blessings of your body.
Thank you for the blessings of your body.


Thank you God and Goddess for all that you have provided. We are forever grateful for your blessings in our lives. So mote it be.



From forest and stream, from mountain and fields, from the fertile Earth's nourishing yields, I now partake of the Divine Energy; may it lend me health, strength, and love.


Goddess, bless this food you have given me
Let it be filled with your divine energy
So that I will be healthy
And live a long and happy life.
Goddess bless! Blessed be!



Blessed be the Earth for giving birth to this food
Blessed be the Sun for nourishing it
Blessed be the Wind for carrying its seed
Blessed be the Rain for quenching its thirst.

Blessed be the hands that helped to grow this food,
To bring it to our tables
To nourish our minds, bodies, and spirits.

Blessed be our friends, our families, and our loved ones.
Blessed Be.
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#5 of 23 Old 08-27-2006, 06:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Goddess great, goddess good, let us thank you for this food.
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#6 of 23 Old 08-28-2006, 11:47 AM
 
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Thanks to Thor for the food we eat,
Thanks to Freya for gifts so sweet,
Thanks to the farmers who labored long,
Thanks to the plants their bodies strong,
Thanks to the hands that made this meal,
And thanks to all who turn the wheel.
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#7 of 23 Old 08-28-2006, 11:54 AM
 
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You could also generalize and say Lord and Lady or put whatever deity is appropriate for you in there.
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#8 of 23 Old 08-28-2006, 01:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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THANK YOU!!!
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#9 of 23 Old 08-28-2006, 06:27 PM
 
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If you want to keep it very simple, you can do a YUM

like you would an OM. Very fun in large groups. Totally non-denominational. Often includes little yum yum yum yum yums! Plus, it's OK to do it after you've tasted the food!
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#10 of 23 Old 08-28-2006, 06:52 PM
 
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as a child, we always said:

earth we thank you for this food,
for rest, and home and all things good,
for wind and rain and sun above,
and most of all for the ones we love.

raising my two sunshine children.

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#11 of 23 Old 08-29-2006, 02:10 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OdeToJoy
Goddess great, goddess good, let us thank you for this food.
We do about the same.

Thank you goddess for the food, and blessed be all we say and do.
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#12 of 23 Old 08-29-2006, 02:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by la mamita
as a child, we always said:

earth we thank you for this food,
for rest, and home and all things good,
for wind and rain and sun above,
and most of all for the ones we love.
I love that one!

Great for nature studies! http://www.pleinairkids.com
Plein Air Kids - Handmade wooden art boxes for Budding Artists.
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#13 of 23 Old 08-29-2006, 02:21 PM
 
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I love some of these and have to see if the family is open to trying a new blessing. Ours is similar to one bosted above...

Earth who gives us this food
Sun who makes it ripe and good
Dear Sun, Dear Earth, by you we live
and loving thanks to you we give.
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#14 of 23 Old 08-29-2006, 02:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was joking with mine, by the way.
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#15 of 23 Old 08-29-2006, 02:53 PM
 
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What a wonderful thread. Here is one I know, it is a song:

Thank you for this food
This glorious, glorious food.
And the animals,
And the vegetables,
And the minerals,
That make it possible.
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#16 of 23 Old 08-29-2006, 03:05 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OdeToJoy
I was joking with mine, by the way.
hey, it's perfectly acceptable to me. My little sis would say

"rub a dub dub, thanks for the grub".
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#17 of 23 Old 08-29-2006, 03:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My friend used to say that. I'm waiting for inspiration to hit so I can come up with a super easy one for ds.
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#18 of 23 Old 08-29-2006, 03:37 PM
 
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I'm not pagan at all, but I was going to suggest that there's no reason you have to use a ritual verse or prayer. You can simply speak your heart. Or have each member of the family contribute something.

I'm Christian and we're raising our kids in the Christian church. DH is UU. We begin each meal by "giving thanks". Since DH is a participant and not a believer, it seems more appropriate for us to stay away from typical verses and standard blessing prayers.

Instead, we usually take turns "giving thanks" at mealtimes. The person whose turn it is just says an open-ended prayer of thankfulness and blessing.

When it's my turn, a typical blessing might be something like, "Dear Lord, we are thankful for this meal and for the many blessings in our lives. We are grateful for the recent rains and for the beautiful sunny day today. Please fill our hearts and minds with thoughts of love and kindness and help us to do good and care for one another. Amen."

My DH would typically leave out references to dieties, but would say something like, "We are thankful for this meal and for the opportunities we've had to spend time with family and to travel safely and be together. May this day be beautiful and our family safe and healthy."

Sometimes, we alternate going around the table, with each member of the family taking a turn to tell something they are thankful for or to ask for some blessing or prayer request. It all depends.

And when Grandma comes, we fall back on the old standards.

It varies. But there are so many options. Ykwim? Mealtime prayers can be anything, and in some ways, such prayers can be even better than ritual ones. Not that I'm opposed to ritual prayers. There are times when familiar rituals and rites can be very comforting and very profound. But rituals you develop yourself for your family can also become very meaningful.
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#19 of 23 Old 08-29-2006, 03:46 PM
 
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We like having a 'ritual' prayer or blessing before meals. It connects us to the divine better. Not that we are not grateful, we talk about our gratitude every day. But there is something special about aknowledging and honoring your chosen dieties at each meal. For us a beautifully written prayer we recite with feeling each time does that better than simply saying whatever is on the top of our heads. Plus my kids really enjoy when we say our prayers.
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#20 of 23 Old 08-29-2006, 06:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by defectgrrrl
We like having a 'ritual' prayer or blessing before meals. It connects us to the divine better. Not that we are not grateful, we talk about our gratitude every day. But there is something special about aknowledging and honoring your chosen dieties at each meal. For us a beautifully written prayer we recite with feeling each time does that better than simply saying whatever is on the top of our heads. Plus my kids really enjoy when we say our prayers.
I can understand that pov too. In fact, most Christians I know do recite ritual prayers and verses and such. I grew up in a Christian denomination that relied very heavily on ritual worship. Later in life I found that it was much more freeing and provided for much greater personal relationship with the divine if I set aside the ritualistic stuff and convened with God more freely from the heart instead of reciting something I'd memorized. Rather than being a more special and meaningful means of connecting with and honoring the divine, it seemed to me that ritual prayers had a tendency to become very rote, and therefore not very meaningful or spiritually fulfilling. But that's just my experience. Please don't misunderstand me. I'm not arguing against ritual prayers or song or whatever. Those things have their place. And from the pov of this little side discussion, I think it makes no difference which faith we're talking about (so I'm not picking on pagans or my particular Lutheran background or whatever). This thread just caught my attention b/c of the unique situation in my own family (DH being UU and all that) and how we've managed to keep the divine focus and prayerful, meaningful experience intact, even if we don't use a special prepared prayer. Speaking prayers from the heart isn't just a matter of "saying what's on the top of your head", it's connecting from the heart in a real way. I suppose it can become equally rote if nobody bothers to seek within themselves and just hurries through. But ykwim. At least I hope you do.
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#21 of 23 Old 08-29-2006, 06:58 PM
 
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One of the Brownies' favorite graces goes:

A, B, C, D, E, F, G, I thank you for feeding me.

That's the universal version. There's a Christian version too.

"What will you do once you know?"
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#22 of 23 Old 08-29-2006, 08:49 PM
 
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Quote:
earth we thank you for this food,
for rest, and home and all things good,
for wind and rain and sun above,
and most of all for the ones we love.
I love it!

I forgot to add that sometimes DH and I use a song instead of a "spoken word" prayer (or we'll "say" the lyrics from a song). We've been using the lyrics to the Harvest Chant from the Reclaiming songbook (it's on the CD Second Chants) a lot recently. We changed the word "harvest" to "family" but it's a great song that works well for larger family dinners where we've got a number of guests:

Quote:
Our hands will work for peace and justice
Our hands will work to heal the land
Gather round the harvest table
Let us feast and bless the land
Happy noshing!

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#23 of 23 Old 08-30-2006, 01:58 PM
 
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Going to make this a generic Lord/Lady, and you can decide on which deity you prefer :-)....


Lord and Lady please be our guests
And let these gifts to us be blessed
From your womb we call the earth
Forever free, so Blessed be..

This was actually adapted from my Christian MIL's table, but we trade off on who is saying the prayer. I tweeked it a little to make is Pagan, and everyone is happy. Luckily, I have wonderful inlaws.

My friend bought me a book last Yule. I have to look for it, as I do not use it much. It's called the Pagan Bible (which is an oxymoron in iteself), however, the author has some great prayers in there for thanking the Lord/Lady for meals. HTH, and good luck :-)....

Head covering Pagan-Quaker mama to 6yo DS, and DH. Recent WAHM www.napleshealthadvisers.com
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