Saying grace before meals is a long held tradition that’s practiced by most Christians and Catholics alike. Throughout the bible, there are many examples of grace and blessing being performed before meals, (Matthew: 14:19, 15:36) (Luke: 22:19, 24:30). Yet, there remains no one set prayer that must be recited.
Each grace can be either a personal prayer you’ve made for yourself and your family, or one of many traditional prayers that we have listed below. We can quietly contemplate our own grace individually, speak in unison, of have one of those in attendance speak for us. Like wise hands may be held or clasped together in font of you as you pray, the choice is yours, so long as you whole heartily mean the thanks to which you are giving the Lord.
- 1 So Why Do We say Grace
- 2 Examples of Grace and Blessings
- 2.1 1) Bless This Food
- 2.2 2) Bless Us, O Lord
- 2.3 3) Catholic Grace Prayer
- 2.4 4) Dinner Prayer Hymn
- 2.5 5) Give Us Grateful Hearts
- 2.6 6) God is Great
- 2.7 7) God our Father, Lord, and Savior
- 2.8 8) God, We Thank You
- 2.9 9) Humble Hearts
- 2.10 10) Moravian Dinner Prayer
- 2.11 11) Our Heavenly Father
- 2.12 12) Prayer Blessing For Food
- 2.13 13) Thank You For Nourishment
- 2.14 14) Thank You For the Gifts
- 2.15 15) We Give Thanks
- 2.16 16) We Give Thee Thanks
So Why Do We say Grace
Unfortunately, like so many other traditions, many of us have been doing them for tradition sake, with little to no understanding of the importance of why we do them in the first place. In saying grace before each meal we are offering our thanks to the Lord for not only the meal before us, but for allowing us to enjoy the smells, tastes and textures that come with such a great feast.
By giving thanks, we are praising God from whom all blessings are given, as food to eat is truly a merciful blessing. Even for those of us who are lucky enough to live in a country where food is in such an abundance that most of it goes to waste, we are still blessed to have such a large variety of flavors and cuisine for us to enjoy.
For those of us who live without knowing when or where the next meal is coming from, we are blessed to receive the nourishment that sustains us, so that we may one day pull ourselves up and stand tall for enduring such hardships.
On more earthly terms, saying grace before meals helps to build unity, camaraderie and lasting bonds of friendship. Whether you are saying grace with your friends and family at a small gathering or daily meal, or with the community at large when gathering at a local feast or festival, sharing grace with out loved ones units us all, through our acknowledgment of our dependency on the divine mercy of God.
For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving,because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer. (1 Timothy 4:4–5)
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? (Matthew 6:25–27)
Examples of Grace and Blessings
Here are but a few of the more commonly recited prayers that one may wish to use when saying grace before their meals:
1) Bless This Food
Bless this food to our use,
And us to thy service.
Fill our hearts with grateful praise.
2) Bless Us, O Lord
Bless us, O Lord
And these Thy gifts,
Which we are about to receive
From Thy bounty,
Through Christ our Lord.
Bless Us, O Lord,
This food to our use
And us to thy service,
And keep us ever mindful
Of the needs of others.
In Jesus’ Name,
3) Catholic Grace Prayer
Father of us all,
This meal is a sign of Your love for us:
Bless us and bless our food,
And help us to give you glory each day
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.
4) Dinner Prayer Hymn
Lord, bless this food and grant that we
May thankful for thy mercies be;
Teach us to know by whom we’re fed;
Bless us with Christ, the living bread.
Lord, make us thankful for our food,
Bless us with faith in Jesus’ blood;
With bread of life our souls supply,
That we may live with Christ on high.
5) Give Us Grateful Hearts
Give us grateful hearts,
O Father, for all thy mercies,
And make us mindful
Of the needs of others;
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.
For this and all we are about to receive,
Make us truly grateful, Lord.
Through Christ we pray.
6) God is Great
God is great and God is good,
Let us thank Him for our food;
By His blessings we are fed,
Give us Lord, our daily bread.
7) God our Father, Lord, and Savior
God our Father, Lord, and Savior
Thank you for your love and favor
Bless this food and drink we pray
And all who shares with us today.
8) God, We Thank You
God, 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.
9) Humble Hearts
In a world where so many are hungry,
May we eat this food with humble hearts;
In a world where so many are lonely,
May we share this friendship with joyful hearts.
10) Moravian Dinner Prayer
Come, Lord Jesus, our guest to be
And bless these gifts
Bestowed by Thee.
And bless our loved ones everywhere,
And keep them in Your loving care.
11) Our Heavenly Father
Our Heavenly Father, kind and good,
We thank Thee for our daily food.
We thank Thee for Thy love and care.
Be with us Lord, and hear our prayer.
12) Prayer Blessing For Food
Father, Son and Holy Spirit
Thank you for your presence with us.
Bless this food to our bodies
That we may be strong to serve, gracious in giving
And overflowing with love.
13) Thank You For Nourishment
Father, thank you for nourishment.
For the warmth of the sun and the refreshment of water.
For the miracle of the seed and the reaping of harvest.
For the wonder of taste and the blessing of food with loved ones.
Thank you, Lord.
14) Thank You For the Gifts
We thank you for the gifts of your bounty
Which we enjoy at this table.
As you have provided for us in the past,
So may you sustain us throughout our lives.
While we enjoy your gifts,
May we never forget the needy and those in want.
15) We Give Thanks
For food that stays our hunger,
For rest that brings us ease,
For homes where memories linger,
We give our thanks for these.
16) We Give Thee Thanks
We give Thee thanks for all Thy benefits,
O Almighty God,
Who livest and reignest world without end.
May the souls of the faithful departed,
Through the mercy of God,
Rest in peace.