When we sit down to eat as a family in the evenings, there’s often a rush to the table – kids leaving their play or work in the middle of what they were doing and Adam & I shuffling plates and pots and spoons to get food to everyone. Once we all sit, inevitably someone needs to immediately use the bathroom or grab the catsup or take their socks off, and everyone wants to talk about their day all at once. It can be pretty hectic.
Family meal is a great time to connect with each other, talk about our days, and relax together for a bit. Still, sometimes wish we had a prayer of sorts to start off each meal. Saying a mealtime grace is a nice way to call attention to everyone being settled at the table, and reminds us all of the importance of being thankful for what we have. It can set the tone for a peaceful meal, and help us all feel even more connected with one another and the task at hand (eating as a family).
The graces I grew up with were very religious, as are most of the ones I’ve heard when out eating with others. Since we are a secular household, the mealtime thanks I’m looking for are ones which don’t thank a specific god. After an extensive search, I’m pleased to present a list of non-deity-specific graces! I’m hoping to incorporate one into our family meals each evening:
We love our bread.
We love our butter.
But most of all,
We love each other!
(source: http://www.retrojunk.com/tv/quotes/1688-madeline/ [Madeline series])
For what we are about to receive
let us be truly thankful
to those who prepared it and those who served it.
Earth we thank you for our food,
For work and play and all that's good,
For wind and rain and sun above,
But most of all for those we love.
Thank you for green grass under me
Thank you for blue skys over me
Thank you for good friends beside me
Thank you for good food in front of me
and peace all over the world.
Blessings on our meal, on everyone here and everyone dear.
Thank you for the food we eat
Thank you for the friends we meet
Thank you for the birds that sing
We give thanks for everything!
May the food we share feed our bodies
May the words we share feed our minds
May the love we share feed our hearts
We give thanks for the plants and animals who have given themselves so that we can enjoy this meal together.
We also give thanks for our friends and family who have traveled here today.
May this meal bring us strength and health.
Earth who gives to us this food
Sun who makes it ripe and good
Dearest Earth, Dearest Sun:
Joy and Love for all you have done.
Do you have a mealtime prayer that you say? Please share!