Blessing Our Food on this Thanksgiving Day

For centuries, peoples of all religions and countries have said their own special prayers for the blessing of their food, before a meal to give thanks for the food and other good things in their lives and on their tables. With the United States daily becoming an international community, people from many other countries will be celebrating maybe their first Thanksgiving with us.

So in the spirit of international thankfulness for the food and things we do have in this country, I offer you a small sampling of graces said around the world. I have included many wonderful Christian graces so if you are looking for one that you said as a child or heard at some ones home, I hope you will find it here.

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When entertaining, unless your religion has a specific guideline, you can be creative in deciding how grace will be said.

  • One person (host, guest, or clergy) can say grace aloud for the group.

  • The group can say grace together. You might prepare copies of the prayer for each table in advance.

  • The children can say grace for the group.

  • Everyone can hold hands seated or standing around the table.

  • Each person can be given the opportunity to give thanks for something special.

Christian

In a few moments of silence, let each of us be mindful of all we have for which to give thanks: friends, food, hopes, health and happy memories (a moment of silence observed)
So in giving thanks, we are blessed, Amen.

Bless us,
O Lord, and these Thy gifts,
which we are about to receive from Thy bounty,
through Christ our Lord. Amen."

Be present at our table, Lord;
Be here and everywhere adored.
These mercies bless, and grant that we
May feast in fellowship with thee. Amen

God is great, and God is good,
And we thank him for our food;
By his hand we all are fed,
Amen

Give us, Lord, our daily bread.
For health and strength and daily food,
We praise thy name, O Lord.
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.

Give us grateful hearts, our Father,
for all your mercies,
and make us mindful of the needs of others;
through Christ our Lord.

Dear Lord, thank you for this gift of food
You've placed upon our table.

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And help us all to do your work
In any way we're able.

Lord, make us truly grateful for the blessings of this day.

We thank you, Father, for this food
And pray you'll bless it to our good;
Help us live your name to praise
In all we do through all our days.

This food, which you have already blessed in the giving,
so further bless in our partaking.

We thank thee, God, for milk and bread
And all our daily food;
These gifts remind us day by day,
Our Father, thou art good.

Almighty God, you open your hand, and we are fed.
Be at this table, we pray, and bless our family.

We thank thee, Lord, for happy hearts,
For rain and sunny weather.
We thank thee, Lord, for this food,
And that today we are together.

Praised be thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe,
who causes the earth to yield food for all.

Heavenly Father, great and good,
We thank thee for this daily food.
Bless us even as we pray;
Guide and keep us through this day.

Lord God, we thank you for all the good things you provide,
and we pray for the time when people everywhere
shall have the abundance they need.

Bless these thy gifts, most gracious God,
From whom all goodness springs;
Make clean our hearts and feed our souls
With good and joyful things.
God to enfold me,
God to surround me,
God in my speaking,
God in my thinking,
God in my sleeping,
God in my waking,
God in my watching,
God in my hoping,
God in my life,
God in my lips,
God in my soul,
God in my heart.
God in my sufficing,
God in my slumber,
God in my mine ever-lasting soul,
God in mine serenity. Amen


Jewish

Praised are You, Lord our God, King of the universe,
for all the nourishment and produce of the field,
for the lovely and spacious land which You gave to our fathers
as a heritage to eat of its fruit and enjoy its good gifts.
Have mercy, Lord our God, on Your people Israel, on Your altar and Your shrine.
Speedily rebuild the holy city of Jerusalem.
Bring us there and gladden us with the restoration of our land.
May we eat of its fruit and enjoy its good gifts.
May we bless you for it in holiness and purity.
Blessed art Thou, O Lord our G-d,

King of the Universe,
Who creates many living
beings and the things they
need. For all that Thou hast
created to sustain
the life of every living
being, blessed be Thou,
the Life of the universe.


Nahuatl (Pre-Hispanic)

I am come too, here I am standing;
now I am going to forge songs,
make a stem flowering with songs,
oh my friend!
God has sent me as a messenger.
I am transformed into a poem.


Ashanti (West African)

Earth, when I am about to die, I lean upon you.
Earth, while I am alive, I depend upon you.


China

O God,I am as one hungry for rice,
parched as one thirsty for tea.
Fill so my empty heart.
Amen.


Native American

Creator, Earth Mother,
we thank you for our lives and
this beautiful day. Thank You for the bright sun
and the rain we received last night.
Thank You for this circle of friends
and the opportunity to be together.
We want to thank You especially at this time
for the giveaway of their lives made by the
chickens, beets, carrots, grains and lettuce.
We thank them for giving of their lives
so we may continue our lives through this
great blessing. Please help us honor them

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through how we live our lives.

Buddhist

(serving the food)

In this food I see clearly
the presence of the entire universe
supporting my existence.

(looking at the plate of food)

All living beings are struggling
for life. May they all have enough food
to eat today.

(just before eating)

The plate is filled with food.
I am aware that each morsel
is the fruit
of much hard work
by those who produced it.

(beginning to eat)

With the first taste, I promise
to practice loving kindness.
With the second, I promise
to relieve the suffering of others.
With the third,
I promise to see others' joy as my own.
With the fourth,
I promise to learn the way of nonattachment and equanimity.

(after the meal)

The plate is empty.
My hunger is satisfied. I vow to live for the benefit
of all living beings.


Hindu

Affirmation to my Body

I recognize you are the temple
in which my spirit and creative energy
dwell.
I have created you from my need
to have my spirit manifested on earth
so that I may have this time to learn
and grow.
I offer you this food so that you may continue
to sustain my creative energy, my spirit,
my soul.
I offer this food to you with love,
and a sincere desire for you to remain free
from disease and
disharmony.
I accept you as my own creation.
I need you.
I love you.

Make us worthy, Lord,
To serve our fellow-men.
Throughout the world who live and die
In poverty or hunger.
Give them through our hands
This day their daily bread
And by our understanding love
Give peace and joy.

( Mother Teresa Of Calcutta)


Islamic

In the name of
the compassionate
and beneficent God


African American

Great God accept our gratitude,
For the great gifts on us bestowed--
For rainment, shelter and for food.
Great God, our gratitude we bring,
Accept our humble offering,
For all the gifts on us bestowed,
Thy name be evermore adored.

(Josephine Delphine Henderson Heard)


Now I give you a prayer from me to you

May He Who is the Father in Heaven of the Christians, Holy One of the Jews, Allah of the Muhammadans, Buddha of the Buddhists, Tao of the Chinese, Ahura Mazda of the Zoroastrians and Brahman of the Hindus lead us from the unreal to the Real, from darkness to light, from disease and death to immortality. May the All-Loving Being manifest Himself unto us, and grant us abiding understanding and all-consuming divine love. Peace, Peace. Peace be unto all.

Editor's Note: Happy Thanksgiving to all! May it find you in health, peace and prosperity. Share your own traditional blessing or Thanksgiving traditions here.

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