Be present at our table, Lord.
Be here and everywhere adored.
These mercies bless, and grant that we
May feast in Paradise with Thee.
-JOHN CENNICK, 1741
Bless, O Lord, this food to our use, and us to Thy service,
and make us ever needful of the needs of others, in Jesus' name, Amen.
-Traditional Protestant grace
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.
Bless this food and us that eats it.
Bless us, O Lord, and these Thy gifts which we have received
out of Thy bounty, through Christ Our Lord. Amen.
-Traditional Catholic grace
Bless, O Lord, these delectable vittles;
May they add to your glory,
not to our middles.
- 20th Century American
Come, Lord Jesus, Be our Guest, and let Thy gifts to us be blessed. Amen.
For a' Thou'st placed upon the table, we thank the Lord, as well's we're able.
For health and strength and daily food,
We praise thy name, O Lord.
For the air we breathe,
and the water we drink,
For a soul and a mind
with which to think,
For food that comes
from fertile sod,
For these, and many things
I'm thankful to my God.
by comedian Danny Thomas
when he was in the sixth grade.
For rabbits young and rabbits old,
For rabbits hot, and rabbits cold,
For rabbits tender, rabbits tough,
We thank Thee, Lord, we've had enough!
-DEAN SWIFT, who undoubtedly suffered
from an endless round of luncheons in his
honor, just as today's celebrities do. But
whereas the modern complaint might be of too
much chicken, Swift had a different lament.
For thy benefits, O Lord, we give Thee thanks.
-Grace after meat
For what we are about to receive, the Lord make us truly thankful, for Christ's sake. Amen.
-Old English classic
which is probably the best known
of all Christian English-language graces.
Give me a good digestion, Lord,
And also something to digest;
Give me a healthy body, Lord,
And sense to keep it at its best.
-DR. FURSE, bishop of St. Albans
God bless the master of this house,
God bless the mistress too;
And all the little children
Who round the table go.
-Traditional British grace
God is great, God is good,
We will thank Him for this food.
By his hand must all be fed
Thanks be to God for our daily bread.
-Traditional Children's grace
Good bread, good meat
Good God, let's eat!
Heavenly father bless us,
And keep us all alive;
There's ten of us for dinner
And not enough for five.
Here a little child I stand
Heaving up my either hand;
Cold as paddocks though they be,
Here I lift them up to Thee,
For a benison to fall
On our meat, and on us all.
- ROBERT HERRICK (1591-1674), Another Grace for a Child
Lift up your hands toward the sanctuary and bless the Lord. Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who brings forth bread from the earth. Amen.
-Traditional Jewish thanksgiving before meals
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.
May the Lord make us thankful for what we are about to receive, and for what Mr. Jones hath already received. Amen.
-Grace used to rebuke
anyone who starts eating too soon.
May the good Lord take a liking to you-but not too soon!
May the holy Saints be about your bed, and about your board, from this time to the latter end-God help us all!
May the peace and blessing of God
descend upon us as we receive of his bounty,
and may our hearts be filled
with love for one another.
Ma Kettle: “Say grace, Pa.”
Pa Kettle (removing his hat, looking up): “Much obliged, Lord.”
- From a Ma and Pa Kettle movie.They are seated at a bountiful table surrounded by her large family
O Lord above, send us thy grace
to be our stay,
So as we never do that which brings
unto the wicked sinful way,
The wicked sinful way.
-THOMAS WYTHORNE. This grace was
sung and is believed to be one used by the
Pilgrims on the Mayflower.
O Lord, 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.
O thou that blest the loaves and fishes,
Look down upon these two poor dishes,
And tho' the murphies are but small,
O make them large enough for all,
For if they do our bellies fill
I'm sure it is a miracle.
Praise to God who giveth meat,
Convenient unto all to eat;
Praise for tea and buttered toast
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
-Old Scottish grace
Pray for peace and grace and spiritual food,
For wisdom and guidance, for all these are good,
But don’t forget the potatoes.
- J. T. PETTEE, “Prayer and Potatoes.”
Pray God bless us all,” said jolly Robìn,
“And our meat within this place;
A cup of sack good, to nourish our blood,
And so I do end my grace.”
- From Robin Hood and the Butcher, The Oxford Book of Ballads
Some have meat but cannot eat;
Some could eat but have no meat;
We have meat and can all eat;
Blest, therefore, be God for our meat.
-The Selkirk Grace
found in the papers of
Dr. Plume of Maldon, Essex
in a handwriting of about 1650.
Another version, attributed to Robert Burns is the one invoked at traditional Burns Night celebrations. The birthday of Robert Burn, the well-known Scottish poet, was January 25, and it has become traditional to gather for a meal on, or near, this date with haggis as the main dish. The first Burns night celebration took place shortly after his death in 1796. Various toasts - usually made with whisky - are proposed during or after the meal which is usually followed by a program of songs, poems and dances. Traditionally, the supper begins with a recitation of the Selkirk Grace and a bowl of broth, followed by the dramatic arrival of the haggis.
Some hae meat, and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it
But we hae meat, and we can eat,
And sae the Lord be thankit.
Thank the Lord for what we've gotten,
If ther 'ad been mooar, mooar we shud hev etten.
To God who gives us daily bread
A thankful song we raise,
And pray that he who sends us food
Will fill our hearts with praise.
We thank thee, Father, for thy care
And for thy bounty everywhere;
For this and every other gift,
Our grateful hearts to thee we lift.
What we are about to receive, may the Trinity and Unity bless, Amen.
-Grace before meat
Here's to our guest-
Don't let him rest.
But keep his elbow bending.
'Tis time to drink-
Full time to think
Tomorrow-when you're mending.
May our house always be too small to hold all our friends.
Our house is ever at your service.
See, your guests approach:
Address yourself to entertain them sprightly,
And let's be red with mirth.
-SHAKESPEARE, Winter's Tale, Act IV
Stay happy, my friend, hang easy and loose
Gettin' rattlesnake-riled is just no use
So here is a slogan that's sure hard to match
There ain't no use itchin' unless you can scratch!
-Cowboy welcome from a sampler
The ornament of a house is the guests who frequent it.
To Our Guest! A friend of our friend's is doubly our friend. Here's to him.
You are welcome here
Be at your ease
Get up when ready
Go to bed when you please.
Happy to share with you
Such as we've got
The leaks in the roof
The soup in the pot.
You don't have to thank us
Or laugh at our jokes
Sit deep and come often
You're one of the folks.
-Notice found in Aspen,Colorado,
guest house and quoted by
Erica Wilson in the Washington Post, 1980.