Monday, September 26, 2005

Grace Under Pressure

Pssst...anyone know a good table grace?

I have been tapped to say grace at one of the meals at my retreat this weekend. While I'm happy to wing it -- it's a matter of honor for me, since I am always engaging with evangelical types who don't believe that Lutherans are capable of extemporaneous prayer -- I would also be happy to share a prayer that others have found meaningful at community meals. Thanks, everyone!

"Autumn Fruit" at  Posted by Picasa


Cathy said...

I love short and sweet and to the point.
As in "The Sound of Music"
For that which we are about to receive, let us be truly thankful.

Anonymous said...

Bless O Lord, this food to our use, and us to thy service, and make us ever mindful of the needs of others. Amen

Dear Lord, thank you for this food,
Bless the hands that prepared it,
Bless it to our use and us to your service,
And make us ever mindful of the needs of others,
Through Christ our Lord, we pray. Amen.

Both of those I "Googled", but I made the following up!

Dear Lord, thank you for this meal, and for the fellowship of your children here. May we bless you, and each other as we enjoy your abundant grace. Amen

Nicodemia said...

Sorry, I'm not really anonymous, its Nicodemia in the comment above!

Anonymous said...

wow, Nicodemia - the first prayer you listed is the one we said every night when I was a kid.
I didn't think anyone else even knew that one!

LutheranChik said...

The table grace most beloved of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod folks, the cultural milieu into which I was born:

Come, Lord Jesus,
Be our Guest,
Let these gifts
To us be blest. AMEN

Actually, there's another table grace -- one that my ueberholy relatives favored, out of the old Lutheran Hymnal, that gets into Elijah being fed by the ravens, etc., etc., etc....when you're a hungry 5-year-old staring at a turkey or a ham, it's an awfully long prayer.

LutheranChik said...

Here's one from my college days -- sung to Rock Around the Clock:

God is great
God is good
and we thank Him for our food
Gonna thank Him in the morning, noon and night
Gonna thank our God, he's outtasight
Gonna thank, thank, thank, thank, thank our God tonight.

In the words of my friend Spiffy Da Wonder Sheep, I think this table grace actually makes the Baby Jesus cry, at least if it's said in a setting that doesn't involve children or hormone-addled undergraduates.

Tom in Ontario said...

We pray the "Come Lord Jesus" prayer you quoted above (growing up dad always said it in German) but I came across a second "verse" so to speak.

Come Lord Jesus
Be our guest
And let these gifts
To us be blessed

Blessed be God
Who is our bread
May all the world
Be clothed and fed


When I was a kid, dad always said a prayer after the meal, before we could be excused. I remember it in German but my spelling would leave something to be desired, so a rough translation would be

Loving God we thank you for you are good and your mercy endures forever. Amen

I think it's based on a Psalm verse if I'm not mistaken.


Keli said...

My kids' favorite is:
Rub a dub dub
Thanks for the grub
Yeah God!

I know it's not elegant, but for a group of kids, it's perfect.

LutheranChik said...

I just looked up the old Lutheran Hymnal table grace. There are actually two, one for before the meal and one for after...I'm trying to think if my uncle actually said a prayer after meals, or if he just mooshed these together. Or maybe it was another prayer -- I'm sure he mentioned Elijah and the ravens in it. Anyhow, here they are:

Before Meals
The eyes of all wait upon thee, O Lord, and Thou givest them their meat in due season; Thou openest thine hand and satisfiest the desire of every living thing. Amen
Lord God, heavenly Father, bless us and these thy gifts which we receive from Thy bountiful goodness; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

After Meals
O, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy endureth forever. He giveth food to all flesh: He giveth to the beast his food and to the young ravens which cry. He delighteth not in the strength of the horse. He taketh not pleasure in the legs of a man. The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear Him, in those that hope in His mercy. Amen.
We thank Thee, Lord God, heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, our Lord, for all thy benefits, who livest and reignest forever and ever. Amen.

J.C. Fisher said...

This German Marxist chick I knew at seminary had a memorably strident one:

Some have food, and some have none: God bless the Revolution!

Sometime around then (Seminary: NYC, early '90s) I heard one which I love, but I can't recall exactly where I heard it:

Tonight Lord, remember in Your mercy:

Those who have friends, but no food.

Those who have food, but no friends.

And those who have neither friends or food.

We praise and thank you, Lord, because we have both.

(I think this one is especially nice as a "Thanksgiving Day" or other holiday-type grace)