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Saying Grace


Special Ways to Give Thanks

If you don’t usually say grace before meals, you might want to start doing so this Thanksgiving—and whenever your family dines together. It’s a way to remind ourselves of all we have to be thankful for. Plus, for many families, the evening meal is the only time spent together. Grace provides an opportunity to reflect on how precious this time is.

If you say grace often, you may want to change what you say occasionally so that the words don’t become rote and meaningless.

We have collected more than 300 mealtime graces from around the world. Some of our favorites…

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends, For everything Thy goodness sends.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson, Unitarian minister, poet and essayist (1803–1882)

May all beings have happiness and the
causes of happiness.
May all beings be free from sorrow
and the causes of sorrow.
May all never be separated from the
sacred happiness which is sorrowless.
May all live in equanimity, without
attachment or aversion, believing
in the equality of all that lives.

—Traditional Buddhist prayer

Thank Heaven for this food and for this company. May it be good for us.
—Greek prayer

May we be a channel of blessings for all that we meet.
— Edgar Cayce, American spiritualist (1877–1945)

God of pilgrims, give us always a table to Stop at where we can Tell our story and Sing our song.
— Father John Giuliani (1932–),
Benedictine Grange, West Redding,

Just to be is a blessing.
Just to live is holy.

— Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel,
author (1907–1972)

Source: Marcia and Jack Kelly, editors of 100 Graces (Bell Tower). They live in Olean, New York. Date: November 1, 2004 Publication: Bottom Line Personal
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