What Are Some Mealtime Prayers?

What Are Some Mealtime Prayers?

Numerous traditional mealtime prayers, referred to as "grace" in some forms of Christianity, exist in various religions. Examples include the Catholic prayer: "Bless us, oh Lord, and these thy gifts, which we are about to receive from thy bounty, through Christ, our Lord. Amen." Other belief traditions encourage unique prayers created for each meal. In the Jewish faith, diners say the post-meal prayer, Birkat Hamazon, to themselves after certain meals. Most meal prayers consist of only a few lines.

In some traditions, one person says grace for the entire gathering of diners, while in other traditions each person says grace silently or quietly to himself.

Other traditional Christian meal prayers include the translation of a traditional German prayer: "Come, Lord Jesus, be our guest, and bless what you bequeathed us." Some recite a Celtic Selkirk prayer: "Some have meat and cannot eat; some cannot eat that want it, but we have meat and we can eat, sae let the Lord be thankit."

The Birkat Hamazon consists of four blessings, one each for the food, the land of Israel, Jerusalem and God's goodness.

In Islam, meals include several prayers, each said in Arabic by individual diners. The prayer said upon preparation of the meal translates roughly as "O, Allah! Bless the food you have provided us, and save us from the punishment of the hellfire." The prayer said at the commencement of eating translates, "In the name of God and with God's blessing." The post meal prayer often consists only of "Praise be to Allah."