I was recently out in Los Angeles and I saw a few of my friends blessing their food before eating. One of them was his son saying grace. I found it to be a beautiful practice infusing the meal with gratitude. When I have a family it will definitely begin like that and all of us eating at the table.
You see a lot of things happened for you to have that food and many people are without this basic necessity. Paying reverence to it gives it the importance it deserves.
Here are some prayers to allow you to bless your food:
In a world where so many are hungry,
may we eat this food with humble hearts;
in a world where so many are lonely,
May we share this friendship with joyful hearts.
May this food restore our strength, giving new energy to tired limbs, new thoughts to weary minds. May this drink restore our souls, giving new vision to dry spirits, new warmth to cold hearts.
And once refreshed, may we give new pleasure to you, who gives us all.
the Sustainer of
our bodies, hearts, and souls,
that we thankfully
Sufi mealtime prayer by Inayat Kahn
Earth maker and Lord of all creation,
we are mindful that this food before us
has already been blessed by the sun, earth and rain.
We pause to be grateful
for the hidden gifts of life in this food.
Bless our eyes and taste
so that we may eat this food
in a holy and mindful manner.
We lift up this bread;
may it be food and symbol
for all of us who shall eat it.
For the meal we are about to eat,
for those that made it possible,
and for those with whom we are about to share it,
we are thankful.
From the humanist benediction
In this plate of food, I see the entire universe supporting my existence.
Zen blessing from Thich Nhat Hanh
The food is Brahma (creative energy). Its essence is Vishnu (preservative energy). The eater is Shiva (destructive energy). No sickness due to food can come to one who eats with this knowledge.
We receive this food in gratitude to all beings
Who have helped to bring it to our table,
And vow to respond in turn to those in need
With wisdom and compassion.
Buddhist Meal Gatha
We give thanks for the plants and animals who have given themselves so that we can enjoy this meal together.
We also give thanks for our friends and family who have traveled here today.
May this meal bring us strength and health.
Variation on a Native American Thanksgiving
Blessed be the Earth for providing us this food
Blessed be the Sun for helping it to grow
Blessed be the Wind and Birds for carrying its seed
Blessed be the Rain for the water’s loving flow.
Blessed be the hands that helped prepare this meal,
May those hands and our hands, bodies too, be well and quick to heal.
Blessed be our friends, our families, and all of our loved ones.
Blessed be our mother earth, our father sky and sun.
Christian mealtime prayer
Blessed art thou O Lord my G-d,
King of the universe,
who brings forth the bread from the earth.
Jewish mealtime prayer
Dear earth who gives to us this food,
Dear sun who makes it ripe and good,
Sun above and earth below,
Our loving thanks to you we show.
Blessings on our meal.
Secular mealtime prayer
This food is the gift of the whole universe – the earth, the sky, and much hard work. May we live in a way that makes us worthy to receive it. May we transform our unskillful states of mind, especially our greed. May we take only foods that nourish and prevent illness. We accept this food so that we may realize the path of our practice.
Thich Nhat Hanh’s meal chant
Om, beloved mother nature, you are here on our table as food. You are endlessly bountiful, benefactress of all. Grant us
health and strength, wisdom and dispassion, and help us share this with one and all.
Hindu mealtime prayer
Let us be together; let us eat together. Let us be vital together, let us be radiating truth, radiating the light of life. Never shall we denounce anyone, never entertain negativity
As we come together at this special time, let us pause a moment to appreciate the opportunity for good company and to thank all those past and present whose efforts have made this event possible. We reap the fruits of our society, our country, and our civilization, and take joy in the bounties of nature on this happy occasion. Let us also wish that, some day, all people on Earth may enjoy the same good fortune that we share.
Red Bank Humanists