We are the Love that makes this meal Holy.
Before our dinner, we hold hands and say a short Grace. It's a good way to bring our focus to the table and our family meal. Grace is also a part of our daily practice of gratitude – reminding ourselves how lucky we are to have food and family. During our meal, we each take turns saying something we are thankful for from our day. I notice a positive upbeat when we do this consistently, and that our meals are not so pleasant when we skip our Grace or Thankfuls.
The box was given to us by our minister for our wedding.
Long Life. Honey in the Heart. No Evil. Thirteen Thank-Yous.
(A Mayan blessing we learned from Martin Prechtel)
To keep Grace fresh and interesting, we have a box of 20-25 different meal blessings; some are short, some are long, some are sung. Many we have memorized, some we have written. At meal time, the Little-Bugs take turns picking our Grace for that meal and we say/read it all together.
Meat and Bread and Salt and Cheese. We are grateful to have all of these.
Because we don't have a strong religious tradition in out home, I've found all kinds of different meal blessings many different places. Some have stayed intact and some I have altered to suit our style. Some lean toward the Christian and some towards the Pagan; many simply express our desire for Peace and our gratitude for our food. We like this. We like collecting, discovering, and creating new blessings and adding them to our box.
We are grateful for this food and before we take a bite, we pray that three less children go to bed hungry tonight.
(2? 4? How many children are at your table?)
I print out the Grace and glue it to a piece of scrapbook paper (I keep extra pieces cut to size in the bottom of the box). I also cover the front with a piece of clear packing tape to help these scraps survive dinner time spills and excitement. Like I said earlier, the Little-Bugs take turns pulling a different blessing each night.
In this food, I see clearly the presence of the entire universe supporting my existence.
(Thich Nhat Hanh)
We hold hands and take a moment. We say our blessing and send our love out into the world. Sometimes we take an extra moment to pray and send love to someone we know needs it (a mother in labor, a family in grief, the President…). It's a grounding time.
May Peace on Earth Begin in this Family.