A Grace

V. The eyes of all wait up thee O Lord

R. And thou givest them their food in due season

V. Thou openest thine hand

R. And fillest all things living with plenteousness

Bless O Lord these gifts to our use and us to thy service, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 

This grace, an adaptation of Psalm 145, was sung before every meal at the General Theological Seminary. It’s lovely as a communal grace, with the call and response between the cantor and the community; and since we sang it to the same tone as much of our other liturgical music in chapel, it was a way of extending the sacred space into the Refectory (dining hall), reminding us that God is present everywhere and that our mission as followers of Jesus is to make holy all of our actions, not just those that take place in church. 

How do you pray before meals? 

I am cognizant that our first week of campers are at Chapel Rock this week. Before each meal, they will say a grace–probably not as long as this one! But even, “Rub-a-dub-dub, thanks for the grub. Yeah, God!” does its work in setting the table of thanks before eating the meal. This becomes one more gift we offer to our campers: the spiritual practice of thanksgiving.