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Meals Have Meaning Grace Before a Meal Grace After a Meal

Jesus ate and drank with others: The gospels Praise and thanks: The word grace means thanks. Giving thanks: We end our meal by praising and
often describe meals that Jesus shared with other Listening to God. We may first listen to the thanking God our Father.
people:
word of God, a short Scripture reading, since For food. God has given us this food and enjoy-
Sinners. When he was accused of eating with the human does not live by bread alone, but by ment because he loves us.
sinners and outcasts, he replied that he came every word that comes from the mouth of God
to save sinners (Mt 9.9-13). For friendship. God has given us family and
(Mt 4.4).
friends to share his love with us. We thank him
Feeding large crowds. Jesus multiplied loaves Praising God. We praise him and thank him for for giving us as his gifts to one another.
and fishes to feed the crowds who listened to
creation, for our life, and for our family and friends.
him (Mt 14.13-21). For all other gifts. We thank our holy Father for
Blessing food. We praise God over this food, making us, for loving us, for sending us Jesus
Last Supper. On the night before he died,
asking him to bless it for our use. We also pray for as our brother, and for all the gifts he has
Jesus held a final meal with his apostles, and
gave us his body and blood to be our spiritual ourselves, for our families and for others, espe- shared with us today.
food in the Eucharist (Mt 26.26-29). cially for people who are without enough food.
Some examples:
After rising from the dead, Jesus ate with his Some forms of grace Loving Father, we praise you
close followers, who recognized him as their Heavenly Father, for all the gifts you give us:
risen Lord (Lk 24.36-49). we praise you for your kindness to us. for life and health,
Our family meals should be joyful moments when Bless + this food, and bless + us in your service. for faith and love,
we relax with the ones we love most. Mealtime and for this meal we have shared together.
Father, we ask this blessing
should not be a period for complaining, arguing,
correcting or scolding, but rather a time of joy and
through Jesus our Lord. Amen! Father, we thank you through Christ our Lord.
peace. or: Amen!
Sign of God’s love. Each meal is a further sign Lord Jesus, our brother, or:
that God loves us. He shares the enjoyable we praise you for saving us. Thank you, Father, for your gifts:
things of his creation with us, his beloved chil- Bless + us in your love as we gather in your name, help us to love you more. Amen!
dren. and bless + this meal that we share.
or:
Source of strength. We are nourished by our Jesus, we praise you for ever. Amen!
meals so that we may continue to build God’s Father, we thank you for your love,
or: and for giving us food and drink.
kingdom and work for his glory.
Father of us all, Help us to praise you today
Jesus is with us when we sit down for our meal.
this meal is a sign of your love for us: in the name of Jesus our Lord. Amen!
He is both our guest and our host. Some fami-
bless + us and bless + our food,
lies light a candle – on Sundays and special Variety: We may vary our way of praying after
and help us to give you glory each day
occasions or at every meal – as a reminder meals, adapting it to the occasion, as described
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen!
that Jesus is present. for grace before eating.
Special meaning. Christians continue to see Variations: We can sing a verse of a hymn of A reminder: St. Paul reminds us:
the deeper meaning of their meals together. praise or all may say the prayer together. We can
So, whether you eat or drink,
They are a reminder of our sharing with Jesus pray simply in silence. All may make the sign of
or whatever you do,
and with one another in the Eucharist, and of the cross on themselves or over the food. We may
do everything for the glory of God.
our faith that we will share one day in the heav- take turns in leading the prayer and in preparing
enly messianic banquet. prayers in our own words. (1 Cor 10.31)