Come, ye thankful people, come

Saying grace before meals offers families a chance to slow down and give thanks, especially on Thanksgiving.

On Thanksgiving Day, we offer these words of grace shared before meals by different cultures. Some are traditional, some whimsical, some thought-provoking.

For good food and those who prepare it,

For good friends with whom to share it,

We thank you Lord. Amen.

So once a year we throng

Upon a day apart,

To praise the Lord with feast and song,

In thankfulness of heart.

- Arthur Guiterman, 1871-1943

O Lord of the universe

Please accept all this food

It was given by you

Let it be of service to all

Only you can bless it.

- Bhagavad Gita, fifth century B.C.

May this food restore our strength,

giving new energy to tired limbs,

and new thoughts to weary minds.

May this drink restore our souls,

giving new vision to dry spirits,

and new warmth to cold hearts.

And once nourished and refreshed,

May we give thanks to Him who

gives us all and makes us blest.

- Adapted from an Irish blessing

In a few moments of silence,

Let each of us be mindful

Of all we have for which to give thanks:

Friends, food, hopes, health and happy memories.

(a moment of silence observed)

So, in giving thanks,

We are blessed.


- Traditional Christian blessing

Blessed art thou

O Lord our God

King of the world

Who bringest forth bread from the earth.

- Traditional Jewish blessing

A circle of friends is a blessed thing.

Sweet is the breaking of bread with friends.

For the honor of their presence at our board

We are deeply grateful, Lord.

Thanks be to Thee for friendship shared,

Thanks be to Thee for food prepared.

Blessed Thou the cup; blessed Thou the bread

Thy blessing rest upon each head

- Walter Rauschenbusch, 1861-1918

Bless O Lord, this food to our use,

And us to thy loving service.

And make us ever mindful of the needs of others,

For Jesus' sake. Amen.

Let us live together, eat together

Together, let us do noble deeds and share the fruits

Let us understand each other, casting aside jealousy and ill will

Let us all work for peace and peace alone

- Hindu prayer

Make us worthy, Lord,

To serve our fellow men

Throughout the world who live and die

In poverty or hunger.

Give them, through our hands

This day their daily bread,

And by our understanding love

Give peace and joy.

- Mother Teresa of Calcutta

God our Father

God our Father

Once again

Once again

We bow our heads and thank you

Bow our heads and thank you

A-ah-men. A-ah-men

- Sung to the tune of "Are you sleeping, Brother John"

Thank you, heavenly Father,

for my bread,

my dad and mother

and my bed.


- Child's prayer of thanks

Bless our hearts

to hear in the

breaking of bread

the song of the universe.

- Father John Giuliani

When you arise in the morning,

give thanks for the morning light,

for your life and strength.

Give thanks for your food

and the joy of living.

If you see no reason for giving thanks,

the fault lies in yourself.

- Tecumseh, chief of the Shawnee Indians, 1768-1813

We contemplate how precious this meal is. This food is the gift of the whole universe; each morsel is a sacrifice of life.

As we receive this offering, we consider whether our virtue and practice deserve it.

We contemplate our hearts, cautiously guarding them from wrongdoing, greed, and other defilements.

We receive this food as nourishment to keep our bodies and minds in good health.

We accept this food so we may realize the path of understanding and love for the sake of all beings.

- Version of the Buddhist 'Five Contemplations before Meals'

God is great, God is good.

Let us thank him for our food.

By his hands, we are fed.

Let us thank him for our bread.


I thank Thee, O Lord,

because Thou hast bound me in the bundle of life.

I thank Thee, O Lord,

because Thou hast saved me from the pit

I thank Thee, O Lord

because Thou hast gladdened me with the Covenant.

I thank Thee, O Lord,

because thou hast set thine eyes upon me.

-The Thanksgiving Hymns, Composed from the Dead Sea Scrolls, second century B.C.-first century A.D.

Bless us Lord, and bless the food,

Keep us in a cheerful mood.

Bless the cook,

And all who serve us.

From sin and indigestion,

Lord, preserve us!

Bless us, O Lord,

And these thy gifts,

Which we are about to receive

From thy bounty,

Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

- Traditional Catholic grace before meals

God we thank you for this food,

for rest and home and all things good,

for wind and rain and sun above,

but most of all for those we love.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow,

Praise Him all creatures here below,

Praise Him above, ye heavenly host.

Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen

- Christian Doxology

The Lord's been good to me

And so I thank the Lord

For giving me the things I need

For the sun and the rain and the appleseed

The Lord's been good to me.

- The Johnny Appleseed song

Father, Son and Holy Ghost

Who eats the fastest gets the most.

Yea, God!

Sing praise to the Mother Gaia

Sing praise to the Father Sun

Sing praise to the plants in the garden

Where the Mother and the Father are one.

For each new morning with its light,

For rest and shelter of the night,

For health and food,

For love and friends,

For everything Thy goodness sends.

- "Thanksgiving," by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Come Lord Jesus, be our guest.

Let these gifts to us be blessed.

I should like a great lake of the finest ale

For the King of Kings.

I should like a table of the choicest food

For the family of heaven.

Let the ale be made from the fruits of faith,

And the food be forgiving love.

I should welcome the poor to my feast,

For they are God's joy.

Let the poor sit with Jesus at the highest place,

And the sick dance with the angels.

God bless the poor,

God bless the sick,

And God bless our human race.

God bless our food,

God bless our drink;

All homes, Oh, God, embrace.

- Celtic table grace

My plate, now empty, will soon be filled with precious food. In this food, I see the presence of the entire universe supporting my existence. Many beings are struggling for food today. I pray that they all may have enough to eat.

- Thich Nhat Hanh's, Vietnamese Buddhist monk

"Oh Lord, on this blessed day, we thank Thee for giving our family one more crack at togetherness."

- Bart Simpson's Thanksgiving grace