Grace (1918 photograph by Eric Enstrom)
Come Lord Jesus, be our guest; and let these Thy gifts to us be blest. Amen.
Bless, O Lord, thy gifts to our use and us to thy service. Give us grateful hearts, our Father, for all thy mercies, and make us mindful of the needs of others; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
—Book of Common Prayer (two prayers combined)
Father in heaven, sustain our bodies with this food, our hearts with true friendship, and our souls with thy truth, for Christ’s sake. Amen.
—The Book of Common Worship, Presbyterian, 1906
Thou art great and Thou art good, And we thank Thee for this food;
By Thy hand will we be fed; Give us, Lord, our daily bread.
Bless our home with peace and love,
And grant us in Christ a home above. Amen.
We thank you, Lord, for happy hearts, for fair and sunny weather.
We thank you, Lord, for this our food, and that we are together. Amen.
Give us Lord, a bit o’ sun,
A bit o’ work and a bit o’ fun;
Give us all in the struggle and sputter
Our daily bread and a bit o’ butter.
–On the wall of an old inn, Lancaster, England
Lord Jesus, you are the living water given to quench the deepest thirst of our hearts and you are the bread of heaven sent to give us life that will go on forever. We thank you that you are also mindful of our earthly human needs and that day by day you provide for these needs, even as you give us the gifts we need for our spirits. We praise and thank you. Amen.
May the blessing of God rest upon all who have been kind to us, have cared for us, have worked for us, have served us, and have shared our bread with us at this table. Our merciful God, reward all of them in your own way for yours is the glory and the honor forever. Amen.
–St. Cyril, Coptic Orthodox Church (Egypt)
Lord Jesus, be our holy guest; our morning joy, our evening rest;
And with our daily bread impart, your love and peace to every heart. Amen.
(may be sung to Old Hundredth)
Feed us, Father, we are your children.
Bless the food we have before us so that we may be nourished in body and soul until,
with all the saints, we are able to surround your banquet table in heaven. Amen. (German)
For these and all Thy gifts of love, We give Thee thanks and praise;
Look down upon us from above, And bless us all our days. Amen.
–Victoria Osborn Matishen
For food and drink and happy days, Accept our gratitude and praise;
In serving others, Lord, may we
Repay in part our debt to Thee. Amen.
We thank Thee for our daily bread,
Let also, Lord, our souls be fed.
O Bread of life, from day to day,
Sustain us on our homeward way. Amen.
We thank you, good Lord, for this food which is ours by your goodness. May the strength that comes through the food you give us enable us to do your will, serving you in such a way that we may show our gratitude. Amen.
Urban Grace (2010)
THE PHOTOGRAPHS: Grace is a 1918 photograph by Eric Enstrom. It depicts an elderly man, Charles Wilden, with hands folded, saying a prayer over a table with a simple meal. It was taken in Bovey, Minnesota. Originally black-and-white, the photo was colorized by hand by Enstrom’s daughter, Rhoda Nyberg. It was this colorized version that attained widespread distribution. In 2002, an act of the Minnesota State Legislature established it as the state photograph. (Wikipedia)
Urban Grace is a 2010 remake of the 1918 photo by Minneapolis photographer Megan Norman < http://www.megannorman.com >
Psalm 106:1 — Praise ye the Lord. O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
Psalm 145:15-16 — The eyes of all wait upon thee; and thou givest them their meat in due season. Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing.
John 6:11 — Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.
‘GRACE AT TABLE’ from MARTIN LUTHER’S SMALL CATECHISM:
Blessing Before Eating: “The eyes of all look to Thee, O Lord, and Thou givest them their food in due season. Thou openest thy hand; Thou satisfiest the desire of every living thing.” (It is to be observed that ‘satisfying the desire of every living thing’ means that all creatures receive enough to eat to make them joyful and of good cheer. Greed and anxiety about food prevent such satisfaction.)
Then the Lord’s Prayer should be said, and afterwards this prayer: “Lord God, heavenly Father, bless us, and these thy gifts which of thy bountiful goodness Thou has bestowed on us, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”
Thanksgiving After Eating: “O Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever… The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love.”
Then the Lord’s Prayer should be said, and afterwards this prayer: “We give Thee thanks, Lord God, our Father, for all thy benefits through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns forever. Amen.”