Families and Friends gather for the big meal, and you find yourself called upon to offer the Grace before the feast. Do the words roll off your tongue easily, or do you awkwardly find your way through a prayer like Ben Stiller's character in "Meet the Parents"?
Look no further than your trusty Book of Common Prayer and the Collect for Thanksgiving Day:
Almighty and gracious Father, we give you thanks for the fruits of the earth in their season and for the labors of those who harvest them. Make us, we pray, faithful stewards of your great bounty, for the provision of our necessities and the relief of all who are in need, to the glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
And, also check out BeliefNet. The good folks over there have posted Thanksgiving prayers all this week and have a variety of prayers for a variety of circumstances. Check them out if you need any help as you offer Grace today.
Here's a sample:
Here's one model for Thanksgiving table prayer for those of us with "less than ideal" family situations.
"God, this is a day for saying 'Thank you,' and acknowledging that you are the source of all the blessings we enjoy. In spite of all the challenges we face, we are richly blessed. 'Thank you.' This is also a time for us to gather as a family and ask for your help and healing. You never promise that our lives will be easy; but you do promise strength, and the wisdom we need to prevail. 'Thank you.' You are welcome here at our table. At times we fall short of being everything you have intended for us. But this is why we pray: to express our gratitude and to ask what we cannot make happen on our own. Bless our conversation, and this food. And when we come back together next year, may we be able to recognize the ways that you have brought us closer - as individuals and as a family - to the destiny you have for us. We say again, ahead of time, 'Thank you,' in Jesus' name."
There are also some wonderful prayers of Thanksgiving posted over at Irenic Thoughts blog, which include:
A Moravian Blessing
Come, Lord Jesus, our guest to be
And bless these gifts
Bestowed by Thee.
And bless our loved ones everywhere,
And keep them in Your loving care.
What's your favorite Grace before meals?