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Catholic Prayer: Book of Blessings: Blessing Before and After Meals: Christmas (1st Plan)

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1030 Christians, whether alone or with companions at table, say grace before and after meals to thank God for his goodness in providing their daily food. This practice is also a reminder that the Lord Jesus combined the sacrament of the eucharist with the ritual of a family meal and showed himself to his disciples as their risen Lord in the breaking of the bread.

1031 As they gather at table and see in the food they share a sign of God's blessings on them, Christians should be mindful of the poor, who lack even the bare minimum of food that those at table may have in abundance. By their moderation they will therefore try to provide help for the hungry and as a sign of Christ's love will on occasion invite the poor to their own table, in keeping with the words of Christ recorded in the Gospel (see Luke 14:13-14).

1032 The plans, texts, and formularies provided in the present chapter are to be regarded as models for the use of families or of any type of community. But the blessing at table should be given a tone that is in keeping with the festive or penitential character of the various days and seasons of the liturgical year.

Prayer:

BEFORE THE PRINCIPAL MEAL

1033 The person who is presiding at table says: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

All make the sign of the cross and reply: Amen.

Then: The Word became flesh, alleluia. R. And dwelt among us, alleluia.

Let us call on the name of the Father, who always takes care of his children. R. Our Father . . . but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and for ever. Amen.

The one presiding then signs himself or herself with the sign of the cross (a priest or a deacon also makes the sign of the cross over the food) and says: Bless + us, 0 Lord, and these your gifts which we are about to receive from your goodness. Through Christ our Lord. R. Amen.

AFTER THE PRINCIPAL MEAL

The Lord has made known, alleluia. R. His saving power, alleluia.

We give you thanks for all your gifts, almighty God, living and reigning now and for ever. R. Amen.

For the sake of your name, O Lord, reward those who have, been good to us and give them eternal life. R. Amen.

Or: Lord, give all people the food they need, so that they may join us in giving you thanks. R. Amen.

BEFORE A LIGHT MEAL

1035 The person who is presiding at table says: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

All make the sign of the cross and reply: Amen.

Then: The Word became flesh, alleluia. R. And dwelt among us, alleluia.

Let us call on the name of the Lord, who gives us our daily bread. R. Our Father . . . but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.

Protect us, O Lord our God, and give us the help we need in our frailty. Through Christ our Lord. R. Amen.

AFTER A LIGHT MEAL

The Lord has made known, alleluia. R. His saving power, alleluia.

Lord, you have fed us from your gifts and favors; fill us with your mercy, for you live and reign for ever and ever. R. Amen.

Or: God is blessed in all his gifts and holy in all his works, who lives and reigns for ever and ever. R. Amen.

For the sake of your name, O Lord, reward those who have been good to us and give them eternal life. R. Amen.

Or: Lord, give all people the food they need, so that they may join us in giving you thanks. R. Amen.

Prayer Source: Book of Blessings by Prepared by International Commission on English in the Liturgy A Joint Commission of Catholic Bishops' Conferences, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minnesota, 1989
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