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Graces at the Festive Board

July 2003.

Please accept this collection of Graces and Returns of Thanks for the Social Board which I have compiled over the years during my time as Chaplain of The Good Companions Lodge 6005 in Manchester. They come from all sources where the origin is known it is noted. I hope that you will enjoy them and that if you know of any more you will let me know.

1. Elizabethan. George Bullen c1565. God Bless our meat, God guide our ways, God give us Grace, Our Lord to please. Lord long preserve in peace and health, Our Gracious Queen Elizabeth.
2. Good Companions Lodge. Heap high the social board with plenteous cheer and gather to the feast, and toast this sturdy pilgrim band, whose courage never ceased. Give praise to that all Glorious One, by whom their steps were led, and thanks unto the Harvest Lord, Who sends our daily bread
3. The Selkirk Grace. Robbie Burns. Some hae meat and canna eat, and some wad eat that want it. But we hae meat and we can eat, And sae the Lord be thankit.
4. Masonic. We thank Thee, Architect above, for good food and brotherly love. Relief for all in need we pray, Thy Truth, our Aid from day to day.
5. English. For every cup and plateful, God make us truly grateful.
6. India.Whatever we eat is of God and from God, and is ours as we are his.
7. Elizabethan. George Herbert 1600. Thou who has given us so much, Give us one thing more, a grateful heart.
8. Israel. Hebrew Prayer. Blessed be Thou, Lord God of the universe, who bringest forth bread from the earth and makest glad the hearts of men.
9. English. Bless O Lord before we dine, each dish of food, each glass of wine, And make us evermore aware, how much O Lord, we're in Thy care.
10. English John Milton 1608-74. Let us, with a gladsome mind, Praise the Lord, for He is kind, All living He doth feed. His full hand supplies their need.
11. Masonic. May the blessing of Heaven rest upon us, and all regular Masons! May Brotherly love prevail, And every moral and social virtue cement us.
12. Scottish. Thou O Lord, bless fill our meal today, and may Thy spiritual Presence fill us with gratitude for these abundant blessings
13. Rotary Grace. We bless Thee, Lord for this our food, For life and health and every good. May we are more blessed than we deserve, live less for self and more to serve.
14. English. Charles Wesley 1707-88. Blessing to God, for ever blest. To God the master of the feast, Who hath for us a table spread, and with his daily bounties feed; May He with all his gifts impart, the crown of all - a thankful heart.
15. English. Bless us O Lord and these your gifts, which we are about to receive of your kindness, and keep us mindful of those in want
16. From a time of famine. Heavenly Father bless us, and keep us all alive. There's ten of us for dinner and not enough for five.
17. University of Durham. We praise Thee, O God, who bringest forth food from the earth, And wine that makes glad the heart of man. And we humbly beg Thee, Lord, to look down from Heaven upon the souls that are hungry, and to fill them with all good things.
18. Durham Miners Grace. From the 1800's. What we are about to receive has nowt to do with the Duke of Newcastle.
19. Denmark. Bless our house, bless our table, bless the whole wide world, and teach us to take everything gratefully from Thy hand O Lord.
20. Masonic. May the Lord bless the food and drink laid before us. May we always remember the needs of those less fortunate than ourselves.
21. The Laud Spiritual (1545). For these and all Thy mercies given. we bless and praise Thy name O Lord. May we receive them with thanksgiving, ever trusting in Thy word. To Thee alone be honour, glory, now and henceforth for evermore.
22. Welsh. Let us be thankful for whatever light, laughter, food and affection and friendship that may come our way, and let us be mindful equally of those who at this festive season or some future moment may be sadly without any or all of these good and golden things.
23. Royal Navy. Lord bless our, meal and the friendship of the table.
24. Canada. God, our father, in a world where many are lonely, we thank you for friendship. In a world where many are despairing, we thank you for hope. In a world that many find meaningless, we thank you for faith. In a world where many are hungry, we thank you for this food.
25. Jew's College. London. Praised be Thee Lord our God. King of the World. He cares for the whole world. With grace, loving kindness and mercy, He gives food to all his creatures. His goodness to us has been great. And we have never lacked for sustenance. May He always provide for us and may we never He in need of his Gifts of flesh and blood.
26. Canada. For food in a world where many walk in hunger; For faith in a world where many walk in fear; For friends in a world where many walk alone; We give you humble thanks O Lord.
27. Trafalgar October 1805. Lord Nelson. God save the King, Bless our dinners, Make us thankful.
28. Winchester College. Benedic nobis, Domine Deus, atque eis donis tuis, quae de tua largitae sumus sumpturi. Bless us Lord God, and these Thy gifts which of Thy bounty we are about to receive.
29. English. Robert Runcie. For food and drink and friendship, we render thanks. Bless, O Lord, our table, deepen our gratitude; enlarge our sympathies and order our affections in generous and unselfish lives.
30. St Francis of Assisi. Give us grace, O Lord, to be ever thankful for Thy providence, with hearts always ready to provide for the needs of others.
31. France. May God bless this meat and give food to those who have none.
32. Bishop Iremonger of Exeter 1540. God bless our meal, God guide our ways, and give us grace Thy name to praise, and ever keep in health serene, Elizabeth our gracious Queen.

33. Canada. We thank Thee, Father for Thy care, Food, friends and kindliness we share. May we ever mindful be, of home - and country - and of Thee.
34. Yorkshire. Lord, Bless these sinners who've eaten their dinners.
35. United States. Jimmy Carter US President. God is great, God is good, let us thank him for our food.
36. Traditional. The Shortest Grace? Heavenly Pa, Ta!
37. For the overweight. Lord, thank you for breakfast, lunch and dinner. If it weren't for these, we'd be much thinner.
38. Masonic. Lord we bless Thy Holy Name and thank Thee for all Thy Gifts, especially the Gift of Friendship.
39. Good Companions. We thank you Lord for our social hoard and especially for the Good Companionship that we have enjoyed.
40. English. Charles Dickens. Reflect on your present blessings of which every man has many, not upon your past misfortunes. of which all men have some.
41. The Providers. To the farmers who worked that we may eat, To those who bought and sold the food, To those who prepared and served it, and most of all to you Lord who planned it, we give our grateful thanks.
42. Masonic. May the Great Architect of the Universe, bless that which His bounty has provided.
43. Hebrew Proverb. He who eats and drinks, but does not thank the Lord, is a thief.
And a few traditional and humorous ones.
44. For all that we have received, so much more than daily bread, accept our grateful thanks, O Lord.
45. We thank Thee Lord, for the food we have received -and thank you for giving us the strength to eat it!
46. For the food and drink we have received, and for the skill of those who prepared and served it, may the Lord male us truly thankful.
47. For chicken young and chicken old, For chicken hot and chicken cold, For chicken tender and chicken tough, We thank you Lord that we had enough.

and finally one of my favourites very suitable for a Ladies Evening.
48. God of goodness. who blessed our food, Keep us now in a pleasant mood. Bless the cook and all who served us. From indigestion, Lord, preserve us.

Graces for the 50th Anniversary year of The Good Companions Lodge.
49. Grace at the Installation. Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, You give us summer and winter, seedtime and harvest, the assurance of food. providence and Fatherly care. Accept our thanks for this meal, meet the needs of those who are facing the insecurities of life today. and grant us -in our Good Companionship tonight, one more provision -the gift of a thankful heart.
50. Return of Thanks at the Installation. O God, we thank Thee that we have been able to eat together, Be Thou also with those who ate alone.
51. Grace at the end of the year. Let us give thanks for the food and drink we laid before us and for the Good Companionship we enjoy each month, but most of all we ask that the Great Architect continue to help us to practice outside the Lodge those virtues we have been taught in it.
52. Return of Thanks at the end the year. Lord, we thank you for the food and drink that we have received, also for the Good Companionship tonight and throughout our 50th season, grant that we may all meet again to witness the installation of the Master Elect.

This is where the original list ended in 1995. Through the power of the Internet and the generosity of the Brethren of the UK Mason list, and others, it has expanded by additions not already included. Many thanks to the contributors.

From: Alan Seath
53. "Thou, who kindly dost provide, For every creature's want! We bless Thee, God of nature wide, For all Thy goodness lent: And, if it please Thee, heavenly Guide, May never worse be sent; But whether granted or denied, Lord, bless us with content!" Robbie Burns
54. "Thou, in whom we live and move, Who mad'st the sea and shore, Thy goodness constantly we prove, And, grateful, would adore. And if it please Thee, Power above, Still grant us, with such store, The friend we trust, the fair we love, And we desire no more." Robert Burns

From: Afeef Lazarus I am not sure of the antiquity of the following grace before meals, or whether it is used to any extent outside of the West Indies, but here goes:
55. "May our grateful thanks ascend, To Him from whom all blessings flow; May we always have a square meal, Within the length of our cable-tow."

From: Errol Page
56. "Architect of Heaven and earth, Giving all new worlds their birth, Condescend to hear us raise, Deeply grateful words of praise, For this food and drink tonight, Given by you for our delight. And help us Lord by word and deed, To give our help to those in need." Origin unknown (can anyone help?)

From George Fox: Ormerod Lodge 5713, East Lancs
57. "Heavenly Architect Divine, Who turned the water into wine. Pray, forgive us sinful men, Who try to turn it back again." Traditional.

From Ian Clancy WM, Sons of Kendrick Lodge 8362 UGLE
58. "Most High who blessed the loaves and fishes, Look down upon these rustic dishes, Bless them and what they contain, When they are done let none complain."
59. "Good food, Good wine, Good God, Lets dine. Wishing you a pleasant Festive Season."
60. "May the Great Architect of the Universe bless His gifts to our use, and whilst partaking of His benefits, make us ever mindful of the needs of others."
61. "For these and all his benefits, may the Great Architect of the Universe be blessed and praised. "
62. "Benedictus, Benedicat." (May the Blessed one bless)
63. "Benedicto, Benedictur." (May it (this meal) be blessed by the Blessed One)
64. "Great Artificer of the Universe, Who providest refreshment for those who work, bless, we beseech Thee, this Thy bounty with Thy gracious favour that, this meal ended, we may return to our labours and consecrate our humble efforts to Thy service." (Royal Arch )
65. "Great Artificer of the Universe, Who has provided us with refreshment from Thy bounty, bless, we beseech Thee, with Thy gracious favour, our continued humble efforts to Thy service."
66. "Benedic, Domine, nos, et haec dona tua, quae de tua largitate sumus sumpturi est; per Christum Domine Nostrum. Amen." (An accurate translation please - David)
67. "From the sin of gluttony, and the pain of indigestion, may the GAOTU protect us."
68. "Benedictus Benedicat, per Jesum Christum Dominum Nostrum" before,
69. "Benedicto Benidicatur, per Jesum Christum Dominum Nostrum" after
70. "For Good Food and Good Fellowship thank God." (or the GAOTU)"
71. "To God who gives our Daily Bread, A thankful song we raise. And pray that He who sends us food, May fill our hearts with praise." Thomas Tallis 1510-1585.
72. "This happy meal, will better be: If we, O Lord, Remember Thee."
73. "Almighty God, infinite in wisdom, mercy and goodness, extend to us the riches of Thy Everlasting Favour, make us grateful for present benefits and crown us with Immortal Life and Honour, and to Thy name shall be the Glory."
74. "Lord God, Great Architect of the Universe, who has so inspired the ancient members of our Craft that in the bond of brotherhood they met each others needs and first of all men came together in the hidden mysteries handed down to us, give us, we beseech Thee, grateful hearts, that in joyful service we may bring relief to the unfortunate, and in perfect loyalty both preserve our trust and leave behind us an increased inheritance."
75. "Show Thy Grace O Lord, to those of us who are gathered at this table and bless the gift of food which by Thy bounty is set before us."
76. "O Lord, the merciful and Good, Bless and sanctify our food. Grant they to us may wholesome be. And make us thankful unto Thee." From the Kings Psalter c1671.
77. Fisherman's Apprentice c1850. G.W. Mallows
"Be present at our table Lord, be here and every where adored. Let creatures bless and grant that we, May feed in paradise with Thee."
78. "Almighty God, Eternal King, Which maketh Heaven and everything: Grant unto us that present be, To taste the food that here we see." George Bullin, Exeter 1565.
79. Grace Before Meat. "O Lord, when hunger pinches sore, Do thou stand us in need, And send us from Thy bounteous store, A tup or wether head!"
80. Grace After Meat. "O Thou, in whom we live and move, Who mad'st the sea and shore; Thy goodness constantly we prove, And grateful; would adore. And if it please Thee, Pow'r above, Still grant us with such store, The friend we trust, the fair we love, And we desire no more. "

From Datuk M.Vijendran P.M. Klang Lodge 3369 EC Malaysia
81. "May the GAOTU bless that bounty which He has provided for us and make us mindful of the needs of others."

A couple more that I composed for The Good Companions:

82. "Brethren, as we are gathered tonight, united by the principles of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth, let us give thanks to the GAOTU for the food, drink and Good Companionship that we are about to enjoy."
83. "Lord, we thank You for the social board that we have enjoyed. Renewing old acquaintances, making new friends. But we ask You to be also with those brethren who could not be with us and all those who ate alone."

From David Jones Downshire Lodge 594 W Lancs
84. The Lawyers' Grace - "For those whom we're about to deceive, may the Lord make us truly thankful."
85. A Grace to Reprimand those who eat their roll before the meal - "For what we are about to receive, and for what some have already snatched, may the Lord make us truly thankful."
86. And a closing grace which I actually used having adapted it from a Scilly Islands grace - "Great Architect be praised, My belly's been raised, An inch above the table; And I'll be damned, If I'm not crammed, As full as I am able." (It did NOT go down well!)

From Steve Kane PM Capitol Lodge 136 PGM Manitoba 1995
87. "For what we have now set before us, let us praise the Lord".
88. "May the Great Architect of the Universe give us grateful hearts and supply the needs of others."
89. "Thy Grace, O Lord, to those of us who are gathered at this table, and bless the gift of food which by Thy bounty is before us
90. "Continue Thy presence with us, our Father, as we gather in the spirit of brotherhood and happy companionship, and bless to us this food which Thy goodness has provided."
91. "We thank Thee, Father, for the happy fellowship of our Fraternity, and for all Thy bounties spread before us. Grant that through these blessings we may be strengthened and refreshed for Thy service "
92. "Our Father, grant us the grace to be thankful for the blessings Your bounty has provided. May they ever remind us of Your love and care for all mankind. "

From Steve Williams
93. "Rub - A - Dub - Dub. Thank God for the Grub."

From Fred Lomax by The Reverend Father Witt who went on to be the Bishop of N.W. Australia
94. "Dear Lord, these sinners thank you for their dinners"
95. "As we gather round the social board for the last meeting of this season, let us give thanks for the food, drink and Good Companionship we have enjoyed. May the blessing of heaven rest upon us and all regular masons. May brotherly love prevail and every moral and social virtue cement us." David Shimmings Chaplain, The Good Companions 6005

From Philip Elfan Rees. PM Charity Steward & ADC Celtic Eagle 9132 UGLE
96. "We gather together to thank Thee our Maker, For Food and for Friendship, For Music Love and Laughter,
For Freedom in this world, We thank Thee O Lord. Amen."

From Dave Bondy
97. "May we O Lord Adopt Thy creed, Adapt our ways to serve thy need And we who on Thy bounty feed, Improve in thought, in word and deed "

From The Rt. Revd. Alan F.B. Rogers, PAGChap.
98. "For food to eat and those who prepare it, For health to enjoy it and friends to share it
May the G.A.O.T.U be blessed and praised."

From Stan Suggitt SW Crawshay Jones Golfers Lodge No 9476 Derbyshire
99. "Before we raise our knives and forks, before the popping of the corks, before the talk of tee to green, and all the chips that might have been, and every hook and slice and fade, and all those putts we nearly made, we thank thee lord above divine, for all these gifts of food and wine, and may we ever mindful be, of those less fortunate than we."

From P E H Thomas, PPJGW, (Cwll)
100. "Oh Lord, who blessed the loaves and fishes, Bless this food upon our dishes, And as the sugar melts in tea, May we be lost in love for Thee." English.
101. " For new faces and old dishes, Oh Lord, we give you thanks." UK Theological College.

From Drew Grant, ADC Howdon Panns Lodge 5315 UGLE
102. One of the simplest Graces for after the meal I have heard was given by and elderly brother who was standing in for the chaplain on that night. It was simply "Thank God for dirty dishes".

From Joe Lowrey Mellor Lodge 1774 East Lancs Internet Lodge 9659
103. "Jesum, Benedic Domine, hic cibo in usum nostrum, nobisque in servitutem tuam per Christum Dominum Nostrum."

From Bro R W Fowler Many thanks for a correction to number 35. God is great, God is good, let us thank him for our food. Brother Fowler tells me "I learnt that in my childhood in Ohio (USA) in the 1950s. My parents and maternal grandparents used it quite often. While Pres. Carter may also know it, I would tend not to credit him with it." The full version is: -
104. "God is great, God is good; Let us thank Him for our food. By his hand, we are led;
Now may we give Him our thanks For this, our daily bread."

From Geoff Barry geoffrey.barry@BTINTERNET.COM The JLA of the UKMason List
105. "From inability to let well alone, from too much zeal for the new and contempt for that which is old, may the good Lord deliver us". Sir Robert Hutchinson.

From Roger Lewis P.Pr.S.G.W. PM Someries Lodge 5202
106. "We thank Thee Lord, for all things good, For breaking bread in brotherhood, Make us more blest than we deserve,
Less for self and more to serve."
107. "For the good food that sustains us, And the good wine that cheers us, May the Lord give us grateful hearts, And keep us ever mindful of the needs of others."

From Karl Thurogood, Chaplain, Aldwyn lodge 5712 UGLE
108. "As we have fared, so may others fare and as we have partaken of these and all thy many blessings O Lord..
Keep us ever mindful of those who's needs are far greater than ours".

From Norman Christian PPSGD (Berkshire) in memory of W.Bro Howrad-Hall - onetime Chaplain of Windsor Castle Lodge 771 UGLE
109. "O Lord above Send down a dove, With wings as sharp as sickles, To cut the throats of greedy men, Who grudge poor men their vitalls. But let all men of generous heart, Enjoy their festive banquet, We Brethren all have generous hearts, For which the Lord be thankit"

From Brian Mephan, P.Pr.G.Std.B. Chaplain, Hafan Deg.9520
110."We who come with one accord.Give thanks this day to the Lord. Not only for the food we eat,
But also for the friends we meet."

From Ken Beckett, PAGDC, PPrDGDC (West Kent) - UGLE
111."Let us give thanks to the Great Architect of the Universe for what we are about to receive, and be ever mindful of
the needs of others and pray that the day may soon come when no man, woman or child shall want for good food,
shelter and fellowship."

From: Lynn Chadbourne Ohio USA Graces from Carmel United Methodist Church,
112. "For health and strength and daily food, We praise Thy name, O Lord."
113. "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.
114. "Dear Lord, thank You for this gift of food, You've placed upon our table.
And help us all to do Your work, In any way we're able."
115. "Lord, make us truly grateful, For the blessings of this day."
116. "We thank you, Father, for this food, And pray you'll bless it to our good;
Help us live Your name to praise, In all we do through all our days."
117. "This food, which You have already blessed in the giving, So further bless in our partaking."
118. "We thank Thee, God, for milk and bread And all our daily food;
These gifts remind us day by day, Our Father, Thou art good."
119. "Almighty God, You open Your hand, and we are fed. Be at this table, we pray, and bless us all."
120. "We thank Thee, Lord, for happy hearts, For rain and sunny weather.
We thank Thee, Lord, for this food, And that today we are together."
121. "Heavenly Father, great and good, We thank Thee for this daily food.
Bless us even as we pray; Guide and keep us through this day."
122. "Lord God, we thank You for all the good things You provide,
And we pray for the time when people everywhere Shall have the abundance they need."
123. "Bless these Thy gifts, most gracious God, From whom all goodness springs;
Make clean our hearts and feed our souls, With good and joyful things."
124. "We thank Thee, Father, for Thy care And for Thy bounty everywhere;
For this and every other gift, Our grateful hearts to Thee we lift."
125. "May the peace and blessing of God Descend upon us as we receive of his bounty,
And may our hearts be filled With love for one another."
126. "For food and all Thy gifts of love, We give Thee thanks and praise.
Look down, O Lord, from above, And bless us all our days."
127. "O Lord, we thank You for the gifts of Your bounty Which we enjoy at this table.
As You have provided for us in the past, So may You sustain us throughout our lives.
While we enjoy Your gifts, May we never forget the needy and those in want."
128. "We thank Thee, heavenly Father, For every earthly good, For life, and health, and clothing, And for our daily food"
129. "For health and food, for love and friends. For everything Thy goodness sends, Father, in heaven, we thank Thee."

From John Scardifield.
129, "Domine deus. Summe totius mundi architecton, Cuius instinctu antiqui illi latomi, Fraterno animo coniuncti mutuam, Inter se opem ferebant et primi, Omniumocculta mysteria nobis, Tradita inierunt,gratam precamur,
Notis inice mentem, ut temporibus, Infelicium laeti serviamus et salva, Fide non modo servemus accepta sed,
Posteris alicta tradamus.nunc autem, In cenam convocatis propitious, Adesto et hisce donis, quae de tua
Largitate perceptura sumus benedicito."

131. "O Lord, we thank You for the gifts of Your bounty Which we enjoy at this table. As You have provided for us in the
past, So may You sustain us throughout our lives. While we enjoy Your gifts, May we never forget the needy and those in want."

From Brian B Comley, P.A.G.D.C. Provincial Senior Grand Warden, South Wales.
132. "Give us a heart as big as our belly, And a keen eye which sees the smaller plate of those in need."
133. "Before we raise our knives and forks, And listen to the popping of the corks,
Help us Lord to think and pray, For those who will not eat today."
134. "Thank the Lord for what we've gottten, If there'd been any more it wud a been etton."
135. "We thank Thee, O Lord, for all Thy Mercies, And pray that in serving Thee,
We may be cheerful for Thy Honour and Glory."
136. "Almighty God, Infinite in Wisdom, Mercy and Goodness, Extend to us the Riches of Thy Everlasting Favour,
Make us grateful for present benefits, And crown us with Immortal Life and Honour,
And to Thy Name shall be Glory." Rev. Albert Case, South Carolina, 1843
137. "Each time we eat, may we remember God's Love."
138. "Grant, Lord that we may in due proportion and in due time, Eat well, drink wisely, listen attentively
and speak caringly and thereafter journey comfortably and arrive home safely.
139. "May our stomachs forgive us what we are about to eat, Our wits what we are about to drink,
And our consciences what we are about to say.
140. "Good wine, Good meet, Good Lord, Replete!"
141 The Revd. Sidney Smith used to say Graces as follows:
If he observed the table laid with but one set of knives and forks and one glass he would say "For these the least of Thy Mercies we give Thee humble thanks";
but if he saw a generous array of cutlery and three or four wine glasses for each place setting he would begin "O Bounteous Jehovah, who poured forth Thy Blessings upon us ......"
142 "Lord, who blessed this meat and wine, We ask your blessing as we dine
If there are speeches to endure, Pray God we're served a good liqueur."
143. "May the Lord give our jaws the power, To crush what we're about to devour."

From Jim McGrouther who says that this sounds best spoken with a Geordie or Hull accent.
144. "Heavenly Father, Give us strength and make us able, To eat the food that's on the table."

Roger Waltham
145. "Lord before we have our fill, And thoroughly enjoy this meal, Help us to remember such, Who haven't really very much."
146. "We are speaking to you now, O Lord, At the end of festive board, With humble thanks for such a spread, And now before we go home to bed, Let us with all reverence say, "Thank you God for a smashing day"
147. "Lord make us strong, and help us be, Useful to those less fortunate than we."
148. "Here we stand, feeling fine, Full of meat, and cheese and wine, Heads bowed low in humble pose, Ready to remember those, Who due to circumstances be, Grateful for our Charity."
149. "Mason one, and Masons all, Masons here from wall to wall, Masons thick, and Masons fast, All thanking God for a great repast."
150. "God help us all to pass this way, With love fraternal on this day, And remind us too of those in need, While we sit and drink and feed."
151. "What would a Mason be, If he gave not to charity?"
152. "Lord, we here all are fit and able, To enjoy this festive table, But ever mindful we shall be, Of those that need our charity.
153. "As we sit and eat and drink, Help us Lord to pause and think, That in this world are those who lose, Their homes, their loved ones, and their shoes, And remind us Lord, when we go hence, That Masonic jewel - benevolence."
154. "Thank you Lord for giving us, Food and drink and friends who fuss, Ever grateful we shall be, For this marvellous fraternity."
155. "Our Christmas celebration, Lord, Brings us here with one accord, To join our friends in festive air, And to show you that we care, For those less fortunate than we, By giving free to charity."
156. "Lord, here we stand, truly grateful, For each successive, tasty plate full, But ever mindful we as one, Remember there are those with none."

From Ian Thorpe PM 8007
157. "We give thanks to the G.A. of the U. for the food we are privileged to eat, And we beseech Him to help us speak the right words in what is to follow, That we may not have to eat them later on."
158. "So now we give our thanks to him, For one mans' good example, and ask his blessings on this meal, We were just about to sample."
159. "Thine be the wine O Lord, Thine be the broken bread. May the naked feet be shod, And the hungry people fed."
160. "We love to eat, we like to drink, And worry little of the price. But help us Lord, to remember those, Who would give thanks for just a bowl of rice."
161. "We thank thee Lord, as we sit at table, To eat as much as we are able. But let's remember that the final toast, Means helping those who need food the most."
162. "Christ in the wilderness 5,000 fed, with two small fishes and five loaves of bread. May the blessings of him who made that division, Rest upon us, and upon our provision."
163. "May God be praised, who taught us all, That we should love our neighbours. And offer proof beyond fine words, Resulting from our labours."
164. "Before we raise our knives and forks, And listen to the popping corks, Help us Lord to think and pray, For those who will not eat this day."
165. "Now that we've put down our knives and forks, And enjoyed what comes from well-drawn corks, We thank the Lord, as is just right, Upon this, the Sebright Ladies night." (substitute 'Installation', 'Lodge' etc.)
166. "Thank God for dirty dishes, They have a tale to tell. To see these smiling faces, We must have eaten well. For health, food and happiness, There shouldn't be a fuss, For by this pile of evidence, God's been very good to us."
167. "For the food set before us - Thank You Lord - and preserve us from gluttony. For the drink we have and will enjoy - Thank You Lord - and preserve us from intemperance. For the companionship we are enjoying - Thank You Lord - and never let us forget those who lack any or all of these things." From David Shimmings

From Rev'd Neil Follett
168. "There was once a goose and a wren Who gave lunch to a cock and a hen "O Lord", prayed the goose, Bless this food to our use And ourselves in your service. Amen."

From Peter J Morgan
169. "For our food and for our wine, For our Friends with whom we dine,
May the Almighty Friend of All Friends make us truly grateful."

From Maurice King
170. "Some have hunger but no meat. Some have meat but no hunger. We have both. God be praised." Attributed to Oliver Cromwell and very similar to The Selkirk Grace of Robbie Burns.

From "Fred Lomax" who got this from his local Reverend.
171. "For the lovely Friends, the lovely Fellowship, the lovely Food and for lovely Females we thank the GAOTU"

From Philip Clark P.Prov.G.Supt.Wks.
172. "Blessed Lord we pray Thee, To be present at our table, Hallowing Thy gifts to our use; That eating to satisfy our needs, We may remember those who lack." St Francis prayer book
173. "Pray we to God the Almight Lorde, That sendeth fode to beastes and men. To send his blessynge on this horde, And fede us now and ever. Amen."
174. "Blessed be the Father celestial! Who hath fed us with his material bread; Besechyng Hym lykewyse to fede the soule, And graunt us his Kyngdome when we be dead." 1553
175. "Now we hve bouth meate and drinke, Our bodies to sustayne: Let us remember helpless folke, Whomm need doth cause to pine. And like as God is menciful To us givynge such store: So let us nowe be pitiful In helping of the poor. Then shall we find it true indeed, God will forsake us never, But helpe us when we have most need, To Whom be praise for Ever." Amen. 1565, George Bullen
176. "We thank Thee, Lord, for vulgar food, For trotters, tripe. pig's cheek, For steak and onions, with their crude But appetising reek. Potatoes in their jackets make Us plain folk honour Thee; And Thou art with us when we bake Fresh shrimps for Sunday tea. Thy people's praise is overdue But see, dear Lord, we kneel To offer thanks for Irish stew And tasty, cheap cow-heel. Now wait a minute, Lord Don't miss The last word on our lips: We thank Thee most of all for this, Thy gift of fish and chips." Compiled by Allan M Laing
177. "Almighty King! Whose wondrous hand Supports the weight of sea and land, Whose Grace is such a boundless store, No heart shall break that sighs for more. Thy Providence supplies my food, And 'tis Thy Blessing makes it good; My soul is nourished by Thy Word, Let soul and body praise the Lord." William Cowper, 1731 - 1800
178. "Lord, may we bless Thee for these gifts of love Our food today, nor deem the gift is small; And seek the bread that cometh from above, The life-stay of the soul, the best of all." William Barnes, 1801 - 1886 (Poet and Vicar of Came in Dorset)
179. "Dust, earth, and ashes is our strength, Our glory frail and vain; From earth we come, to earth at length We shall return again. Today we feed on flesh of beasts, Of fowls and divers fish: Tomorrow for the crawling worms, Ourselves become a dish. God's word doth plainly manifest Our frailty, what it is: Let faith and prayer be the way To bring us unto bliss. Amen." Book of Common Prayer, 1670
180. "Thank You for the world so sweet, Thank You for the food we eat, Thank You for the birds who sing, Thank You God for everything." E Ruffer Leatham
181. "He that without grace sitteth down to eate, Forgetting to give God thanks for his meate, And riseth again letting grace surpasse, Sitteth down like an oxe and riseth like an asse."

182. "You have sent this food, dear God, To make our bodies healthy and strong. We bow our heads and say, 'We thank You, God'. For food and fellowship, We thank Thee, Lord. For these and all Thy gifts, We thank Thee, Lord. We thank Thee, O Lord, for these Thy. gifts, And ask Thy blessing for those Who with unfailing courage and faithfulness Risk their lives daily to bring them to us. Thank God" (RN)

183. A grace for ice-cream. "For water-ices, cheap but good, That find us in a thirsty mood; For ices made of milk or cream That slip down smoothly as a dream; For comets, sandwiches and pies That make the gastric juices rise; For ices bought in little shops Or at the kerb from him who stops; For chanting of the sweet refrain: 'Vanilla, strawberry or plain?' We thank Thee, Lord who sendst with heat This cool deliciousness to eat." Compiled by Allan M Laing.
184. "The eyes of all wait on Thee, O Lord; And Thou givest them their meat in due season. Thou openest Thine hand; And filleth all things living with plenteousness." Fearon Grace, Psalm 145
185. "Aford mete, and aftir, gracias we say, Thankying Thee Lorde! of al Thi grete grace: And for al Thi giftes blessed mote Thou be, Of mete, of drynke, and other solace, At al due tymes and in every place Thyne almes is redy to riche and pore; Ever blessed Thou be, good Lorde, therfore." 14th century, Godstow nunnery (Earliest recorded grace in English)
186. "Almighty God so merciable In fedinge Thou make us reasonable For to serve Thee here And Therto Lord thou make us able To be fed at Thin(e) hevenli table With alle Thi seintis in fere (fellowship)" 15th century MS in British Museum
187. "Lord with this sustynaunce Geve us good contynaunce. Thine heestis (behests) for to kepe And neue (never) aftir to do amys B which we moun lefe (may gladly) haven bliss With Thee to have oure seete And th't this bone (boon) ther granted ami be Sae we a pater noster and an ave." 15th century MS in British Museum
188. "Father of Mercies by Whose love abounding All we Thy creatures are sustained and fed May we while here on Earth Thy praises sounding, Up to Thy Heavenly Courts in joy be led." Foundling Hospital in Guildford Square London
189. "Break Thy bread for the hungry and lead the needy and wandering into thy house. lsiaah 58, v7. William Langland,
190. "We thank Thee Father, for the love Which feeds us here below, And hdpe in fairer realms above Celestial feasts to know." Charles Haddon Spurgeon (Baptist preacher), 1866
191. "Thanks for this miracle! This is no less than to eat manna in the wilderness. Where raging hunger reigned, we've found relief, And seen that wondrous thing, a piece of beef. Here chimneys smoke, that never smoked before And we've all ate, where we shall eat no more." Dean Swift, 1667 - 1745, after dinner with a miser
192. "Lord, who blessed the loaves and fishes, Look doon upon these twa bit dishes, And though the taties be but sma', Lord, make 'em plenty for us a'; But if our stomachs they do fill, Twill be another miracle." Anon
193. "Christ that breed brak, At the soper ther he sat, With hise apostlis twelve, Bless oure breed and oure ale And th't we have and have schale (shall) And fede us with himself And grante us grace of gostli (ghostly - spiritual) fode Of breed of lyf that is so goode To fede with oure soulis." 15th Century MS in the British Museum.
194. A Benison on wartime high tea." Upon this scanty meal, O Lord, Bestow a blessing in accord: Pour Thy grace in measure small, Lest it more than cover all. Bless the tiny piece of ham:Bless the lonely dab of jam: Bless tbe sparsely-buttered toast, Father, Son and Holy Ghost." Compiled by Allan M Laing
195. "Great God, Thou giver of all good, Accept this praise and bless our food: Grace, health and strength to us afford, Through Jesus Christ, our risen Lord" Jeremiah Clark, 1670 - 1707
196. "God, who recallest the wandering and saveth the penitent, affording strenth to the weak and a crown of glory to those who persevere in good works, who by means of five loaves and two fishes didst satisfy five thousand men who trusted in Thy mercy, be pleased to bless and hallow this bread, that whoever shall partake therof shall receive health of body and protection of mind, through Thee, Jesus Christ." Egbert, Archbishop of York, AD 732 - 766
197. "Bless Thou, O Christ, the social feast Here on our table spread And every gracious gift of Thine Upon Thy servants shed. By Thee alone let these be blest, Each gift Thou dost bestow, And all are good, for they are Thine, And Thou art good, we know. And you, O guests, I also ask To sing to Christ your praise, And hymns of peace and saving grace Unto His honour raise." Alcuin, 732 - 804 (Lived in York 50y, monk Canterbury, helped Charlemagne in his educational reforms)
198. "Jesu that diedst on the rode (rood) To fede mannys (men's) soule w't hevenli fode And now hast fed us here Thou make us able Thee to serve That in helle hungur (hell's hunger) we neue (never) sterve Fro sight of Thi face so deer." 15th century MS in British Museum
199. "Praise shall our grateful lips employ: While life and plenty we enjoy. Till worthy, we adore Thy Name, While banqueting with Christ the Lamb." John Cennick, Evangelist 1715 - 1755
200. "Lord of all, Thy creatures see, Waiting for their food on Thee; That we may with thanks receive, Give, herewith thy blessing give. Fill our mouths with food and praise, Taste we in the gifts the Grace, Take it as through Jesus given, Eat on earth the Bread of Heaven." John Wesley, 1746
201. "Bless, O Lord, these Thy creatures to our use, and us in the use of them to Thy service, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen." The Christian's Daily Devotion, 1769
202. Hodge's grace " Heavenly Father, bless us, And keep us all alive; There's ten of us to dinner And not enough for five. Baby's heart is lifted up For eggs laid into the cup. Yellow stained her praising lips With the bread and butter strips. Aged cripples by the bed Frugal feast on milk and bread, And the swarthy brigand men Eat risotto in their den. Praise to God who giveth meat Convenient unto all to eat: Praise for tea and buttered toast, Father, Son and Holy Ghost." R L Gales (See also No.16)
203. "The iyes of all thynges loke up and wayte upon Thee, O Lord, and thou givest them meate in due tyme, when Thou givest it them, then they gather it, when Thou openest Thy hande, then they are well satisfyed. Thou openest Thy Hande and replenysshest all thynges lyvinge with Thy Blessynge." 1534 (similar to The Fearon grace)

From: John Doig
204. "Lord make us not like porridge, slow and hard to stir! Make us like rice crispies, quick and easy to serve!"

From: David Shimmings
205. Brethren, let us remember, that wherever we are, and whatever we do, He is with us, and His all-seeing eye observes us. Let us give thanks for the sustenance before us but let us never forget the needs of those less fortunate than ourselves.

The next one is very similar to number 57 - but I love the story attached to it! DS
From: Michael Gardener PAGDC "The only Grace I know of (and you probably already have it) is from a Bishop who was invited out to dinner and expected - as a Bishop - to give the Grace. To his horror it turned out to be a temperance dinner, so his grace went: --"
206. "Gracious Lord Divine, who changed the water into wine., Forgive those foolish men who want to change it back again"

From: Roger Hart P Prov AGDC (Derbys) "Strangely we don't sing a grace at Amadeus (yet) however my other Derbyshire Lodge (Round Table Lodge) does sing it's return of thanks."
207. For these and all thy mercies given,
We bless and praise thy name oh Lord
May we receive them with thanksgiving
Ever trusting in Thy love.
To Thee alone be honour and glory
Now and henceforth for evermore. Amen (not SMIB as it doesn't fit the music)

From: Jeffrey Conway PPDepGrReg PPGrSoj (Essex)
207. For relief from domestic fare, thanks be to God.

The following have been found on the internet but the original sources are unknown:-
208. Bless this food to our use and us to thy loving and faithful service and make us ever mindful of the needs of others. (care has to be taken so as not to pray to be needful of the minds of others)
209. For food, for clothing, for life, for opportunity, for friendship and fellowship, we thank thee, O Lord.
210. Lord, some people have food and no friends. Some people have friends and no food. We thank you that on this night we have both.
211. Evening has come, the board is spread, thanks be to God, who gives us this bread.
212. For food and drink and happy days, accept our gratitude and praise. In serving others, Lord may we, express our deepest thanks to thee..
213. To those who hunger, give bread; to we who have bread, give a hunger for justice.
214. Lord, thank you for the food before us, the friends around us, the love between us, and Your presence among us.
215. We feel hungry, but we do not starve. We eat until full, but still have empty hearts. So grant that our fellowship of food may become also a banquet of the Spirit, and make us mindful of the needs of others.
216. Lord, we are driven people. Driven by hunger to food. Driven by loneliness to fellowship. Driven by meaninglessness to faith. Thank you, Lord, for loving us driven people
217. Creator of the universe, you give us this gift of food to nourish us and give us life. Bless this food that you have made and human hands have prepared. May it satisfy our hunger, and in sharing it together may we come closer to one another.

From Mike Kindler
218. Before we lift our knives and forks and sit down to our dinner, remember those who have no food and are consequently thinner!

Enjoy the above and do remember to let me have any new ones you hear.

Sincerely and Fraternally,

David Shimmings P.Prov.A.G.D.C.

The Good Companions Lodge 6005 East Lancashire, UGLE
Lord Stanley Chapter No 2891 East Lancashire, UGLE

Notes on the use of this list: It may be freely distributed and posted on Masonic Websites but I would ask that the names of the Brothers providing the Grace and their email addresses remain on the list. I feel that this is a tangible reminder of the Universiality of the Science.

If you are able, please make a donation to your own charity, over and above your normal donations. However if you would like a suggestion, Christie's against Cancer, the charity which supports the work of the Christie Hospital in Manchester, where I received superb (and successful) treatment is my one of my favourites. Go to

This list has now raised many thousand of pounds worldwide in this way.

Originating from the Latin word ‘Gratias’, meaning ‘thanks’, grace has always been attached to the Latin ‘Deo’, ‘to God’, therefore blessing the Creator for the divine provision of food. The sincere offering of grace can be a necessary and helpful introduction to sharing and being thankful that we have food to eat when so many are hungry. It is an act that binds us to share, not least the Freemasons belief and trust in a Supreme Being, private to each one of us, but yet forming a shared conviction.