Saying grace before meals is a way to express gratitude, reflect on the bounty of food before us, and gather together in community. However, not everyone may feel comfortable with a religious prayer or blessing before meals. Luckily, there are plenty of non-religious options for saying grace before a meal.
Here are several meaningful ways to express gratitude and offer a pre-meal blessing that are spiritual in nature but not tied to any specific religion, suitable for your next family gathering or dinner party.
- “Let us be grateful for this food, and for the people who have prepared it. May it nourish our bodies and bring us together in friendship.”
- “As we gather around this table, let us pause for a moment of silence to reflect on the abundance before us. May we be mindful of the work and resources that went into this meal, and may we use this sustenance to fuel our own actions in the world.”
- “We give thanks for the farmers, the workers, and the Earth that provides us with this food. May we honor their labor and their gifts by savoring this meal and using our own resources to create a more just and sustainable world.”
- “In this moment, we are grateful for the nourishment before us and for the company around us. May this meal strengthen our bodies, our spirits, and our connections with one another.”
These non-religious grace options are just a few examples of the many ways you can express gratitude and gather in community before a meal.
Whether you choose to say grace aloud or simply take a moment of silence, pausing to reflect on the bounty before us can help us appreciate the food and the relationships that sustain us.
Simple Short Grace for Meals With Non-Religious Friends
Some non-religious phrases to give thanks for food before a meal that can be used at friend dinner parties:
- Let’s take a moment to appreciate this delicious food in front of us and the effort that went into preparing it.
- We are grateful for this meal and for the wonderful company we share it with.
- As we sit down to enjoy this meal, let us be thankful for the abundance in our lives and for the opportunity to share this moment together.
- We give thanks for the farmers, the chefs, and everyone who has played a part in bringing this meal to our table.
- Here’s to the cook who lovingly prepared this meal, and to the friends who gather around this table to share it.
- We are grateful for the nourishment this food will provide and for the joy and laughter that will accompany our meal.
Giving Thanks Before Meals with Non-Religious Friends: Examples
Longer words of thanks before sitting down to eat with a group of friends, whose religious backgrounds are unknown and so you want to keep the blessing inclusive for all:
- As we come together to share this meal, let us also take a moment to recognize the unique qualities that each of us brings to this gathering. Let us give thanks for the diversity and richness of our community, and for the opportunity to learn from one another and grow together. May this meal nourish our bodies and souls, and may we leave this table feeling grateful and inspired.
- We give thanks for the opportunity to break bread together and to celebrate the wonderful individuals that we are. Let us take a moment to reflect on the blessings in our lives, and to appreciate the warmth and love that surrounds us in this moment. May this meal bring us joy and comfort, and may we continue to cherish and support one another in the days ahead.
- Here’s to the creativity, hard work, and dedication of the person who prepared this delicious meal, and to the friendships that have brought us all here today. Let us give thanks for the abundance of food before us, and for the many hands that have contributed to its preparation and presentation. May we savor every bite and enjoy each other’s company to the fullest.
- Let us give thanks for the wonderful conversations and memories that will be shared around this table, and for the love and support we have for each other. Let us honor the joys and challenges that have brought us together, and celebrate the unique perspectives and experiences that make us who we are. May this meal nourish our bodies and our connections, and may we leave this table feeling uplifted and inspired.
- We are grateful for the kindness and generosity of the person who has invited us into their home and for the opportunity to come together as a community and enjoy this meal. Let us give thanks for the abundance of food before us, and for the many gifts and talents that each of us brings to this gathering. May this meal strengthen our bonds of friendship and bring us closer together in love and fellowship.
A Dozen Alternatives to Saying Grace Before Eating
Here are 12 meaningful ways to express gratitude and offer a pre-meal blessing that are spiritual in nature but not tied to any specific religion, suitable for your next family gathering or dinner party:
- Pause for a moment of silence and reflection before the meal begins. Take a deep breath and focus on the present moment, feeling grateful for the opportunity to share a meal with loved ones.
- Offer a simple expression of gratitude, such as “I am grateful for this meal and for the company of those gathered here.”
- Share a quote or reading that speaks to the theme of gratitude and connection. For example, “In the end, love and gratitude are what we are left with.” -Author Unknown.
- Take turns sharing one thing that you are grateful for, creating a chain of gratitude that connects everyone at the table.
- Light a candle or a small lamp to symbolize the light of gratitude and warmth of the gathering.
- Offer a toast to the group, expressing appreciation for the food, the company, and the shared experiences.
- Share a personal story or anecdote that relates to the theme of gratitude and connection.
- Pass around a small object, such as a stone or a piece of jewelry, and invite each person to hold it and express a brief thought or prayer of gratitude.
- Offer a brief guided meditation or visualization focused on gratitude and appreciation for the present moment.
- Play soft music or sing a simple song that evokes feelings of gratitude and connection.
- Write a short poem or haiku that expresses your gratitude for the meal and the company of those gathered.
- Create a gratitude jar or bowl, where each person can write down something they are thankful for and place it inside. At the end of the meal, take turns reading the notes aloud and sharing in the collective gratitude.
Related: Funny short and sweet dinner prayers.
Non-religious wedding dinner blessings.
BillieI like to climb mountains, read Nietzsche, and explore the West Coast. I have a BA from York University (2003) in Toronto, Canada, and yet on this site I sometimes spell like an American (know your audience). Thank you. Thank you very much.
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