Table Grace Examples: Short Dinner Blessings & Prayers

By Billie •  Updated: 04/20/23 •  19 min read

Before we dive into the various prayers and words to say thanks at mealtime, let us first recognize the importance of gratitude. Giving thanks is an integral part of many religious traditions and serves as a reminder to appreciate the blessings in our lives.

Read on for simple and meaningful ways to say grace before a meal:

Whether you’re looking for a traditional table grace or something more personal, these prayers can help you express gratitude, remember those who are missed, and gather in community around the dinner table.

Short Prayers of Thanksgiving Before a Meal

Here are some prayers of thanksgiving that you can say before a meal:

Dinner Prayers for When Someone is Missed at the Table

Mealtime is a special moment for many families, a time to gather, share stories, and enjoy each other’s company. However, there may be occasions when someone is missed at the table, whether it’s because of distance, illness, or loss. In such moments, prayers can be a powerful way to acknowledge the absence and express gratitude for the blessings of life.

Here are a few short and sweet examples of prayers for when someone is missed at the table:

These short and simple prayers offer a way to acknowledge the absence of loved ones at the table and to hold them in our hearts and prayers. They can be recited quietly or shared aloud, depending on the preferences of those gathered.

food thanksgiving spread

A Guide to Traditional Mealtime Blessings

Traditional dinner table prayers have been a part of many cultures and religions for centuries, offering a moment of gratitude and reflection before a meal. These prayers can be a powerful way to connect with loved ones and with the divine, and to express appreciation for the gifts of life.

Examples of traditional dinner table prayers:

These traditional dinner table prayers reflect the diversity of religious and cultural traditions, but all share a common theme of gratitude and appreciation for the gifts of life. Whether you recite a formal prayer or offer your own words of thanks, taking a moment to pause and connect with your loved ones and with the divine can be a powerful way to enrich your mealtime experience.

Meaningful & Short Prayers for a Shared Family Mealtime

One of the most common ways to say grace before a meal is by giving thanks for the food and asking for blessings for the family gathered around the table. Here are some prayers for a shared family mealtime:

garden vegetables harvested

Simple Prayers for Holiday Gatherings with Friends

Gathering with friends and family for holidays such as Easter, Christmas, and Thanksgiving is a time of celebration and joy. Sharing a meal together is often a central part of these gatherings, and offering a prayer of thanks can be a meaningful way to begin the meal. Here are some simple prayers that you can offer with friends during these special occasions:

Example of an Easter Prayer for Dinner With Friends

“Dear God, we gather today to celebrate the joy and hope of Easter. As we share this meal with our friends and loved ones, we give thanks for the blessings in our lives. May this meal nourish our bodies and spirits, and may we always remember the gift of your love and grace. Amen.”

Christmas Prayer Example for Dinner With Friends

“Dear God, on this day we celebrate the birth of your Son, Jesus Christ. As we gather with our friends and loved ones, we give thanks for the gift of his life and teachings. May this meal be a reminder of the love and joy that he brought into the world, and may we share that love and joy with those around us. Amen.”

Friends’ Thanksgiving Dinner Prayer

“Dear God, on this day of thanksgiving, we gather with grateful hearts to give thanks for the blessings in our lives. We are thankful for our friends and loved ones, for the abundance of food before us, and for the opportunity to gather together in celebration. May this meal be a reminder of the importance of gratitude and community, and may we always remember the blessings that you have bestowed upon us. Amen.”

These simple prayers offer a moment of reflection and gratitude before a meal, inviting friends to share in the spirit of the holiday and the joy of the gathering. Whether you choose to recite a formal prayer, offer your own words of thanks, or recite non-religious dinner thanks, taking a moment to express gratitude and appreciation can help to deepen the connections between friends and loved ones, and to create a sense of joy and peace during the holiday season.

Persian food

Dinner Prayers in Remembrance of the Hungry

While some families may take food for granted, it’s important to remember that there are people in the world who go hungry. These prayers acknowledge the plight of the hungry and ask for blessings for those who suffer:

While we enjoy a hearty meal with our loved ones, it is important to remember those who go hungry. Millions of people around the world struggle with food insecurity and do not have access to nutritious meals. Here are some more prayers that can be recited in remembrance of the hungry:

Prayers That This Food May Fuel Your Work

hamburger and fries

Many people view mealtime as a time to recharge and prepare for the tasks ahead. These prayers ask for blessings upon the food so that it may fuel our work and bring us closer to our goals:

As we sit down to eat, we should be mindful of the energy that food provides us. Food is not just fuel for our bodies, but it can also fuel our work and our passions. Here are some prayers that can be recited to acknowledge the role of food in fueling our endeavors:

Restore Us and Give Us Strength

Sometimes we come to the table feeling depleted or exhausted. We may have had a difficult day or faced challenges that have left us feeling drained. In these moments, we can offer a prayer asking for restoration and strength. Here are some prayers that can be recited in these situations:

tacos for dinner

“God Is Great” – Dinner Prayer

One of the most common dinner prayers is the simple yet powerful statement that “God is great.” It is a reminder of our faith and gratitude for all that we have been given.

God is great, God is good. Let us thank Him for our food. By His hands, we are fed. Thank you, Lord, for our daily bread. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer for Dinner Blessing

Another type of prayer you can say before a meal is a prayer of blessing. These prayers acknowledge the divine presence in our lives and ask for protection and guidance.

The Lord’s Prayer is a beautiful and powerful prayer that can be used to bless our dinner table.

More examples of prayers of blessings before a meal:

Broccoli and cheese

Prayers of Blessings for Dinner

A shared family mealtime is a time to come together, share stories, and create memories. It is a time to be grateful for the food on the table and the company of loved ones. Here are some prayers that can be recited during a shared family mealtime:

Prayers With Requests at Mealtime

As we come together to share a meal, we can also offer prayers with requests for ourselves and others.

More examples of dinner blessing prayers with requests:

Celtic-Inspired Blessings at Mealtime

Celtic food prayers are a beautiful way to give thanks for the blessings of a bountiful meal, whether it’s a simple family dinner or a lavish feast with friends. These prayers are rooted in the rich spiritual heritage of the Celtic people, who saw the divine in all of creation, including the food that sustained them.

Examples of Celtic Food Prayers that you can use to give thanks for your meal:

  1. “Bless, O Lord, this food we are about to receive, and bless those who have prepared it. May it nourish our bodies and renew our spirits, and may we be ever mindful of the bounty of your love. Amen.”
  2. “We give thanks for the gifts of the earth, the sea, and the sky, and for the labor of those who have brought this food to our table. May we be grateful for all that sustains us, and may we share our blessings with others. Amen.”
  3. “O God, you are the source of all life and goodness. We give thanks for this food, which is a reminder of your abundant grace. May it give us strength and sustenance, and may we use our energy and resources to serve others and build your kingdom. Amen.”
  4. “As we gather around this table, we remember the ancient Celtic tradition of hospitality, where strangers were welcomed and all were fed. May this meal be a symbol of our commitment to love and serve one another, and may we be instruments of your peace in the world. Amen.”
  5. “Creator God, we offer you this food as a symbol of our gratitude for your love and provision. May it nourish our bodies and our souls, and may we be filled with the spirit of compassion and generosity. Bless us, O Lord, and all who gather at this table. Amen.”

These Celtic Food Prayers are just a few examples of the rich tradition of prayer that has sustained the Celtic people for centuries. They remind us of the importance of giving thanks for the blessings of life, and of sharing our resources with others in need. May they inspire you to deepen your own spiritual practice and to embrace the gifts of the earth with a grateful heart.

“Non-Religious” Grace Before Meals

Non-religious graces, also known as secular or mindfulness blessings, are expressions of gratitude or reflection before meals. Here are some popular non-religious graces:

These secular graces emphasize gratitude, connection, and mindfulness without specific religious references. Feel free to adapt them to suit the atmosphere and tone of your gatherings, or find more non-religious examples of meal grace.


I 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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