Friday, August 24, 2007


(from the Primer issued in 1553 by Edward VI for the laity of the Church of England, and in the original language. Notice that it was the norm to pray both before and after a meal or snack. In the Primer of Henry VIII of 1545 there are similar provisions for Graces)

Grace before dinner.

THE eyes of all things do look up and trust in thee, Lord; thou givest them meat in due season. Thou dost open thine hand, and fillest with thy blessing every living thing. Good Lord, bless us, and all thy gifts which we receive of thy bounteous liberality, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The King of eternal glory make us partakers of thy heavenly table. Amen.

God is charity, and he that dwelleth in charity dwelleth in God, and God in him. God grant us all to dwell in him. Amen.

Grace after dinner.

THE God of peace and love vouchsafe alway to dwell with us, and thou, Lord, have mercy upon us. Glory, honour and praise be to thee, God, which hast fed us from our tender age, and givest sustenance to every living thing: replenish our hearts with joy and gladness, that we, alway having sufficient, may be rich and plentiful in all good works,
through our Lord Jesu Christ. Amen.

Grace after supper.

BLESSED is God in all his gifts, and holy in all his works. Our help is in the name of the Lord, who hath made both heaven and earth. Blessed be the name of our Lord. From henceforth, world without end.

Most mighty Lord and merciful Father, we yield thee hearty thanks for our bodily sustenance, requiring also most entirely thy gracious goodness, so to feed us with the food of thy heavenly grace, that we may worthily glorify thy holy name in this life, and after be partakers of the life everlasting, through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Lord, save thy Church, our King and Realm, and send us peace in Christ. Amen.

Another Grace before meat.

AT the beginning of this refection, let us reverently and earnestly call to our remembrance the Holy Scripture (1 Corinthians 10:31) which saith: Whether we eat or drink, or whatsoever we do else, let us do it to the laud and praise of God.

Answer. Laud, praise, and glory be unto God, now and evermore. So be it.

Thanks after meat.

FORASMUCH as you have well refreshed your bodies, remember the lamentable afflictions and miseries of many thousands of your neighbours and brethren in Christ visited by the hand of God, some with mortal plagues and diseases, some with imprisonment, some with extreme poverty and necessity, that either they cannot, or they have not to feed on as you have done. Remember therefore how much and how deeply
ye are bound to the goodness of almighty God, for your health, wealth, liberty, and many other his benefits given unto you.

Answer. Praise and thanks be to God now and always, for these and all other his gracious gifts, of his goodness, so mercifully, lovingly and abundantly shewed unto us. Amen.

Grace before supper.

CHRIST, which at his last supper promised his body to be crucified, and his precious blood to be shed for our sins, bless us and our supper. Amen.

Thanks after dinner or supper.

ALL ye whom God hath here refreshed with his sufficient repast, remember your poor and needy brethren, of the which some lay in the streets sore sick, naked, and cold, some be hungry and so dry, that they would be glad of the least draught of your drink, and of the smallest paring of your bread: they be your own flesh and brethren in Christ, bought as dearly with his precious blood as ye were, but yet our Lord hath dealt more easily with you than with them, and more sharply with them than with you : relieve them therefore to your power, and give to God all glory, honor and praise for ever and ever. Amen.

Grace before dinner.

ALL that is and shall be set upon the board be that same sanctified, by the Lord’s word. Our Father, which art, &c.

Thanks after dinner.

WE give thee thanks, O Father almighty, for thy graces and benefits manifold, which thou hast poured on us abundantly: Of thy tender kindness that can not be told, grant us thy sons, that we may be bold
for Christ Jesus sake to come to the sweet dinner where none shall hunger, thirst nor cold, but all joy and mirth for ever and ever. Amen.

Grace before supper.

He that is King of glory, and Lord over all, bring us to the supper of the life eternal. Our Father, which art, &c.

Thanks after supper,

LAMB of God, Christ, which takest away the sins of the world, and cleansest all thing, we give thanks this day, that us sinners thou hast saved us, kept us, and given us feeding. Grant us, we beseech thee, at our ending clean remission, and that in perfect love we may depart hence, full of thy blessing, and rest in Abraham’s bosom above. Amen.

Grace before meat.

PRAY we to God the almighty Lord,
That sendeth food to beasts and men,
To send his blessing on this board,
To feed us now and ever. Amen.

Thanks after meat.

BLESSED be the Father celestial,
Who hath fed us with his material bread;
Beseeching him likewise to feed the soul,
And grant us his kingdom when we be dead.

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