HomeSpiritualWhy Bless the Food Before Meals?

Why Bless the Food Before Meals?

Among the sacramentals, blessings occupy an important place. They include both praise of God for his works and gifts , and the Church’s intercession for men that they may be able to use God’s gifts according to the spirit of the Gospel (CCC 1678).

 

Gaudium Press English Edition

Newsdesk (02/06/2022 12:01 PM, Gaudium Press) Many people think that blessings are reserved only for priests and religious, but this is not so! The Church provides that some blessings are reserved for lay people as well.

Among friends, family members, and depending on the situation, even a lay person can bless. In the book Rite of Blessings, there are also many blessings that lay people can give. Having received the sacrament of Baptism, the Christian becomes a “bearer of God’s blessing”.

What is the meaning of the Blessing of food?

The blessing of food reminds us that it is always God who gives the daily necessities, the Author of Life and Providence. Indeed, in the Our Father, we pray: Give us this day our daily bread, and in the Gospel we find, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” ( Mt 4 , 4).

Thus, the meals we eat on this earth can help us to understand certain aspects of the Holy Banquet that is the Holy Mass.

Why bless?

The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains: “The blessing is man’s response to God’s gifts: we bless the Almighty who first blesses us and fills us with his gifts” (n. 551). Every blessing is praise of God and prayer to obtain his gifts.

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What does the meal blessing consist of?

With the family standing (or the group gathered around the table), before sitting down and beginning to eat, everyone makes the Sign of the Cross, and one of the members (for example, the father of the family or the mother) prays the prayer of blessing over the meal. A prayer is always begun and ended with the Sign of the Cross.

Prayer

There is no specific formula, but the traditional blessing is:

Bless us, O Lord, and these Thy gifts which we are about to receive from Thy Bounty, through Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen.

There are also other prayers that can be adapted according to the diners and in various situations. The important thing is to turn your thoughts to God before you start to eat and to thank Him for the food received that is a gift, remembering that in the world there are many people, including children, who every day do not know if they will have the opportunity to have a meal.

By Rita Sberna

Photo: Wikipedia

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