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Thanksgiving - Feast Day for Grace Before Meals

Posted: November 25, 2015 | Author: Fr. Leo

Thanksgiving is one of the unofficial Feast Days for the Grace Before Meals Movement. In fact, the calendar year has many feast days and celebrations when Grace Before Meals can transform an ordinary ingredient (like turkey) into an extraordinary opportunity to celebrate with family and friends. As you prepare to travel, cook, or just eat, I hope this day becomes one of prayerful remembrance of all your blessings.  Just to name a few: our faith in God, our family, friends, the church that becomes our family, the roof over our heads, clothes on our backs, the food on the table, people sacrificing their lives on the front lines - military, police and emergency responders to protect us and our freedom; and also those people who work so hard to help alleviate the suffering of others - spiritually, emotionally or physically.  May God know of our gratitude. May we become a more thankful people. May our lives be blessed with God's abundant love today!

Thanksgiving is a quintessential opportunity for Grace Before Meals!

Here is a simple prayer service, adapted from the official Book of Blessings:

The leader of the prayer would say:

"Let us open our hearts in thanks to God for the favors showered upon us.  Saint Paul teaches us to give thanks to God the Father always through Christ, in whom he has given us everything.  For when we became God's children in Christ, God gave us the riches of his grace, rescuing us from the powers of darkness and bringing us into the kingdom of his beloved Son.  Whenever we acknowledge God's gifts, we prepare ourselves to take part more fully in the Eucharist, which is the sum of all blessings and the crown and source of all thanksgiving."

"Let us listen to the words of the apostle Paul to the Philippians": (The prayer leader or someone else would then read):

"Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice!  Your kindness should be known to all. The Lord is near. Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." The Word of the Lord. [Response from others: Thanks be to God.]

Leader:  "At this time, let's take a moment to either share what we are thankful for or use this time to pray for a special need.  And after all have spoken, we will offer a moment of silence for our private prayer to God."

Let us pray: 

Almighty Father, you are lavish in bestowing all your gifts, and we give you thanks for the favors you have given to us.  In your goodness you have favored us and kept us safe in the past.  We ask that you continue to protect us and to shelter us in the shadow of your wings. And together, let us pray:  Bless us, O Lord, for these and all thy gifts, which we are about to receive from Thy bounty, through Christ our Lord.  Amen."

Christ shows us how to offer thanks and praise for our food and friends. 


As we offer thanksgiving for all that we have, let us consider ways that we can give others the joys of our faith, family life, and food. Order copies of Fr. Leo's books by December 13, and receive an autograph and personal dedication from Fr. Leo, to be delivered in time for the last week in Advent. Email Joe Hansbrough at to request a special dedication. 

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