Meal Blessings and Multi-Faith Gatherings By: Lisa Nieves

A major factor in most holiday celebrations and gatherings is food.  This provides an exceptional opportunity to create a truly harmonious occasion

Food preparation can be more than just making something to eat; it can be magical!  One of the really nice things about the winter holidays is that almost everyone is embracing their faith.  With carefully chosen words the following can be done aloud even with a multi-faith group.  The spirit of the holidays is to be thankful and to honor the Divine, the Universal Energy, however the individual interprets.  Actively being mindful is always a positive thing.

Show respect and thanks for the animals and plants that sacrificed themselves (however involuntary) so that you and your family may live on.  You can give thanks for the farmers and harvesters and processors, etc. for their part.  Give thanks to the Divine for making it all possible.  Taking this time to honor the various elements helps banish any negative energy that may be associated with the food and that the preparation is done with respect and love.

Before beginning to prepare any meal take a moment to clear away any negativity that might be lurking in your mind and/or body.

Wash your hands and visualize the negativity flowing down the drain with the sudsy water.

Take a few deep, cleansing breaths and ground and center yourself.

Gather the ingredients and utensils and be conscious of the energies each item adds to the meal.

Send positive and healthy energy into the food and the utensils you plan to use to prepare it.

Visualize the food returning that positive, healthy, harmonious energy to all that partake in the meal.

Many faiths prefer a blessing to be spoken at the table once everyone has gathered.  Ask everyone to grasp hands with their neighbor as a showing of togetherness and speak a simple blessing or if there is an elder or a particularly ‘Faithful’ member among you, honor him/her by allowing him/her to speak the blessing in his/her chosen fashion.  If neither of these actions are feasible, then simply hold your hands, palm facing down over your plate or table and make a silent wish for blessing.

If  saying a meal blessing is awkward or undesirable by some you can make a general thank you over the meal and suggest a moment of silence to provide an opportunity to give thanks in a more personal way.

Here’s an adaptation of a greeting card verse that does this beautifully.  This can also be used as the wording for a Thanksgiving/Yule Invitation by adding the date, time and location at the end.

As Nature spreads Her quiet beauty across the landscape, We take time to cherish those close to our hearts and homes And look forward to the wonderful times that lie ahead. Please join us/me in giving thanks for Nature’s Bounty and For all the many blessings bestowed upon our lives.

May your blessings be plentiful.

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