Prayers before meals for UU families

Did you grow up saying grace before a meal?  Do you wonder what would be a good blessing before a meal that is in line with Unitarian Universalist values?  Irene Praeger, director of religious exploration at the UU church of Marblehead, MA, shares, “as parents, we are eager for ways to take our faith home.  Family rituals such as a prayer before a shared meal can have a profound effect on religious formation”.

The importance of prayer is well-expressed by Unitarian Universalism’s pre-eminent religious educator, the late Sophia Lyon Fahs:

“Many of the past generation and many today have found three abiding values in prayer:

  1. the quiet meditation on life
  2. the reaching out toward the universal and the infinite
  3. the courageous facing of one’s profoundest wishes”

Here are a few meal time prayers you may like to share with your family.

Loving spirit, be our guest, 

Dine with us, share our bread,

That our table might be blessed

And our souls be fed.

-Gary Kowalski


Blest be the hand that plants the seed,

Blest be the Earth giving all that we need,

Blest be the food we share amoung friends,

Blest be the love that never ends.

-Joyce Poley


May we hold hands quietly for a moment

Feeling love flow around us and through us,

Knowing that as we give love away

There is always more within.



For the sun and the dawn

Which we did not create;

For the moon and the evening

Which we did not make;

For food which we plant

But cannot grow…

We lift up our hearts in thanks this day.

-Richard Fewkes

Many blessings and joy to you on this journey,


Information in this post gathered from brochure entitled, Family Prayers, printed by the Unitarian Universalist Association.  It is available in the foyer of the church.