Even with the great mix of family and friends of all faiths and none gathered at one table for Christmas Dinner, there is still a sense that a dignified moment is appropriate to begin the meal. In the past praying a well-known grace may have been an option, but these days it is a bit more complex.
I offer this grace below as a way to begin your Christmas meal this year. Click on the image below to download a printable version.
A Grace before Christmas Dinner
One of the more senior people
at the dinner begins saying:
Before we share this Christmas meal together,
Let us take a moment of silent prayer
to give God thanks
for all the blessings we have received this year.
A moment of silent reflection follows
Then the leader continues
Let us remember those
we have shared Christmas with in past years,
those who have died,
and also those who are not able to be with us today
because of distance and illness.
Let us now share aloud
the names of those we especially wish to remember.
Those at table take a moment
to share the names of those
they wish to remember.
When the names have been shared
a candle is lit in the centre of the table
(perhaps by one of the children).
Then the leader prays
May the light of this candle
lead us to Christ
who overcomes every darkness.
And for what we receive in this meal,
the food, drink, and family and friendship,
let us be deeply grateful.