According to Webster there are no fewer than eight (8) definitions for 'grace'.  The one I'd like to focus on is:

a short prayer at a meal asking a blessing or giving thanks

Christmas celebrations are over and the new year is here. For the most part I enjoy the holidays.  I like the coloured lights, the songs, the Christmas television specials and even getting together with the family.  The part I didn't enjoy was being asked to give grace at a family gathering.  What to do when the head of the house asks you to give the grace...thanks for the bounty and honour to the true living god? (btw, my family doesn't know that i'm not a believer in the "true living god"). So as not to tip my hand, I mustered all the collective energies of my ancestors and gave a traditional grace. And yes, I mentioned "GOD".

On returning home my wife and I discussed and figured that this may happen again.  Someone is going to ask one of us to give grace.  What to do? Politely decline? Well, to be better prepared we decided it best to be prepared with a "proper" prayer of thanksgiving.  One that first would be true our own beliefs, second palatable to the listeners (Christian, Muslem, Hindu, Etc.) and thirdly something I could memorize. This is what we came up with.

An optional "amen" or "blessed be" can be thrown in for good measure.  Any suggestions for improvement are welcome.

With this eat, let us be mindful of those who are hungry and destitute.
With this drink, let us remember those who have only contaminated water.
With this gathering, let us be aware of the lonely and the forgotten.
And with this nourishment, let us strive with compassion and understanding to honour this, our gift of life.

-A. D'Agio

Inspired by the writing of David Rowley.

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Comment by A. D'Agio on January 7, 2012 at 2:50am

I admit that this "prayer" is not for everyone nor should it be. 

@Carolyn  Thank you for sharing.  It was lovely.

Comment by Carolyn R on January 5, 2012 at 9:40pm

This is the one my little girl says:

"Hail the earth, so green & good,

Thanks to the farmers for this food.

Hail the sun shining high,

May we always bravely try.

Hail friends & family everywhere,

May we enjoy the time we share."

then we all say "Hail!" and we pause to smell the food

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