General views

What to say before food? ( A grace, by me)

I went to Scotland to spend some quality time in a lodge on the side of a Mountain with a large gathering of friends and strangers. I was asked to contribute some wine, a ‘turn’ and a grace. I am not at all religious and am not about to stand at the end of a table and thank the imaginary friend for supplying the meal. As I am a New Zealander some felt a Maori grace might be good, but I am not a Maori.

I had a look on the internet and there are many non religious, or secular, or humanist, hippy, vegan, druid, and other ridiculous graces but I didn’t rate any of them. I didn’t really want to read something I had downloaded. I sort of left it for a while to mull my options and went to Scotland in the end with a pretty ordinary downloaded grace for my big night at the end of a table of 19 people on the side of a Scottish mountain. Up there the meals where being prepared by the hosts, my friends.

On the day I was due to do the grace to the gathered throng, I had spent much of the day wandering around the wilderness with a chum, Hugo whose other half was crawling round the highlands on her tummy looking for wildlife. When I got back to the lodge I fancied a little nap so went to the room for a ‘noddy’ as my Sister in law calls it.

I was troubled though that my grace was, frankly, rubbish. So had a sudden burst of inspiration and cobbled the following together on the iPad on the ‘notes’ bit. If you are faced with having to do a bit of a thank you and acknowledgement of a meal in a gathering, you can use it if you like.

Thanks to those, the hale and hearty

Our companions at this gathered party

Thanks to the cooks, the creators of feasts

Thanks to those, the hunters of beasts

Thanks to those who tend the vines

and thanks to those who make them wines

The makers of food and tenders of flocks

The brewers and bakers and growers of crops

The folk who take wild things and make them a meal

The food and the wine over friendships we seal

We thank the stout people who carry the beer

We thank our good hosts for having us here

We give thanks that we are lucky as life could be worse

But not for too long as here comes the first course.


Categories: General views

11 replies »

  1. well said then sandy, grace is about acknowledging your company and being grateful for the occassion and the food, im not religious either but i do think its kinda nice to make this sort of acknowledgement, Intent (or prayer for the religious) is a powerful thing.

  2. Far prefer it to any other grace I’ve ever heard: ‘For what we are about to receive’ etc. If I am ever in front of 19 people up a mountain I will try and recall it :0)

  3. The modest thing to have done Sandy would have been to pretend that it took hours to compose. Admitting it took 10 minutes has underminded my own self confidence totally unneccessarily (is that spelling close) and will probably put my maturity back at least 2 decades. Surely it took longer than 10 minutes, it’s bloody brilliant.

  4. Thanks Jon, that’s high praise! I’m very pleased you like it. It would
    have taken less time if I hadn’t been typing with one finger on the
    notes/shopping list thingy on the Ipad. There was no pen and paper or
    PC to hand and it just seemed to fall into place once I got going.
    Funny how things turn out

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