Author Topic: The prayer before meals  (Read 14642 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline biro

  • Site Supporter
  • Stratopedarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 19,898
  • Excelsior
The prayer before meals
« on: September 11, 2010, 09:31:37 PM »
I would like to know a little in regard to the practice of prayers before we eat. What is a person to do if the normal eating time is delayed due to unforeseen events, or one is ill, or one can only find a very small amount to eat? I try to say a prayer before the regular meals of the day, but I was curious as to what is expected in case of any emergencies as named above. Thanks in advance for any help.   :)
My only weakness is, well, never mind

Offline OrthodoxSitkan

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 31
Re: The prayer before meals
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2010, 11:22:07 PM »
Glory to Jesus Christ!

When I eat between main meals I forgo the prayers of introduction and do this:

Lord, Bless!

 (Make sign of the Cross)+Through the Prayers of Our Holy and God Bearing Fathers, O Lord Jesus Christ Have Mercy on us and save us!.  Amin!

+Christ God bless the food and drink of your servants for you are holy, now and ever and unto Ages of Ages.  Amin! +(End with sign of the Cross)

This is a part of my prayer rule and is what I do in these cases.  Of course at home during main meals you would face the Icon Corner standing, which is at the Eastern wall in the dining room or kitchen of your house, (whatever room you eat meals in) and begin the prayer for meals which is contained in most Orthodox books of prayer.  Also one should bring holy water with them to sprinkle on their food to drive away all maledictions and curses.  This should be done at main meals as well.  My God mother would also burn incense at meals, and bless the meal with holy water and incense.  Of course if you have a priest or monk they have priority for asking the blessing.  In the home without clergy or monastics, the head of the house has first priority in asking the blessing, then the wife, grandfather, grandmother, children, etc.  The father as home-priest, not a priest of the Oblation, but by baptism and chrismation, and head of the domestic church, always has authority in the home and must preside first over all occasions delegating responsibility for prayers as needed ordering his house according to godliness.

In Christ God,



Alexis


Offline Zaxapiac

  • Doulos Theos
  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
  • Ιησους Χριστος
Re: The prayer before meals
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2010, 11:25:31 PM »
Eirene pasi.

Regardless of where I am, I usually pray: "Through the prayers of our holy fathers Lord Jesus Christ,Son of God, bless this food and drink of thy servants, for thou art Holy always; now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen. While praying this I sign the Cross over the food and drink.

in Iesous Christos,
Zaxapias
"A time is coming when men will go mad. And, when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him, saying, 'You are mad; you are not like us.'" - St Anthony the Great

Offline Ionnis

  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,077
Re: The prayer before meals
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2010, 11:33:53 PM »
"If you cannot find Christ in the beggar at the church door, you will not find Him in the chalice.”  -The Divine John Chrysostom

“Till we can become divine, we must be content to be human, lest in our hurry for change we sink to something lower.” -Anthony Trollope

Offline biro

  • Site Supporter
  • Stratopedarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 19,898
  • Excelsior
Re: The prayer before meals
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2010, 11:44:43 PM »
Thanks to everyone.   :)
My only weakness is, well, never mind

Offline OrthodoxSitkan

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 31
Re: The prayer before meals
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2010, 12:37:35 AM »
Glory to Jesus Christ!

Happy eating!

In Christ,


Alexis

Offline NicholasMyra

  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 8,594
    • Hyperdox Herman
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Partially-overlapping
Re: The prayer before meals
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2010, 11:37:51 PM »
Hello. I'm still trying to get my head around the Orthodox view of prayer interactions with the non-Orthodox. I understand many believe it is an undue "seal-of-approval" of non-Orthodox worship to participate in a protestant prayer ritual. Is there, however, any issue with saying an Orthodox prayer over one's table if non-Orthodox are attending dinner? What if you, yourself, are asked to deliver a prayer in a non-Orthodox home?

Thank you.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2010, 11:38:26 PM by NicholasMyra »
Quote from: Fr. Thomas Hopko, dystopian parable of the prodigal son
...you can imagine so-called healing services of the pigpen. The books that could be written, you know: Life in the Pigpen. How to Cope in the Pigpen. Being Happy in the Pigpen. Surviving in the Pigpen. And then there could be counselling, for people who feel unhappy in the pigpen, to try to get them to come to terms with the pigpen, and to accept the pigpen.

Offline genesisone

  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 2,906
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Antioch
Re: The prayer before meals
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2010, 08:39:44 AM »
Hello. I'm still trying to get my head around the Orthodox view of prayer interactions with the non-Orthodox. I understand many believe it is an undue "seal-of-approval" of non-Orthodox worship to participate in a protestant prayer ritual. Is there, however, any issue with saying an Orthodox prayer over one's table if non-Orthodox are attending dinner? What if you, yourself, are asked to deliver a prayer in a non-Orthodox home?

Thank you.
Here's my general rule, quite my own with no claims to be authoritative in any way.

My wife, children, and grandchildren are all Protestant (daughter-in-law is RC). When my wife and I are at home or dining alone at a restaurant, I will lead in prayer with wording familiar to Protestants, but will cross myself. When my grandchildren are present, I will usually let one of them "say grace", but will still in my own home or when I am hosting at a restaurant, cross myself. Sometimes especially on special days like Christmas and Easter, I will lead using wording that is more familiar to the Orthodox, but will still omit anything that I know will cause discomfort among those present.

When I am in a non-Orthodox home, or being entertained by them at a restaurant, if they lead in prayer, I will not cross myself, but will usually make the sign of the cross discreetly with hand or even fork over the food. If a non-Orthodox should ask me to lead in prayer, knowing that I am Orthodox, I will pray as an Orthodox Christian. So I suppose it can be said that I try to follow the "house rules".

To respect a non-Orthodox prayer is not the same thing as participating in it.

Offline jah777

  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 2,117
Re: The prayer before meals
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2010, 09:08:11 AM »
I'm still trying to get my head around the Orthodox view of prayer interactions with the non-Orthodox. I understand many believe it is an undue "seal-of-approval" of non-Orthodox worship to participate in a protestant prayer ritual. Is there, however, any issue with saying an Orthodox prayer over one's table if non-Orthodox are attending dinner? What if you, yourself, are asked to deliver a prayer in a non-Orthodox home?

Thank you.

When visiting my Protestant parents and in-laws and they lead the prayer before a meal, I interiorly say the full Orthodox prayer before meals and make sure I still cross myself and the food before eating.  I also make sure the children cross themselves and their food in such a case.  I try to avoid like the plague hand-holding during prayers, which to me seems extremely inappropriate for an Orthodox person to do with a non-Orthodox person in prayer.  I have no idea where this practice came from but it reminds me of demonic séances.  It also does not seem appropriate to me to say “Amen” to a prayer offered by a non-Orthodox.  The point is not to cause a scene or make a big show, but simply to remain faithful to your Orthodox faith and not improperly mingle in spiritual ways with those outside of the Church, since in doing so you may open yourself up to bad influences.   

If I am out to eat with co-workers at lunch, I usually say the beginning of the pre-meal prayer on my way to the table and the end of the prayer at the table, crossing myself and the food and drink before eating.  I do not in this case want to skip any of the prayer, yet I also do not want to draw excessive attention to myself by standing there by the table with my eyes closed for a prolonged period of time. 

If we have non-Orthodox family over for dinner, or if my non-Orthodox grandparents or other family members ask us to say the prayer before the meal, we just say the proper Orthodox prayers without addition or subtraction.  Sometimes my in-laws will ask our 6 yr old to say the prayer and she will also say the full Orthodox prayers that precede the meal.  We are Orthodox Christians after all.  If they wonder why we pray a certain way, that’s a good opportunity to explain to this to them.  If they do not like how we pray, they can say their own prayers if we are in their home, or they can cover their ears if they are in our home.       



 
« Last Edit: September 21, 2010, 09:10:52 AM by jah777 »

Offline JLatimer

  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,202
Re: The prayer before meals
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2010, 01:11:04 PM »
Quote
anything that I know will cause discomfort among those present.

Like what? Just curious.
1 Samuel 25:22 (KJV)
So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.

Offline NicholasMyra

  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 8,594
    • Hyperdox Herman
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Partially-overlapping
Re: The prayer before meals
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2010, 01:44:57 PM »
Thank you all for answering; your approaches are humble and kind ways to handle such situations and I'll keep them in mind when I next find myself there.

I'm also curious as to what would cause discomfort that GenesisOne omits; I can think of a few things he may have in mind.  Things that begin with "through the prayers of our..."? References to the One Church? I don't want to leave those out, but I understand the pressure.

I was curious and went looking around, and read some of the prayers on the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese's website. They have a simple dinner prayer:

"The poor shall eat and be satisfied, and they who seek the Lord shall praise him; their hearts shall live to the ages of ages.

Glory to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and forever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

Christ our God, bless the food and drink of your servants, for you are holy always, now and forever and to the ages of ages. Amen."

This seems pretty "discomfortless" (if I may make up a word!)
« Last Edit: September 21, 2010, 01:52:50 PM by NicholasMyra »
Quote from: Fr. Thomas Hopko, dystopian parable of the prodigal son
...you can imagine so-called healing services of the pigpen. The books that could be written, you know: Life in the Pigpen. How to Cope in the Pigpen. Being Happy in the Pigpen. Surviving in the Pigpen. And then there could be counselling, for people who feel unhappy in the pigpen, to try to get them to come to terms with the pigpen, and to accept the pigpen.

Offline genesisone

  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 2,906
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Antioch
Re: The prayer before meals
« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2010, 03:44:52 PM »
Quote
anything that I know will cause discomfort among those present.

Like what? Just curious.
Anything that might seem to be a reference to the Saints is the main one. Evangelicals (at least the ones in my usual circle) are under the impression that all prayers are offered and therefore should end "in Jesus' name. Amen." I won't do that, but to invoke "In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit" would cause cringing and raised eyebrows for sure, so I word my prayers to avoid that exact phrase while still making my prayer Trinitarian.

Anything that sounds [ugh]Catholic[/ugh] would be deemed unacceptable. I know it's hard to believe, but anti-Catholicism is surprisingly strong around here. In my city I know many former Catholics who are now "saved" and have become "Christian". My wife in particular is very anti-Catholic, for reasons that remain a mystery to me. She had a really hard time at our son's wedding last year.

I'm under specific instructions from my priest to do what I can to avoid offending her, without denying my own faith, of course. Makes it a very difficult and narrow rope to walk on. It's even tricky to "bless the food" as one of her radio preachers has taught that only people can be blessed, not objects. And no, I'm not defending her. Just trying to show what some of us have to deal with.

Offline JLatimer

  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,202
Re: The prayer before meals
« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2010, 05:50:35 PM »
Quote
as one of her radio preachers has taught that only people can be blessed, not objects.

It's amazing what these guys will come up with lol
1 Samuel 25:22 (KJV)
So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.

Offline Tikhon.of.Colorado

  • Site Supporter
  • Archon
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,438
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: OCA
Re: The prayer before meals
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2010, 10:56:36 PM »
how do you remember?!  when I go to eat, it only occurs to me to pray when I'm half way through the meal.  I guess I have the gluttenous habit of "digging in".

Offline Thankful

  • Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 263
Re: The prayer before meals
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2010, 11:17:21 PM »

I was curious and went looking around, and read some of the prayers on the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese's website. They have a simple dinner prayer:

"The poor shall eat and be satisfied, and they who seek the Lord shall praise him; their hearts shall live to the ages of ages.

Glory to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and forever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

Christ our God, bless the food and drink of your servants, for you are holy always, now and forever and to the ages of ages. Amen."

This seems pretty "discomfortless" (if I may make up a word!)

In our previous "life" (charismatic/pentecostal), this kind of prayer would make people uncomfortable.  Any kind of memorized anything would do that.  Everything was supposed to be spontaneous and "free" -- signaling the "real" presence of the Holy Spirit (or so we thought).  Just to let you know.  :)

Offline Cognomen

  • Ungrateful Biped
  • Site Supporter
  • Archon
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,156
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Wanderer, but Antioch and All the East
Re: The prayer before meals
« Reply #15 on: September 24, 2010, 12:37:55 AM »
how do you remember?!  when I go to eat, it only occurs to me to pray when I'm half way through the meal.  I guess I have the gluttenous habit of "digging in".

Trevor, I actually had to write myself a reminder note and place it on the dining table.  My endorsement of this method and its effectiveness is revoked for meals eaten outside of the home.    :)
If anything I have posted has been illuminating, please remember that I merely reflect the light of others...but also it's me.

Offline NicholasMyra

  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 8,594
    • Hyperdox Herman
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Partially-overlapping
Re: The prayer before meals
« Reply #16 on: September 24, 2010, 01:10:23 AM »

In our previous "life" (charismatic/pentecostal), this kind of prayer would make people uncomfortable.  Any kind of memorized anything would do that.  Everything was supposed to be spontaneous and "free" -- signaling the "real" presence of the Holy Spirit (or so we thought).  Just to let you know.  :)
Ah, I see what you mean, Thankful.
Quote from: Fr. Thomas Hopko, dystopian parable of the prodigal son
...you can imagine so-called healing services of the pigpen. The books that could be written, you know: Life in the Pigpen. How to Cope in the Pigpen. Being Happy in the Pigpen. Surviving in the Pigpen. And then there could be counselling, for people who feel unhappy in the pigpen, to try to get them to come to terms with the pigpen, and to accept the pigpen.

Offline hecma925

  • Non-clairvoyant, but you can call me Elder
  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 14,227
  • Unbreakable! He's alive, dammit! It's a MIRACLE!
  • Faith: Truthful Chalcedonian Truther
  • Jurisdiction: Candle-lighting Cross Kisser
Re: The prayer before meals
« Reply #17 on: June 21, 2017, 02:07:47 AM »
At the very least, crossing oneself and saying "Lord, bless" or giving thanks to the Lord.
Happy shall he be, that shall take and dash thy little ones against the rock. Alleluia.

Once Christ has filled the Cross, it can never be empty again.

"But God doesn't need your cookies!  Arrive on time!"

Offline RaphaCam

  • Protokentarchos
  • *********
  • Posts: 4,573
  • It is honourable to reveal the works of God
    • Em Espírito e em Verdade
  • Faith: Big-O Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Exarchate of Gotham City
Re: The prayer before meals
« Reply #18 on: June 21, 2017, 03:59:51 AM »
I used to pray 3x the Lord's Prayer, then the Creed, then an O Virgin Theotokos. Now just a Lord's Prayer and an O Virgin Theotokos.
"May the Lord our God remember in His kingdom all Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, which heralds the Word of Truth and fearlessly offers and distributes the Holy Oblation despite human deficiencies and persecutions moved by the powers of this world, in all time and unto the ages of ages."

Check my blog "Em Espírito e em Verdade" (in Portuguese)

Offline Dominika

  • Troublesome Sheep
  • Global Moderator
  • Protokentarchos
  • ******
  • Posts: 4,433
  • Serbian/Polish
    • My youtube channel
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: POC, but my heart belongs to Antioch
Re: The prayer before meals
« Reply #19 on: June 21, 2017, 05:29:59 AM »
I used to pray 3x the Lord's Prayer, then the Creed, then an O Virgin Theotokos. Now just a Lord's Prayer and an O Virgin Theotokos.

Wow, that's so much! Was this rule given to you by a priest? But, at least, I suppose the satisfaction that you can finally eat was great ;)


Normally I say this prayer before the meal:
The eyes of all wait upon thee; and thou givest them their meat in due season. Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing.

But in some festal periods, like Pascha, Nativity, Theophany, Ascension, Pentecost - I say the festal troparion. I say also the festal troparion on the feast day for other occassions.

However, during the pilgrimages or some Church events, there is a tradition to sing Our Father, and then the priest says his prayer.
In the monastery I'm at least one a year, they say various prayers depending on the time. So, e.g the one I say at home, they use onl before the dinner.

Pray for persecuted Christians, especially in Serbian Kosovo and Raška, Egypt and Syria

My Orthodox liturgical blog "For what eat, while you can fast" in Polish (videos featuring chants in different languages)

Offline Lepanto

  • Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 321
  • Faith: Roman Catholic
  • Jurisdiction: Archdiocese of Munich and Freising
Re: The prayer before meals
« Reply #20 on: June 21, 2017, 05:44:31 AM »
I used to say the "Our father" at home, with my wife listening, but not saying "Amen" or similar to a prayer of a non-Orthodox, as others have stated previously.
Similarly, when visiting my Orthodox MIL, she says the prayers and I do not participate in any way.
una cum famulo tuo Papa nostro et Antistite nostro et omnibus orthodoxis atque catholicæ et apostolicæ fidei cultoribus

Offline Helladius

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 53
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Re: The prayer before meals
« Reply #21 on: June 21, 2017, 08:46:17 AM »
Before meals I usually cross myself, say the Our Father, then say 'O Lord God, please bless what we eat and drink, for you are holy, Lord, and love us all' then 'through the prayers of the Mother of God + and all the angels and saints + , in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit + Amen'. I make the sign over my food and drink while saying 'please bless what we eat and drink'. I'm not sure where I got that prayer from, but I'm pretty sure from an Orthodox prayer book or online resource. Has anyone else come across it?

When I'm eating with others who might be offended/taken-aback by this, I skip the Our Father and also cross myself just once after the prayers instead of 3 times, but usually do the rest. I do this also for snacks between meals, whether by myself or with others.

With tiny bits of food or drink e.g. refilling my water bottle or being offered a taste of something, I just make the sign of the cross over it (subtly if I think people will be offended/taken-aback by me doing this). No food or drink, even water, enters my mouth without me having made the sign of the cross over it (however unobtrusively). BUT this may reflect more on slight OCD traits in my personality than on what should be done!!

There are also far better suggestions and practices above though, so emulate those rather than what I do ;)
'Be extremely careful not to offend anyone in word or deed, for it is a grave sin. When someone is offended, God, who loves the man, is also offended, for there can be no offending man without offending God.'
St Tikhon of Zadonsk

'Where thy treasure is, there is thy heart also' Matt 6:21

Offline RaphaCam

  • Protokentarchos
  • *********
  • Posts: 4,573
  • It is honourable to reveal the works of God
    • Em Espírito e em Verdade
  • Faith: Big-O Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Exarchate of Gotham City
Re: The prayer before meals
« Reply #22 on: June 21, 2017, 01:21:44 PM »
I used to pray 3x the Lord's Prayer, then the Creed, then an O Virgin Theotokos. Now just a Lord's Prayer and an O Virgin Theotokos.

Wow, that's so much! Was this rule given to you by a priest? But, at least, I suppose the satisfaction that you can finally eat was great ;)
Not really, I think I got it from St. Seraphim of Sarov.  ;D

Oh, we also say some prayers before eating in church. The Lord's Prayer, the troparion of the day, and then a priest asks for intercession. Maybe I'm forgetting something.
"May the Lord our God remember in His kingdom all Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, which heralds the Word of Truth and fearlessly offers and distributes the Holy Oblation despite human deficiencies and persecutions moved by the powers of this world, in all time and unto the ages of ages."

Check my blog "Em Espírito e em Verdade" (in Portuguese)

Offline Reader KevinAndrew

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 162
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Antiochian Western Rite Vicariate
Re: The prayer before meals
« Reply #23 on: July 06, 2017, 11:59:50 PM »
I do a sign of the cross and pray, "Bless us, O Lord, and these Thy gifts we are about to receive, from Thy great bounty. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen" I do that for all three meals and any snacks.Once you're in the habit of saying grace before eating, you hardly slip up and forget. It's interesting to see other people's prayer rule before eating.

Offline Story

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 18
  • Faith: Wannabe Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Former Protestant Evangelical
Re: The prayer before meals
« Reply #24 on: July 07, 2017, 12:36:01 AM »
I do a sign of the cross and pray, "Bless us, O Lord, and these Thy gifts we are about to receive, from Thy great bounty. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen" I do that for all three meals and any snacks.Once you're in the habit of saying grace before eating, you hardly slip up and forget. It's interesting to see other people's prayer rule before eating.

Wow, that's exactly what my Roman Catholic grandparents have always done as long as I've known them, except they also add "May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace" before saying amen.

Offline Calla

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 9
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: OCA
Re: The prayer before meals
« Reply #25 on: July 08, 2017, 09:23:11 PM »
I am terrible about this. We rarely sit down for a formal meal, and I rarely think when I am eating a yogurt in the kitchen.

Upthread someone said they use a note to remind themselves. I will begin tomorrow!