Reader Question: Do You Say Grace Before Meals?

Yes, I do. I think it’s important on a number of levels to bless our food and to give thanks. In my home, there are a few preparatory blessings of cooking ingredients that I do: all salt is immediately poured into a large salt jar and blessed and that is the only salt we use in the home. So, anything made from scratch, uses blessed salt. Then, as I cook, I’m usually praying over the food. For anything we order, I bless it as I’m unpacking it and usually again when I plate it. Pretty much any meal I eat, I first say grace over it, and I do this for two primary reasons. 

Firstly, I think it’s important to give thanks to the Gods and spirits that nourish us, and building that habit with respect to the food we take into our bodies is a good place to start. It keeps us mindful. It connects food and nourishment with the Gods and puts us in a receptive headspace of gratitude and respect. Those are good things. This also connects the mundane task of nourishing our bodies with something holy and properly elevates it. Food is sacred after all. It is key to the connection between Midgard, Vanaheim, and Helheim. Our physical bodies too are part of our soul matrix and giving them proper nourishment then becomes a sacred task. Cooking is also a powerful connection to our ancestors. So, there’s a lot bound up in food. Plus, we are blessed to be able to nourish ourselves and our families and the Gods pour Their grace into the very food we eat always. 

Secondly, as a culture we pollute our food: GMOs, pesticides, and all sorts of unnatural things. Sometimes these things damage the spirit of the food itself, and I think praying over our food restores a natural balance, inasmuch as it can be restored. 

Whenever and whatever I eat, I will put my hands over and it ask for blessings. I’ll say something like, “I thank you Frey, Freya, and all Good and Gracious Gods for the food I’m about to eat. Please bless it and fill it with Your odhr that it may restore and nourish both my body and soul. Blessings on this food and the hands that prepared it.” If I’m feeling the Roman Gods more strongly, I might include Pomona and Ceres in the prayer as well. Then I’ll make the hammer sign over my food and eat up. It’s that simple and I do it whether I’m alone or eating out. 

If anyone else here says grace, do you have particular prayers that you like to use? Please feel free to share in the comments.

country kitchen – I adore the sink!

About ganglerisgrove

Galina Krasskova has been a Heathen priest since 1995. She holds a Masters in Religious Studies (2009), a Masters in Medieval Studies (2019), has done extensive graduate work in Classics including teaching Latin, Roman History, and Greek and Roman Literature for the better part of a decade, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Theology. She is the managing editor of Walking the Worlds journal and has written over thirty books on Heathenry and Polytheism including "A Modern Guide to Heathenry" and "He is Frenzy: Collected Writings about Odin." In addition to her religious work, she is an accomplished artist who has shown all over the world and she currently runs a prayer card project available at wyrdcuriosities.etsy.com.

Posted on October 29, 2021, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I bow my head and speak a simple “Thank you for this meal” and mark it with a Pentacle before dining. I’ve experimented with the Hammer Sign but the Pentacle feels better to me. I draw the circle first, then the five-pointed star within it.

    Like

  2. I’m not a shaman, but I give thanks to herbs/leaves/vegies/fruits for they made their way to me for my health and joy, and all human hands that made it possible…
    …and animals, part of which (if) I am about to eat, for their lives given to me…
    …and of course, separate and particularly bread – as I’ve been thought in my childhood.

    And never ever – like not in a million years – never throw any food in the garbage – especially bread.

    It’s a long and strong relationship between Russian people and Bread 🙂
    And not only because of all the hard work been put into raising it in colder climate, but also because women who made bread for their families spoke some ‘special words’ over it while kneading the dough – for health, love, luck and all good stuff they wished for their loved ones. So, throwing away all that never been an option.
    Only if it’s spoiled with mold or something – nothing good in it left, so you can throw it away.
    (but it never happened with homemade bread!)
    Otherwise give it to birds or animals, but never to garbage can.
    Not many people think about this now, but everyone knows that throwing bread in the garbage is a sin. Ask Ukrainian people – they know that too.

    So yes, we all have plenty to be thankful for.

    Like

  3. Oh, I forgot – Sun Cross over the plate!

    Like

%d bloggers like this: