Grace Before the Banquet

My online Reverend qualification is legal in most states and allows me to perform all the functions of an actual minister who has completed an MDiv, which is — truth to tell — a little sketchy. That qualification can me get into trouble with people’s assumptions.

As the wedding party was getting ready to enter the beautifully decorated event room after the ceremony, the banquet manager said, “Reverend, will you be offering grace before the meal?”

Good Lord. Emily and Dustin hadn’t said anything to me about grace. I figured I could come up with something in a hurry, other than the usual Catholic before-meal prayer which we said at the College of St. Elizabeth and which I oddly still remember:

Bless usO Lord, and theseThy gifts, which we are about to receive from Thy bounty. Through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

But I quickly checked with Emily and she said no official grace was needed.



2 thoughts on “Grace Before the Banquet

  1. I was brought up Catholic and we usually said the Catholic pre meal prayer. While is was in college my mom and later my dad converted to a more fundamentalist Christian religion. The pre meal prayers expanded at family events, sometimes going on for minutes. Now that my dad has died I have taken over the prayer for holidays. I usually recite a Celtic blessing (Irish or Scottish) or simply says thanks to the cook for the lovely meal. I absolutely do t get biblical or long. I stay short, sweet and culturally appropriate.

  2. for Katie: I think that sounds great, and what I hope I could have come up with. I think I was a little taken aback by the assumption that I would be offering grace — not something Emily and Dustin and I had talked about — and so I felt unprepared right then and there to say something appropriate. I think I was also aware that Dustin’s family does belong to a church and would have been happy for them to be married there. I was trying hard to offer an alternative more fitting to what the couple wanted without crossing a line over what more traditionally ordained ministers do. The problem disappeared in a flash when Emily said firmly, “no grace. Dustin and I are offering a toast — that’s it.” I love strong women who know what they want.

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