A basic building block for Family Christian Practice is mealtime prayers. As Jesus showed by example, praying with his disciples before the Last Supper; we are given a model to follow.
How might this look in your family? That all depends on what works best with your family members and your schedule. Often, dinner is a time for the family to sit down together for a meal. Maybe breakfast works better or even just setting aside once or twice a week. Whatever works for your family, is the best plan for you.
Depending on the age of your family members, prayer can be led, recited together, or even sung. If there are family members that don’t wish to pray, sometimes just sharing a moment of thanks is the best way to include everyone at your table, no matter what their faith tradition. Everyone has something to be thankful for!
A fun project for the whole family is to create a “Grace cube.” These can be made from wood, paper, or other materials if they will keep their shape when rolled on a table. The goal with the “Grace cube” is to have a way for different family members to participate in mealtime grace by either “rolling” the cube to pick the grace to be used for dinner or reading it for the entire family. Each cube can have multiple sides (image a dice) with a prayer written on each side. Or perhaps a picture could work to remind your family of the prayer or even colors. Make the project work for your family.
Resources for Kids:
Children might enjoy reading a story about meals and mealtime prayer. A few suggestions:
- “Before We Eat: from farm to table” by Pat Brisson.
- “Stone Soup” by Marcia Brown
Resources for Adults:
- “Graces” by June Cotner
- “Table Graces” printed by the Forward Movement (found on their website)
- A funny take on when to say grace: “Pre-meal Prayer: the official rules” on Youtube.