Expression of Gratitude
A member of clergy is frequently called upon to make an expression of gratitude (grace, a blessing) before a meal, particularly for public occasions such as banquets and dinner / luncheon meetings. This is an opportunity which should not be passed up, as it enables you to make your ministry known.
As there are countless people involved in bringing food to the table, it is possible to create a solemn and inclusive statement of thanks without mention of a supreme being. And done properly, most believers will not even notice this omission.
You can include thanks to the farmers, the cooks, the serving staff, the organizers of the event, and be grateful for the companionship of the other diners. The range of expression is up to you.
submitted by The Reverend Nancy Robinson:
Words Fit for a FeastWe celebrate this occasion with food from the earth. May it fill us with fellowship and add to our mirth.
And The Most Reverend John Karpf, Patriarch of Florida has recommended that Roger Zelazny's Agnostic Prayer can be adapted for the purpose:
"Insofar as I may be heard by something which may or may not exist and which may or may not care what I say, I ask, if it matters, that it receive our thanks for things it may or may not have done to our benefit. I also ask that any and all benefit, for which we may be eligible be granted or withheld, as the case may be, in such a manner as to insure our receiving said benefit. Amen."
Again, from Nancy Robinson:
Words for a Wedding Rehearsal DinnerWe look forward to this meal we are about to consume in company and fellowship with the bride and the groom. May they both have a long and happy life, for tomorrow the groom will take a wife.