November 2012 Ritual: Thanksgiving Grace

By Diann L. Neu

We at WATER give thanks to YOU. Please accept our invitation to join us in this “Thanksgiving Grace.”

No matter how you say it, grace at meals provides a time of pause to give thanks for food and blessings. It adds a moment of gratitude to an otherwise ordinary meal. This Thanksgiving, and every day, lift your spirit, give thanks, and give back.

This “Thanksgiving Grace” is our way at WATER of saying “thank you” and giving back to you for all you have shared with us. May it grace your table!


Words of Gratitude
“I grind with gratitude for the richness of our harvest, not with cross feelings of working too hard. As I kneel at my grinding stone, I bow my head in prayer, thanking the great forces for provision. I have received much. I am willing to give much in return, for as I have taught you, there must always be a giving back for what one receives.”
−from Polingaysi Qoyawayma (Elizabeth Q. White), No Turning Back: A Hopi Indian Woman’s Struggle to Live in Two Worlds (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1964)

Prayer of Thanks
Thank You, God, for the miracle that we are gathered together at this table.
All: Thank You, God!

Thank You, Allah, for making us mindful of the needs of others.
All: Thank You, Allah!

Thank You, Yahweh, for your gracious blessings, especially for (invite each person to name one).
All: Thank You, Yahweh!

Blessing the Food
Thank You, Great Spirit, for this abundant food that is a gift from Earth and a gift from (name those who made it and bought it).
All: Thank You, Great Spirit!

Thank You, Holy Wisdom, for teaching us to give back for what we have received.
All: Thank You, Holy Wisdom!

Use a song of gratitude from your own tradition, or sing the following to the tune of the African Amercian spiritual “Amen,” using many languages, in order here, English, French, German, Spanish, Chinese.

We give thanks. Merci. Danke. Gracias. Xie Xie (shea-shea).

© Diann L. Neu is co-founder and co-director of WATER,
the Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual,