Anglicans Online banner More about the gryphon
Independent On the web since 1994 More than 250,000 readers More than 30,000 links Updated every Sunday
Will you help support
Anglicans Online?

The Paypal logotype

Noted This Week
Sites new to AO

News Centre
News archive

News flash: a summary of the top headlines
Find us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us by email
Be notified each week

Start here
Anglicans believe...
The Prayer Book
The Bible

Read letters to AO
Write to us

Resources A to Z

World Anglicanism
Anglican Communion
In full communion
Not in the Communion

Dioceses and Parishes
Hong Kong
New Zealand

South Africa
Sri Lanka

Vacancies Centre
List a vacancy
Check openings worldwide

Add a site or link to AO
Add a site to AO
Link to AO

About Anglicans Online
Back issues
About our logo
Our search engine


Hallo again to all.

Family Saying Grace Anthonius ClaeissinsToday we are enough past the bustle of the Feasts that occur early in January and enough ahead of the start of Lent to listen for the hymnist's 'still, small voice of calm'*. So we are taking this moment to examine how something as simple as saying grace before a meal is both a way our faith is part of our daily routine and a way to pass on the traditions with which we were raised.

Part of our role at Anglicans Online is to provide links to resources related to Anglicanism. Our pages hold thousands of links, and we count on our readers' help in alerting us to both new sites and sites no longer available among those we have listed. This week we were contacted about possibly adding a link for the Anglican rosary. Our Liturgical Resources page has links about the rosary, but some are no longer active. So we began sleuthing for a replacement. We have selected this one to add to our resources page, and we invite your submissions of other sites to add to our communal collection of links.

One of the other links in the Prayers section of our Liturgical Resources leads you to an extensive collection of table blessings. We hadn't visited this link in a while, and we are glad to see it is still active.

The broader topic of prayer outside of church services is timely: how does family prayer figure into the routines of daily life? Our forebears used to pray the morning and evening daily offices in their homes. When the post-World War II generation was being raised, the practice of families reciting the daily office had been suspended mostly due to the busy lives of multiple children needing to be in multiple places at those times of morning and evening. But family meals were still an important and essential part of domestic life, and it gave parents the opportunity to impart the ritual of blessing the meal into the spiritual DNA of their offspring.

Like many of you, we still say grace at home before the evening meal—a practice inculcated in us from childhood and passed on to our own children. As adults, we have been fortunate to be part of church choirs that shared communal meals. Each meal always began with a sung grace to a familiar hymn setting. Sung or said, it isn't a real meal unless we say and hear a blessing before picking up our fork and knife. We find that certain graces trigger memories of family, friends and places, and we suspect this occurs for others as well.

At this time each year, our post includes the alumni bulletin from our primary school. It arrived last week, and we spent a nostalgic quarter hour reviewing its contents and reviving favourite old memories. One tradition of our life at school was standing at our tables singing grace before sitting down to our midday meal.

The entire school sang the same grace together every day. It started 'Bless this house, O Lord, we pray‚Ķ'. We wondered if we could sing it by rote today lo these many years later. We only completed the first two couplets before lapsing into just humming the melody. So, being a modern person, we turned to the Internet. Voila! Sheet music and lyrics, biographies of the composer and lyricist, videos and audio files of the song performed. We liked this recording by the National Children's Choir of Ireland—it is the closest to our memories of singing this blessing (minus the descants!).

In the current news-frenzied, hyper-connected, fast-paced world we have created and inhabit, it is reassuring to find a tradition from our childhood that still resonates and is important in its own quiet way. Table blessings give us a moment to drop into the 'still dews of quietness'* about which Whittier writes. We wonder if this is true for you as well. So, dear readers, won't you share with us the table blessings you use in your homes, schools, churches? We would love to hear your stories about where you learned them and what memories they trigger.

Please drop us a line.

Our signature
All of us at Anglicans Online

25 January 2015

*Dear Lord and Father of mankind (John Greenleaf Whittier)

A thin blue line
This web site is independent. It is not official in any way. Our editorial staff is private and unaffiliated. Please contact about information on this page. ©2015 Society of Archbishop Justus
. Please address all spam to