Saying "Grace" before meals...

arthra

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Baha'is do not as a rule say "grace" before meals.. but there are times when they are asked to do so..

I haven't done much of a study as to why we don't but we don't normally do it. So any way for those occasions when a Grace is requested

Prayer of `Abdu'l-Baha to be recited before eating


My Lord and My Hope.

Praise be to Thee that Thou
hast sent down upon us this spiritual table, this divine
bounty, this heavenly blessing.

O our Lord, enable us
to eat of this food of the kingdom that its subtle
essences may pervade the corners of our spiritual being
and that there may be produced from [it?] that
heavenly strength for the service of Thy cause, the
spread of Thy revelation, and the adorning of Thy
garden with lofty trees bearing branches near at hand,
perfumed with fresh breezes.

Thou, verily, art the All-
generous. Thou art the Possessor of mighty grace. Thou
art the Merciful, the Compassionate.


- Amr va Khalq,

Here's a prayer to be recited after eating:


Prayer of `Abdu'l-Baha to be recited after eating


My Lord and my Hope.

Thanks be to Thee for these
bestowals and bounties. Lord, Lord, raise us up unto
Thy Kingdom and seat us at the tables of Thy realm
on high. Give us to eat of the food of Thy presence
and give us to taste of the sweetness of beholding Thy
beauty - this, in truth, is our highest wish and Thy
greatest bestowal and most mighty bounty. Lord, Lord,
make this easy for us.

Verily, Thou art the Generous,
the Bountiful, and Thou art the Giver, the Mighty, the
Compassionate. Upon thee be greetings and praise.


Amr va Khalq IV 70
====

Normally Baha'is do not say "Amen" at the conclusion of a prayer..

We do however usually have at the conclusion of the prayer references to the attributes of God.. as above:

"...Thou, verily, art the All-
generous
. Thou art the Possessor of mighty grace. Thou
art the Merciful, the Compassionate"

and

"Verily, Thou art the Generous,
the Bountiful, and Thou art the Giver, the Mighty, the
Compassionate"
 
Well it's interesting..

People that say a grace before meals usually don't say a prayer after meals either.. at least that's my experience but as above there is a prayer for afterwards..

One of the things I've noticed is that people will sometimes say a prayer before meals as a kind of ritual ... and if the heart isn't open or ready it can become a rote habit..
 
Here is a Baha'i grace, written by Abdul Baha.

He is God! Thou seest us, O my God, gathered around this table, praising Thy bounty, with our gaze set upon Thy Kingdom. O Lord! Send down upon us Thy heavenly food and confer upon us Thy blessing. Thou art verily the Bestower, the Merciful, the Compassionate. Abdul Baha
 
He is God! Thou seest us, O my God, gathered around this table, praising Thy bounty, with our gaze set upon Thy Kingdom. O Lord! Send down upon us Thy heavenly food and confer upon us Thy blessing. Thou art verily the Bestower, the Merciful, the Compassionate.

Does this mean anyone as g!d? Does the "Thy" and "Thou" refer to anyone? Or is it just your God?
 
Does this mean anyone as g!d? Does the "Thy" and "Thou" refer to anyone? Or is it just your God?

Thanks for your post!

"Thy" and "Thou" are commonly used by Baha'is in prayers addressing God.. Traditionally these personal pronouns were used in addressing God in English and by members of the Society of Friends when addressing each other and authorities up to the nineteenth century or so.

as above we generally do not say grace before meals...

He (the Guardian) does not feel that the friends should make a practice of saying grace or of teaching it to children. This is not part of the Bahá'í Faith, but a Christian practice, and as the Cause embraces members of all religions we should be careful not to introduce into it the customs of our previous beliefs. Bahá'u'lláh has given us the obligatory prayers, also prayers before sleeping, for travellers, etc., we should not introduce a new set of prayers He has not specified, when He has given us already so many for so many occasions....

(Shoghi Effendi, The Unfolding Destiny of the British Baha'i Community, p. 446)

Baha'is also do not say "Amen" at the end of our prayers but usually a sentence or so about the attributes of God such as

Thou, verily, art the All-
generous. Thou art the Possessor of mighty grace. Thou
art the Merciful, the Compassionate.

:)
 
I believe more than Christians give thanx before a meal....Natives used to...before the meal, and with every kill for the meal...pagans often for the harvest and bounty...

Amen to me means....'and so it is'...or this I believe...or and thats the truth... a sort of explanation mark.


but I am a little confused in reading....you say they don't (pray before meals) as above...yet above I see commentary that indicates they can and prayers were recommended by others...

so.....it seems open??
 
Hi Wil,
the Bahai scriptures and the practice of Abdu'l-Baha includes the saying of grace, before and after meals, but this is not a prominent part of the practice of the Bahais in the West, thus far. Bahai practice is still developing, guided in part by the Bahai scriptures and in part by the cultures in which it finds itself.

You are correct that saying grace is not just a Christian practice: it is customary in the Middle East for all religious communities, and is widespread around the world.
 
And if Sen wants to say "Grace" before his meals he can...:)

What is saying 'grace'?

It is giving thanx...

I thank my wife or kids for cooking...

Do we thank the cook for cooking?

Do we thank the waiter for bringing our meal?

Grace adds the farmer, the creator, the picker, all those involved...

What is the issue?

Eastern Bahai traditions vs Western?

Over 3,000 denominations of Christianity...dozens of sects of Islam....Judaism has its various ways of practice....

How many divisions are there in Bahai thought?
 
It's not a big deal Wil..

There's no big divisions in Baha'i thought on this...

:)

I think what the issue is for some is that it not become a ritual...as in having to always say a prayer before eating. That's it pure and simple.

For some Baha'is with a Christian background saying grace before a meal was expected and it was for some a ritual. We have a minimum of ritual in the Baha'i Faith.

No one will put you down though if you're a Baha'i and you wanna say a prayer before a meal..
 
I would guess the Bahai with a prayer before meal background continue it....

It is Catholic, Southern Baptist, Evangelical, Apostolic, Menonite, Amish households in my experience that say grace before meals. In travels I see it rarely, among church goin Christians less than half the time.


I could be wrong, but in reading this I see your first post saying you don't know why Bahai don't use 'grace' as a rule, that you haven't studied it. You opened a door and another Bahai provided some info that grace is more common in the east and cited reasons for this from your scriptures. You didn't continue a line of inquiry, (wow, I wasn't aware of that, do you have more information?) but seemingly closed the door (he can say grace if he wishes, but it isn't our way).
 
Wil,

The thread was started well over a year ago in i/2012.. Yes I'm surprised it has attracted so much attention here!

There is an early account of a lady on pilgrimage to the Holy Land I found that may be of interest:

One early pilgrim noted that grace was not said before meals. She mentioned this to the Master, to which He replied,

‘My heart is in a continual state of thanksgiving and so often those accustomed to this form say the words with the lips merely, and their hearts are far from being in a state of thanksgiving.’

(‘Abdu’l-Bahá words to Mrs. Mary L. Lucas, as quoted in A Brief Account of My Visit to Acca (Chicago: Bahá’í Publishing Society, 1905), p 29-30)

(You can see the full text of this Brief Account at http://brittlebooks.library.illinoi...-12/lucama0001briacc/lucama0001briacc_ocr.txt



Still any Baha'i can say a grace before a meal if they choose to...
 
My heart is in a continual state of thanksgiving and so often those accustomed to this form say the words with the lips merely, and their hearts are far from being in a state of thanksgiving.
I am sorry to interject here, but this really is an example of what in philosophy is called 'the straw man argument', reduced even further, the above argument goes:
Q: Why do you not say grace?
A: Because some people say grace but don't mean it.
That may well be so, but that's no reason not to say grace. In fact, it's all the more reason to say it, to teach and to lead, to bring the Divine Gifts to the minds of those who forget.
 
a couple of things..

first...the answer regarding being in a constant state of thanksgiving ...I like that... and that answer suffices for those that are...but also begs the question for those that aren't (I'm assuming that would be the vast majority of people) it makes meal time a great time to work toward being in a constant state...by doing it two/three/four times a day.

second...as many threads that I see being posted to bahai...I made the assumption they were being done so two fold...first to create a significant Bahai thread presence and archive here at interfaith.org and second to initiate future discussion regarding Bahai traditions... So I am wondering why one would be surprised an old thread comes to life...

....rather than being thankful for it.
 
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