By his hands we are fed. Give us Lord our daily bread. Lord, help us to be thankful for these and all our other many blessings.

Prayers of thanks have always helped define the spiritual South. When we are all gathered around the table with the people we love, there is comfort in the way we repeat certain phrases to the Almighty.

The blessing of the food is part of the ritual of breaking bread together.  It connects us again and again with the faith of our family. We might “offer thanks” or “ask the blessing.” Whatever it may be it is handed down from generation to generation. As Southerners we tend to bow our heads, close our eyes and hold hands and give our thanks. Our Aunt Eleanor would always give the blessing and she was extremely thankful. Even when there had been difficult times that had surrounded us, she would always be so grateful.  She would say, Bless this food to the nourishment of our bodies and our bodies to Your service. We would think for a moment of those who are no longer with us. And then we would give thanks together for our health, for the food we’re about to receive and those who had prepared it and for each and every member of our family.

There is no right or wrong way to give thanks, truly the only requirement is thankful hearts and a yearning to be found worthy.