This weekend, Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving. Anglican families across the country, whether fully Catholic or not, will for the most part, before their Thanksgiving dinner with family and friends, give thanks in a common form.
Our Anglican grace generally follows a common basic structure but can be elaborated and improvised upon to meet the occasion. The basic form is as follows:
Bless, O Lord, this food to our use and our souls to thy service, and make us always mindful of the needs of others. In Jesus’s Name we pray. Amen.
The above photo is of a page from the Book of Common Prayer, 1962 Canadian edition, containing a very similar form of the basic grace commonly used. The image below is taken from A Manual of Catholic Devotion (“For members of the Church of England”), 1962 edition, also containing an abridged variant of the grace.
On special occasions, Thanksgiving being just one example, our Anglican custom is frequently to preface the grace with a customized prayer befitting the circumstances. One of the many things we can give thanks for in our generation is that we Anglicans now have our own jurisdiction in the Catholic Church in which and through which we can propagate and transmit our beloved Anglican customs like this in perpetuity.
On Thanksgiving, however, it is particularly appropriate to begin by thanking our Lord and Father for His Son and for all that He has done for us.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!