Praise Her from whom all blessings flow.
Fruits of Her harvest to bestow.
Sustain us as we change and grow.
Praise Mother Earth our ancient home.
~ a Pagan Grace, author unknown
As Caitlin Matthews points out in her beautiful and essential The Celtic Spirit: Daily Meditations for the Turning Year, saying grace is a custom that has become old-fashioned and rarely followed in many secular and modern homes. Yet this is the one day when grace is traditionally observed.
But if you’ve been hanging out with me for a while, you may recall that I dedicated all of 2008 to the importance of grace.
Specifically, I dedicated that year to exploring the history and gifts of the Three Graces, the Goddesses that were always invoked, without fail, before any other activity at every gathering in ancient Greece and later Rome.
Not just at meals, but at every kind of meeting, both formal and informal. They were also always called upon at the beginning of every important journey, and given offerings of libations in Their honor.
Aglaia (ah-GLYE-ah), Thalia (THAH-lee-ah), and Euphrosyne (you-FRAH-suh-nee) are Goddesses of beauty, adornment, mirth, festivity, dance and song. In ancient times, they were known to preside over the pleasures of life, including play, amusement, banqueting, decorative flowers and gardens, happiness, rest, and relaxation. Their presence assured peace and harmony in human endeavors.
Today, as you say grace before your feast, if that is what you are enjoying today, I might suggest that you invoke these beautiful Ones, whose gifts we enjoy every day, whether we acknowledge Them or not. Perhaps you might want to spend some time before dinner with your family, writing your own grace and blessings together, rather than a hastily mumbled prayer from childhood days.
Perhaps you might begin in this New Year, to make the invocation of Grace(s) the rule, rather than the exception, at your own family’s mealtimes.
For consider that the greatest gift of Grace is that we do not have to deserve it, nor could we, even if we tried.
Grace is the unconditional love of God/dess, and is always available; we need only remember this, and give thanks.
May your day be blessed by Love.