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Blessings of the Table: Mealtime Prayers and Graces According to the Church Year / Victor-Antoine d'Avila-Latourrette

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Blessings and prayers before and after a meal are part of the earliest Christian tradition, which in turn finds its origin in the ancient Jewish ritual of pronouncing a blessing before the beginning of a meal. Throughout the centuries, Christian communitites, Christian families, and individual Christians have always kept the lovely custom of reading a short passage from the Bible followed by a short prayer, usually called "grace", before sitting down to their daily meals.

This beautiful collection offers a rich variety of table blessings based on the daily and seasonal rhythm of the liturgy. It includes readings and blessings for the seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent and Easter, as well as a four-week cycle for Ordnary Time. In addition to traditional table prayers, there is a seperate monthly calendar of table prayers connected to paritcular saints, prayers of thanksgiving after meals, table graces for children, and a charming set of blessings of special foods.

Blessings of the Table is inspired by the Catholic tradition but has an appeal that transcends denominational boundaries. The readings come from Scripture and liturgical texts of the East and West and from monastic and mystical Christian writings representing twenty centuries of a continuous and living tradition. Woodcuts inspired by Scripture scenes introduce each section.

Christian groups and families, as well as individuals, will find in these readings and prayers a time-honoured way to sanctify mealtime and spiritualize daily experiences as they honour the Lord in a special way at the daily meal.

Br Victor-Antoine d'Avila-Latourrette is a resident monk, giver of hospitality and nuturer of the land at Our Lady of the Resurrection Monastery, a monastery that operates under the Rule of St Benedict and is located near Millbrook, New York.

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