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Grace at Meals

As part of his Every Life Matters initiative, Archbishop Smith is asking us all to heed the invitation of our Holy Father and embrace the custom of praying at mealtime. “To the traditional meal prayers, I'm proposing that we add one line from the Sunday Gospel and one line of prayerful response to it,” says the Archbishop.

We have prepared cards for everyone to use (available at your parish). Before the words of grace, the card offers the Scripture verse at the heart of this Year of Mercy, “Be merciful as your Heavenly Father is merciful,” and gives a prayer in response that we be merciful toward one another. That Scripture verse and prayer can be used throughout the year.

“In addition, I shall tweet out each week (@archbsmith) an alternative Scripture verse for the week's meal prayers, a verse that will be taken from the Sunday Gospel. For those not on Twitter, the verse and prayer will also be sent to parishes for inclusion in the weekly Sunday bulletin.”

The Prayers

Before the meal, begin with a brief excerpt from Scripture:

Leader: “Lord, Jesus we thank you for your Word. You call us to be merciful as our Heavenly Father is merciful” (cf. Luke 6:36).
All: “Help us, Jesus, to share your love and mercy with those in need.”
Together: “Bless us, O Lord, and these Thy gifts, which we are about to receive from Thy bounty. Through Christ our Lord.  Amen”
After the meal: “We give you thanks, Almighty God,  for all your gifts, who live and reign now and forever. Amen”
This Week's Scripture Suggestions

Grace with lines inspired by the Readings for Feb. 16,
Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Leader: Lord Jesus, we thank you for your Word. You have come not to abolish, but to fulfill, all that is written in the law and the prophets. (Matthew 5:17)

All: Lord, teach us to recognize you in the gifts and call of your people Israel.

Or

Leader: Lord Jesus, we thank you for your Word. You praise those who do and teach God's commandments. (Matthew 5:19)

All: Lord, fill us with a desire to follow your way.


Grace with lines inspired by the Readings for February 23,
Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

Leader: Lord Jesus, we thank you for your Word. You command us to love our enemies, and to pray for our persecutors. (Matthew 5:44)

All: May we follow your example and forgive those who do evil against us.

Or

Leader: Lord Jesus, we thank you for your Word. You call us to be perfect as God the Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:48)

All: Fill us with your Spirit, Lord, and form us in your likeness.