A page of table blessings from Michael Myer at Heathwood, somewhat edited:

From: Umberto La Torraca

Non sit quae sequitur prex forsitan simplex, nimirum est pulchra.

Erasmi Colloquia, "Convivium religiosum":

EUSEBIUS. Quoniam hoc exemplum nobis ab ipso Christo traditum est, ut ab hymno cibum auspicaremur (nam id arbitror, quod frequenter in Evangelio legimus, illum benedixisse, aut gratias egisse patri priusquam cibum frangeret) et rursum hymno finiremus: si videtur, recitabo vobis hymnum, quem divus Chrysostomus miris laudibus praedicat in homilia quadam, dignatus etiam interpretrari.

TIMOTHEUS. Imo, ut velis, rogamus.

EUSEBIUS. "Benedictus Deus, qui me pascis a iuventute mea, qui cibum praebes omni carni; reple laetitia et gaudio corda nostra, ut affatim, quod satis est, habentes abundemus in omne opus bonum, in Christo Iesu Domino nostro; cum quo tibi gloria, honor et imperium, cum Sancto Spiritu in omne aevum".


From: "Michael B. Myer"

Benedic, Domine, nos et haec tua dona, quae de tua largitate sumus sumpturi, per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

[Bless us, O Lord, and these Thy gifts which we are about to receive from Thy bounty through Christ our Lord. Amen]

and when prompted for a translation of the children’s sing-song "God is great..." blessing, I coined:

Deo Optimo Maximo
agamus gratias pro cibo

["to God the best and greatest let us give thanks for (our) food." DOM is a formulaic phrase much used in Christian Latin; nevertheless, one teacher suggested breaking the formula up by repeating "Deo" (must be a Harry Belafonte fan): Deo Optimo, Deo Maximo / gratias... I'm still willing to bet that someone has done this blessing much better somewhere.]

A Benedictine chimed in with several table blessings, including the shortest on the list, usually said before a meal:

Benedictus benedicat

[may the Blessed One bless (us/this food -- object unstated]

This is sometimes paired with a blessing after the meal (as it apparently has been in the Oxbridge system):

Benedicto benedicatur

[may there be a blessing for the Blessed One, or "Blessings to the Blessed One"; how's THAT for an interesting use of the dative?]

Largitor omnium bonorum
benedicat cibum servorum suorum.

["May the one who freely gives all good things bless the food of His servants." A correspondant from Oz writes that his 1962 Missal has a variant of this, substituting "potum" (beverage/drink) for "cibum" in the second line. I may start saying this one over my occasional scotch.]

Another rhyming blessing (not necessarily a table blessing) is used on Saturdays and may be of interest to the Catholics on this list:

Nos, cum Prole pia,
benedicat Virgo Maria.

[May the Virgin Mary bless us along with her pius Offspring.]

A couple of straight blessings for Thanksgiving:

Agimus tibi gratias, Domine, pro universis beneficiis tuis, qui vivis et regnas per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

[For your universal benificence, o Lord, we thank you who live and rule forever and ever. Amen]


Nos miseri homines edigeni, pro cibis quos nobis ad corporis subsidium benigne es largitus, Tibi, Deus Omnipotens Pater Caelestis, gratias reverenter agimus.

[For the food which You have kindly bestowed on us for our bodies' maintenance, we poor (unworthy?) people reverently give thanks to You, Omnipotent God, Heavenly Father.]

And to bring us toward the nice catchy one, here's a humorous blessing "for the drive-in, fast-food place" (this one strikes me as a bit of Beardiana, but I can't confirm that):

Domine, Salvator mundi omniumque eius incolarum, benigne feceris ne desuper opifex per fenestram cibum mihi in caput deiciat et ut simul edamque currumque dirigam, et, si huius quid cenae tua incomparabili benedictione dignum est, benedicas. Amen.

[Lord, Savior of the world and its inhabitants, kindly see to it that the worker casts not food down through the window at my head and that I might be able to both eat and drive my car at the same time, and, if there be any speck of food here worthy of Your matchless blessing, may You bless it. Amen.]

Finally, this little ditty from the fertile mind of Steve Gustafson:

Deus, bone et benigne,
me coenare fac condigne
et ad usum Regni Tui
alimento meo frui.

[Good and kind God, make me to eat in worthy fashion and to enjoy my food for the use of Your kingdom.]

From: Mr Richard Winterstein

>What ever happened to "thanks for the grub, let's eat!"?!
>just kidding....

ummmm...okay, but I take no responsibility for this:

Esurio! Quidnam cunctamur? Mensa parata est.
Grates pro cibulo. Nunc comedimus, pares!

...and here I am taking advantage of a rule from early poetry whereby final s before a consonant does not always make position.

Then Elly Finnerty-Nachbar asked for:
> How about the Addams Family Grace:
> (Snap fingers at the right places)
> Da da da da (snap snap)
> Da da da da (snap snap)
> Da da da da, da da da da, da da da da (snap snap)--
> We thank you Lord for givin'
> The things we need for livin'
> The food, the fun, the friendship,
> The (fill in the blank, but we say Girl Scout) Family
> ---Another round of da da da (snap snap )--
> A-MEN!

which prompted this reply:
From: Mr Richard Winterstein

Ah, what the heck. The original doesn't rhyme in the last line, so why should mine. One Lord, one family.

O semper tibi, Domine,
Ab omni dentur homine
Pro coena laeta gratiae.
Tua familia!


From a website of Latin prayers, the page of table blessings is here:

From Sharon (LatinTeach):
and refer to a Cambridge page linked there:

the web page Desideria Desjardins Caron sent (but a quick scan reveals some editing trouble, so caveat lector):