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Thanksgiving is a time of giving thanks and gathering with close friends and family. As you gather around the table, gratitude flows easily as everyone looks back on the year and what they are thankful for. A Thanksgiving blessing has become a common occurrence for this holiday. Regardless of religion, holding hands and saying a blessing at the table is as likely as pumpkin pie for dessert.
For those who have never said a blessing before, this could be overwhelming. Often the host or patriarch of the family will say a blessing to everyone. Blessings do not have to be complicated, the best blessings come from the heart, are meaningful and relatable to all. A blessing is basically a short prayer before a meal, often known as, saying grace. Here are some tips for saying a Thanksgiving blessing.
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Types of Thanksgiving Blessing
Most people associate blessings with certain religions as “saying Grace”. The term comes from the Ecclesiastical Latin phrase gratiarum actio, “act of thanks.” In Christian theology, the act of saying grace is derived from the Bible, in which Jesus and Saint Paul pray before meals. For those that are religious and practice in their daily lives, a blessing may come easily.
Each religion has its own way of thanking God and the gifts they are receiving. Religions have their own traditions and prayers to be said during a blessing. Saying grace and offering a blessing to the food that is about to be consumed sanctifies the meal.
While that may be where blessings started, that does not mean a Thanksgiving blessing has to be religious. It’s surprisingly easy to give a non-religious blessing. This type of Thanksgiving blessing does not have to mention God or any religion and should come from the heart. When you are saying your blessing, speak your truth and what you are thankful for in addition to what you want to be thankful for.
This also opens the door for anyone else to give a blessing. It does not matter if people have different beliefs, everyone can agree that it feels good to be thankful and express gratitude for what you have. In addition to being thankful for those around you and the food, you are about to consume. No matter how you say a Thanksgiving blessing when you say it from the heart and your guests know it is meaningful.
Another route to go with a Thanksgiving blessing is to do a group blessing. This takes the pressure off the host and can be a way to involve everyone. With a group blessing, one person will start it off to set the stage. This can be a round table style of everyone saying something they are grateful for in their lives, what they are thankful for on the table or can even be something that they are thankful for that they want to happen.
This is a wonderful way to get all of your guests involved and let everyone have their moment. So often, we are busy in our day to day lives, that we forget to be thankful and give gratitude. This way, everyone has a chance to say a Thanksgiving blessing if they want it. Plus it is easy to piggyback off the person who went before you as they might bring up something that is meaningful to you.
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How to Create a Blessing
First, start with a touch to the person sitting next to you. Often we hold hands during a blessing as it brings everyone together in a circle and are connected as one for those moments. If you don’t want to hold hands you can touch the person’s arm or shoulder instead. Touch is an instant way to bring everyone around the table together without saying a word.
Next state what you are thankful for. Although this may sound like a simple thing, it is not always easy to think of what you may be thankful on the spot. If you know you will be saying the blessing it might be helpful to think of a few things you are thankful ahead of time. Remember what you are thankful for doesn’t have to be anything huge, it can be as simple as being thankful for the weather, being able to spend time together, or the holiday itself.
Follow up by stating what you are thankful for that everyone has in common around the table. This can be those gathered together to celebrate the holiday, common friends, and family, a recent blessing. Is there a new baby in the family, a recent promotion, marriage, or even someone who has overcome a health issue? In addition, you can also bless the food and what you are surrounded by, family, friends, good fortune, health, etc.
You can also can add on any future blessings that would benefit the entire group. Such as a safe trip back home, a fruitful year ahead, and the nourishment of the food. Conclude with a simple “Amen” or Thank You at the end of your blessing. Remember, a blessing does not have to be formal or religious to have meaning.
Being thankful for what you have and what the future holds transpires across all religious and non-religious secs. Everyone feels good when they are thanked and are grateful for the things they have now and in the future. Thanksgiving blessings are a simple way to join all guests together and create unity before enjoying the meal.
Thanksgiving is not only a time to gather with those closest to you. It is also a time of reflection and to give thanks for what you have. A Thanksgiving blessing is one way to bring those together while giving thanks for what you have. A blessing is a way to bring everyone together while sharing common gratitude at Thanksgiving.
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