Church of the Incarnation
Blessings for an Agape Meal
The following prayers can be spoken over your meal in your home. They are taken from the “Book of Occasional Services,” of the Episcopal Church which notes:
The celebration of festal meals is not appropriate during Holy Week. In Christian tradition such festivities take place only after the Lenten fast has been completed by the celebration of the Great Vigil–which is the Passover Feast of Christians. If it is desired to share a meal after the Maundy Thursday liturgy, the following order may be observed.
A meatless meal is to be preferred. The setting should be austere and the foods sparse and simple. Appropriate foods include soup, cheese, olives, dried fruit, bread, and wine….The following blessings are recited at the beginning of the meal, all standing.
These blessings are usually spoken after a celebration of Holy Eucharist on Maundy Thursday. But since we cannot gather for Holy Eucharist, or to share an agape meal at this time, I encourage you to use these prayers not as an imitation or a substitute for the sacrament, but as a reminder that all the things of God are created holy, and it is through sacramental living–that is holy living–that we better see the sacramental nature of all of life.
Blessed are you, O Lord our God, Ruler of the universe. You create the fruit of the vine; and you refresh us with the cup of salvation in the Blood of your Son Jesus Christ. May the time come quickly when we can share that cup again, even as you are with us now in our very thirst for you. Glory to you for ever and ever. Amen.
Blessed are you, O Lord our God, Ruler of the universe. You bring forth bread from the earth; and you have fed us on our way with the bread of life in the Body of your Son Jesus Christ. Let us be fed again soon with that bread of life. And as grain scattered upon the earth is gathered into one loaf, so gather your Church in every place into the kingdom of your Son. To you be glory and power for ever and ever. Amen.
Over the Other Foods
Blessed are you, O Lord our God, Ruler of the universe. You have blessed the earth to bring forth food to satisfy our hunger. Let this food strengthen us in the fast that is before us, that following our Savior in the way of the cross, we may come to the joy of his resurrection. For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory, now and for ever. Amen.