When families gather for meals, they are nourished with more than the food placed before them. Mealtime is a time to be nourished with the companionship of people as well. Both the food we share and the people with whom we share it are gifts from God. So it is fitting that we pause at mealtime to offer thanks and praise to God. This collection of prayers echoes the Scripture-yet another source of God's sustenance-of the church year. From Advent to Ordinary Time, from the Solemnity of St. Joseph to the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, families will be reminded of the link between the dining room table and the eucharistic table.
Fr. Michael Kwatera, OSB, Ph.D., is Director of Liturgy and Director of Oblates for Saint John's Abbey, Collegeville, Minnesota. He is a teacher and the author of several Liturgical Press books, including Come to the Feast: Liturgical Theology of, by, and for Everybody.
Authentic spirituality and religious community may well begin at home. Perhaps it even begins at table where we share good food. How else can we `know him' but in the `breaking of the bread'? With family meal time now an endangered practice and individual grazing the current trend, this book invites us back to gathering around the table in gratitude and awareness of God's good gifts. The table blessings offered here echo the Scripture readings of the season and point us into the mystery of the time we celebrate. In this manner of praying to the author of all, we take nothing for granted: not the fruits of the earth, not the weather, not those who labor to bring us these things, nor the cook who sits with us at the table!
Gertrud Mueller Nelson. To Dance with God/Family Ritual and Community Celebration