Banquet prayers

Bless us, Oh Lord

Bless us, Oh Lord,
and these thy gifts,
which we are about to receive,
from thy bounty,
through Christ, Our Lord.

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May All Be Fed

May all be fed.
May all be healed.
May all be loved.

– John Robbins

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An Invocation

Loving God, bless all those gathered here today
as we come together in friendship and fellowship.
Thank you for the blessings of our individual
and collective God-given gifts.
Place in our hearts the desire to make a difference
to our families, to our community, to our country,
and to the many cultures and peoples worldwide.
Give us balance in times of distraction and uncertainty.
Help us move towards our goals with determination
and always with an abundant sense of humor.
Thank you for food in a world where many know only hunger;
For our faith in a world where many know fear;
For friends in a world where many know only loneliness.
Please bless this food we are about to share, those who prepared it, those who serve it, 
and those who have worked to make today the special occasion that it is.
For all of this we give you thanks.

– Izola White

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Giving Thanks

For food in a world where many walk in hunger;
For faith in a world where many walk in fear;
For friends in a world where many walk alone;
We give you thanks, O Lord.

– Author Unknown

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Meal Prayer 

Our dear Heavenly Father,
we thank thee for this food.
Feed our souls on the bread of life
and help us to do our part in kind words and loving deeds.
We ask in Jesus’ name.

– Author Unknown

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Humble Hearts

In a world where so many are hungry,
may we eat this food with humble hearts;
in a world where so many are lonely,
May we share this friendship with joyful hearts.

– Author Unknown 

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Bless our Food

Bless us, O God. Bless our food and our drink. 
Since you redeemed us so dearly and delivered us from evil,
as you gave us a share in this food so may you give us a share in eternal life.

– Author Unknown 

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Restore Us

May this food restore our strength, giving new energy to tired limbs, new thoughts to weary minds.                                  May this drink restore our souls, giving new vision to dry spirits, new warmth to cold hearts.
And once refreshed, may we give new pleasure to you, who gives us all.

– Author Unknown 

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Bless this Food

Blessed are you, Lord our God,
maker of heaven and earth
and Father of all your people:
we give you glory for your goodness
and for your loving care for us.

Bless this food
and grant that all who eat it
may be strong in body
and grow in your love.

Blessed are you, Lord our God,
for ever and ever.

– Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, A Book of Blessings, 156.

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May we eat Well

Blessed are you, Lord God, king of the universe:
you raised your beloved son from the dead,
and made him Lord of all.
We turn to you in prayer
and ask you to bless us
and this food you have given us.
Help us to be generous toward others,
and to work with them so that they too may eat well.

Loving Father,
may we all celebrate together
around your table in heaven.
We praise you and give you glory
through Christ our Lord.

– Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, A Book of Blessings, 178.

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Praise be to You

Loving Father,
we thank you for bringing us together for this meal:
may we continue to live in your friendship
and in harmony with one another.
Bless this food,
a sign of your loving care for us,
and bless us in our daily lives.
Bless your church throughout the world,
and all those who seek to do your will today.

Father of mercy,
all praise be to you
through Jesus Christ our savior,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

– Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, A Book of Blessings, 181.

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We are Grateful 

Lord God and giver of all good gifts,
we are grateful as we pause before this meal,
for all the blessings of life that you give to us.
Daily, we are fed with good things,
nourished by friendship and care,
feasted with forgiveness and understanding.
And so, mindful of your continuous care,
we pause to be grateful
for the blessings of this table.                                                                                                                                                          May your presence
be the extra taste to this meal
which we eat in the name of your son, Jesus.

– Edward Hays

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Food as a Symbol

Earth maker and Lord of all creation,
we are mindful that this food before us
has already been blessed by the sun, earth and rain.
We pause to be grateful
for the hidden gifts of life in this food.

Bless our eyes and taste
so that we may eat this food
in a holy and mindful manner.

We lift up this bread;
may it be food and symbol
for all of us who shall eat it.

– Edward Hays

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Picnic or Barbeque

Lord Jesus, our brother,
be with us today.
Bless our happy gathering,
and bless this meal that we share.
Protect us all,
and help us to grow in your love.
Lord Jesus,
we praise your holy name for ever.

 – Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, A Book of Blessings, 179.

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Banquet Prayer 

Lord Jesus,
we are your brothers and sisters,
and we gather here in your name.
In your love, give us your blessing,
and bless this food for us.
Help us to grow in your love,
and work with you to build up the kingdom of God.

– Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, A Book of Blessings, 182.

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For the Good of All

May we be strong in virtue
firm in time of trouble,
and always ready to help others in time of need.

May we be blessed by God
as we share this food
and as we work and live together
for the good of all.

– Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, A Book of Blessings, 183.

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For Wonderful Gifts

Father of mercy,
we praise you and give you glory
for the wonderful gifts you have given us:
for life and health, for faith and love,
and for this meal we have shared together.

we thank you through Christ our Lord.

– Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, A Book of Blessings, 186.

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Grace After Meals 

Father, for our food
we thank you, and for our joys:
help us love you more.

– Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, A Book of Blessings, 186.

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Thanks for Family and Friends

Blessed are you, loving Father,
for all your gifts to us.
Blessed are you for giving us family and friends
to be with us in times of joy and sorrow,
to help us in days of need,
and to rejoice with us in moments for celebration.

we praise you for your son Jesus,
who knew the happiness of family and friends,
and in the love of your Holy Spirit.
Blessed are you for ever and ever.

– Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, A Book of Blessings, 271.

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Evening Meal 

We have come to the last meal of this day,
to our supper meal.
Let us be mindful of how our Lord,
at such a meal as this,
washed his friends’ feet
in an act of holy service.
As this food is about to serve us as nourishment,
may we also serve one another.
May the seal of God’s love rest upon this food
and upon this day now drawing to a close.
May we and our gifts of food
be under the tent of God’s peace.

– Edward Hays

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Blessings of God

The day is coming to a close,
and, like the disciples on the road to Emmaus,
we pause to break bread together.
May our eyes be opened,
and, in this act of common sharing,
may we see the risen Lord in one another.
May we see the Lord of Life in our food,
our conversation and lives shared in common.
May the blessing of God,
his peace and love,
rest upon our table.

– Edward Hays

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God is Great

God is great, God is good.
Let us thank him for our food.
By his hands, we are fed.
Let us thank him for our bread.

– Author Unknown

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Beloved Stranger

Dear and beloved stranger,
Please eat this food with us
that we may all be nourished.
Please share this walk with us
that we may all know nature’s peace.
Please rest in this warm house
that we may come to know each other.
Please sleep under these soft blankets
that we may all know safety.
Please pray this prayer
that all our names of God
may guide us on.

– Christina Baldwin

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Make Us Worthy, Lord

Make us worthy, Lord, to serve our fellow men
throughout the world who live and die in poverty and hunger.

Give them through our hands this day their daily bread,
and by our understanding love, give peace and joy.

– Mother Teresa

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Traditional Blessing

For food that stays our hunger,
For rest that brings us ease,
For homes where memories linger,
We give our thanks for these.

– Author Unknown 

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Sufi Meal Prayer

O Thou,
the Sustainer of
our bodies, hearts, and souls,
Bless all
that we thankfully

– Inayat Kahn

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Easter Table Prayer

Creator God and Lord of Life,
You who call forth from the darkness of death
all those who love You,
we rejoice, on this Easter Sunday,
in the resurrection from the dead
of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Visit our home and this table
with Your bright blessing of peace and life.
We pause in the midst of this prayer
to remember all the holy dead of our family
who live now in You and who await
the final and glorious resurrection of the dead.

Pause for silent reflection to remember those who have died.

May they and we,
because of our faith in You, our God,
taste in the victory of life over death.
May the Risen Christ, our Lord and Savior,
be our guest as we celebrate His resurrection
with this Easter Sunday dinner.
Bless those whose work to prepare this meal
has truly been a work of prayer,
and bless all of us who shall share it
with Easter love and joy.

May You, then, bless this table and this food,
and each of us
in Your holy name.


– Edward Hays, “Prayers for the Domestic Church: A Handbook for Worship in the Home”

Be present at our table, Lord,
Be here and everywhere adored.
Thy people bless, and grant that we
may feast in paradise with thee.


Banquet invocation prayers are offered at communal gatherings and banquets around the world and can address a variety of issues, such as the completion of a fundraising drive or an upcoming election, according to Some banquet invocation prayers tell stories, and these prayers usually vocalize a theme of “thanksgiving.”

A banquet invocation prayer is generally led by a religious cleric, such as a priest or rabbi. The cleric might read from a text, recite a passage or just simply say a few lines before everyone enjoys the banquet meal. Teachers and coaches are also known to give banquet invocation prayers. A banquet is generally for a specific event or cause, and the banquet invocation prayer often asks for the event or cause to be blessed.

Fall 2018
Men: GB#124 September 6-9, 2018 (Ron Kennedy)

Women: GB#125 September 20-23, 2018 (Dianne Lehner)

What is Great Banquet?
The Gospel of Luke presents the parable of the Great Banquet. Jesus tells of a master who prepared a great banquet and invited many guests, saying “Come, for everything is now ready.” After so many excuses for not attending by his invited guests, the master became angry and ordered his servants, “Go quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.”

After this had been done and still room remained, the master told his servant, “Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full.” Then, as additional invitations were given, the banquet was presented to his guests. The result of the master’s invitation was to feast and fellowship at a banquet given by God. (Luke 14: 15-24)

What Happens at the Great Banquet?
The Great Banquet is a 72-hour experience, beginning on Thursday evening and ending Sunday evening. For three days, guests live and study together in a worshipful time of singing, prayer and discussion. During each of the fifteen talks given by laity and clergy, the theme of God’s grace is presented. Guests participate in the daily celebration of Holy Communion and examine more fully the presence of Christ in His body of believers. They personally experience His grace through the prayers and acts of a loving, Christian support community.

Click here for Great Banquet Application

Application Instructions

Ways to Support the Weekend:

72 hour prayer Vigil
Support the weekend with your prayers!

Meal Servers

Make it a party! Bring some table decorations, a little agape and have a good time! Please note: Parents/Sponsors of sleepers should not serve until Sunday. 8 servers needed per meal.

Please remember, events taking place at East Bay Camp are for adults and youth who have attended a Fourth Day (Banquet, Emmaus, Cursillo) or Awakening weekend. Children (and others who have not attended a weekend) should not be at weekend events to serve meals, attend registration, candlelight or closing. However a great way to get the kids (and others) involved is to have them attend the dedications and make weekend agape.

General Conference Room Agape letters

Let our guests and team know how you have been praying for them and offering up sacrificial acts of agape on their behalf!Set-up/Clean Up4:30 pm Wednesday before the weekend 4:00 pm – 1 hour after Closing

Gut Bucket Band 7:30 PM, Saturday
Bring a costume (or we will provide a silly hat!)  sing a song, provide entertainment(?) for the weekend.

Candlelight Worship 8:30 PM, Saturday

Join us for community worship, as we lift up each guest and team in prayer, celebrate communion & reconnect with one another.

* Help with set-up at 7:00 pm

Closing Worship 5:00 PM, Sunday
Hear how God has changed lives in 72 hours!

Make a Banner!
We are in need of new banners to share on the weekends. A great reunion group project!

Agape Gifts

All those cute little gifts can make a BIG impact. Plan on 60-70 gifts per weekend.

Gracious Father in heaven,

We pause at this moment to remember that you are the source of our lives and blessings. We praise you for each day of life and for the beauty of our reunion here.

Bring to our celebration joyful thoughts and laughter over memories of high school days, of achievements past, and challenges overcome.

We humbly remember those of our number who have passed on ahead of us and are mindful of their contributions to our lives and world.

What gift can we bring this night but our grateful thanksgivings for the daily bread that sustains us and for the food and festivity we share here. As we rekindle the ties that bind us together we thank you, O God, for your loving kindness which is fresh each morning, and for your grace given in Jesus Christ. It is in his name we pray and live and create our tomorrows. Amen.

(Courtesy of Rev. Gary Brooks, First United Methodist Church, Great Bend, KS

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