Grace before meals in public


I’d like to get some opinions on this. I say grace before meals, but I’ve felt uncomfortable at times doing it - making the Sign of the Cross and everything - depending on who I am with. I don’t know why I should feel that way; it seems really pathetic and ungrateful. Usually I will cross myself and say grace anyway, but there have been times when I haven’t. Is that a mortal sin? Is it equivalent to “denying Christ” in a Matthew 10:33 sort of way?


I have been doing it for years, and quite frankly, during that time no one has noticed, commented or paid the slightest attention to me, so I would not spend 10 seconds worrying about it.


I do it with my family. We have actually had people (generally members of the elder generation) come up to us while we are eating and tell us how wonderful it is to see young people witnessing in public. Remember when you pray, you are praying to Christ - not to the other people in the room.


I always do it even in public


Mike, don’t feel bad. I know how you feel about this. It was never something that we were encouraged to do, as children… and so, it’s a bit uncomfortable for me… now, as an adult. You’re not denying Our dear Lord. This is something that we can learn to do, with a little practice.

I am making an effort to get into the habit of crossing myself, in restaurants and saying grace. I think it’s important to let others see that there are people of faith out in the world.

Hang in there, ok. For some of us… it just takes a little more perseverence. Remember how dear St. Peter had to practice and persevere! Our Lord LOVES you! God bless.



I don’t do it around family simply because they are not Catholic. I feel it’s simply enough to thank God for the food without the rubrics. I’ve seen of plenty of other good, wholesome Catholics dive right into a meal without a sign of the cross.

At other times, when I’m alone, I’ll do it because I want to express my religiosity or simply be more reverent. It’s the actual gratefulness I express for the food, though, that makes me feel internally satisfied.


Mike, I used to.

I work for Uncle Sam. Yesterday was our work Christmas Luncheon. I was the only Catholic among 50 people there. A co-worker, Baptist always says the prayer, and “YES”, I do the sign of the cross. Everyone at work knows I am Catholic and it’s not a big deal. I don’t get the hairy eyeball or the stares. In fact, the co worker who always says the prayers at gatherings, will be working with me in my office while our workplace is renovated. He chose to work with me. I enjoy talking to him and he enjoys talking with me. Yes, we do talk about religion, and very respectfully. I call him St. John, and he likes the name. I told him he could bring a picture of Jesus in the garden and hang it next to my St. Michael prayer for our Marines.

However, I will say, if anyone at work objected to what we had on the wall, we would have to take it down. :frowning:

Uncle Sam does not like, nor does he encourage religious practices on his property. I have seen a many Marine silently pray at different official functions. It has never been an issue. If we are out at a restaurant…yes we do pray.

It’s big ocean out there, Mike. We may not agree on the “how” to pray, but we do agree on the why. :thumbsup:


I have said Grace all my life and no one batted an evil eye, but did receive many smiles.
Go for it!


I’m not ashamed to pray in a public place, my parents set a wonderful example. This is something that it is important for parents to teach children, then, it becomes part of life :slight_smile:


Our family started saying grace in public about 10 years ago when our daughter was a child. It was weird at first and we did what you are doing now, Mike, sometimes doing it, other times not because of one reason or another. But now we pretty much do it all the time, even if it’s appetizers at the bar watching football. We don’t pray loudly, just loud enough for us to hear each other. The only uncomfortable-ness I still get is when the waiter/waitress stops by to ask if everything is okay or to drop off a drink or something when we’re in the middle of grace. I can feel their discomfort in having to stand there and wait. But, they’ll live long enough to get over it!

Keep doing it when you feel comfortable and I’m sure Christ will grant you the grace to do it when you’re uncomfortable.


Great advice! I agree. My own difficulty with this… would probably be non-existent… had my own parents taught us to say grace in public.

For those who may still be uncomfortable with it… just keep on practicing. “Practice makes perfect!” :smiley:


I’m converting to Catholicism and most of my friends are Protestants, and when we eat together we always say grace, yet - I’m soo afraid to make the Sign of the Cross! Now that is pathetic… lol… I just feel like they’ll stare at me or ask questions and it would just be very new for them… yet I feel bad not doing it, because I always do it at home, and it feels almost like I’m ashamed of my faith :frowning:
I think maybe I should just start, and then it would get easier over time. God knows I’m not “showing off” my praying in public lol cause I’m terrified of it. :frowning: - which isn’t good.


If they ask questions, then explain yourself! :stuck_out_tongue:

That is, just affirm that the sign of the cross signifies your belief not only in the Trinity but the saving power of Christ’s cross! :thumbsup:


I can’t imagine any Protestant friend having a problem with that :wink:


Yes, we say a meal blessing complete with the Sign of the Cross whenever we’re out to eat. And recently, I’ve become more comfortable doing that in front of my recalcitrant, anti-Catholic mother. :thumbsup:

Go for it! :heart:


Puzzleannie’s experience exactly corresponds with mine. Even here in the Baptist buckle of the Bible Belt, no one gives a flip what you do before you eat your Big Mac.



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