Why "bless" the food?

My MIL always says the blessing, and calls it such, but she never asks for a blessing! Her prayer is always one of thanksgiving or petition. When she forgot to mention her husband’s birthday in her prayer and was teased, I took the opportunity to tease her for not asking for a blessing on the food, either. She told me she thinks it is a stupid idea to think that food needs a blessing.

Why do we do this? Can anyone give me any further info (from history and/or the Bible) on saying blessings over our food?

Yes, a little weird to say, “Let’s bless this food”, but never really ask for the blessing…

Here in the good ol south…this is how it goes…

Lord we ask you to bless this food for the nourishment of our bodies, in Jesus’ name…Amen.

Now, that’s how you end the prayer…oops…blessing of food.

Maybe MIL is confused?

BTW, everything needs blessing!!! :rolleyes:

We always had the standard growing up:
Bless Us O Lord, for these thy gifts which we are about to receive from thy bounty, through Christ Our lord, AMEN.

My MIL was raised as Charasmatic Protestant and now is non-denominational.

This has always really struck me as odd (saying, “I’m going to say the blessing” then not saying a blessing) because saying a blessing before eating is one of the most universal prayers between practically every religion. When she said she thought it was stupid, I was taken aback. I realized I didn’t have any type of a reason on why we do it. I figured I would look for guidance here from those more learned than myself.

An incident in the life of Saint Benedict, as taken from the following website: monksofadoration.org/tabmar95.html

Among his many miraculous works St. Benedict was known for a profound veneration of the holy Cross. Through the Sign of the Cross he worked many miracles and exercised power over demons. There is the famous story of someone poisoning St. Benedict’s wine. When he made the Sign of the Cross over the glass it broke harmlessly spilling out its deadly contents.

Another, more colorful version of the story can be found at this second website:


He [St. Benedict] told the brothers plainly that there were many comforts they must put away, and above all that they must eat less and work more.

Now the brothers did not like this at all, and they began to repent that they had asked so great a saint to come and rule over them, for he made their rule so hard and strict, that few of them cared to keep it.

Then one day a strange thing happened. The brothers were all dining together, and Benedict was silently eating his portion, his thoughts far away in the little mountain cell at Subiaco, when some one touched his arm and offered him a cup of wine. Benedict turned and looked searchingly into the brother’s face, and then with upraised hand made the sign of the cross over the cup. Instantly it fell broken to the ground, and the wine was spilt upon the floor, for there had been poison in the cup, which the holy sign had destroyed.

Then Benedict looked round at the company of brothers, who sat with downcast eyes, ashamed and silent, and, without a word, he rose and left them. He returned, alone as he had come, back to his mountain home, where instead of human voices there was the song of the birds, where the wild flowers looked at him with pure, friendly faces, and even the wild animals did not count him their enemy and would do him no harm.

The blessing I use is:

Bless us, O Lord, and these your gifts
which we are about to receive from
your goodness.
Through Christ our Lord.

Just as the previous post spoke of St. Benedict’s blessing saving him from poison, so now with generic alterations and pesticides and a whole host of other sources of contaimination of our food, we stand in need of our food being blessed so as to be acceptable to provide glory and honour to our God who provided it and His servants who partake of it.
Also we live in an imperfect world, which is imperfect as we are imperfect and as we need God’s touch or blessing as it is called to move toward perfection, so does our food.

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