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Prayer before and after meals


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#1 Brad D.

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 12:02 PM

Two questions about this Orthodox practice.  

 

1.  Are the prayers before and after the meal, in Orthodoxy, prayed by all present or one person.  Is it always the father?  Or how is it traditionally done, if there is a specific tradition.

 

2.  Why is "Amen" not said in the after-meal thanksgiving?  I see that it is omitted for all three after-meal prayers.



#2 Brad D.

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 12:14 PM

Well, and 3.  Why is the Lord's Prayer not included in the prayer before dinner, but is included in the breakfast and lunch prayers?



#3 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 12:40 PM

I'm not sure that the set mealtime prayers are always used; in the monastery here, they use the troparion of the feast if it's a feast day or just sometimes the Our Father.  At home, we tend to do the same, though we alternative between my saying the prayers in English and my wife saying them in Church Slavonic, but only one of us says them.



#4 Olga

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 12:57 PM

I'm not sure that the set mealtime prayers are always used; in the monastery here, they use the troparion of the feast if it's a feast day or just sometimes the Our Father.  At home, we tend to do the same, though we alternative between my saying the prayers in English and my wife saying them in Church Slavonic, but only one of us says them.

 

During more formal occasions, such as birthdays, namedays, and other celebrations, Russians will sing the Our Father and the troparion of the feast if applicable en masse, if there are guests present who can sing. Which is very frequently the case. :)



#5 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 05:48 PM

Yes, at the monastery here, if it someone's name day, all sing 'Mnogaya Lete' after the troparion.  Young children get a present as well from the hegoumen.



#6 Father David Moser

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Posted 30 August 2013 - 02:12 PM

Two questions about this Orthodox practice.  
 
1.  Are the prayers before and after the meal, in Orthodoxy, prayed by all present or one person.  Is it always the father?  Or how is it traditionally done, if there is a specific tradition.

 

2.  Why is "Amen" not said in the after-meal thanksgiving?  I see that it is omitted for all three after-meal prayers.

 

1. Traditionally the senior person present says the blessing. However, the prayers in the prayerbook are only those that are used by everyone.  They are said (actually sung) by all and then the final blessing is said by the priest or bishop.  Therefore before the meal,  you have the "Our Father" sung and then the priest blesses the food (see Q 2) and after the meal the prayer is sung by all and the priest gives the dismissal.  If there is no priest, the prayer of blessing can be said by the senior person present (in a family that would normally be the father, however, if he is not present then the mother or if she is not there then the eldest child, etc).

 

2. There is no "amen" because there is the presumption that the prayer of blessing follows the communal prayer sung by all and the "amen" comes after that.

 

Example of the above points:

 

Before meal:

All (sung): Our Father, Who art in heaven ...

Priest (or senior person): Christ God, bless the food and  drink of Thy servants for Thou are holy always now and ever and unto the ages of ages.

All (sung): Amen.

 

After meal:

All: We thank thee O Christ our God, that Thou hast satisfied us with Thine earthly gifts. Deprive us not ...

Priest: God is with us through His grace and love for mankind, always now and ever and unto the ages of ages

All: Amen.



#7 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 30 August 2013 - 04:21 PM

One situation that has to be accommodated is when a practising Orthodox is invited to a meal with a friend who is a priest of a heterodox denomination.  It's his house and his table and so his blessing.



#8 Gregory Korbut

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Posted 30 August 2013 - 11:05 PM

One variation I have seen after the "Our Father" is the singing (or chanting):

 

Glory/Both Now, Lord have mercy, 3x, and then

 

If there is a Priest: "Father, Bless", followed by the blessing, and Amen.

If there is no Priest, the people simply continue with "Lord, Bless".  

 

The ending portion without the Priest has always been awkward sounding to me in English, "Gospodi, Blagoslovi" seems to roll off the tongue better (or at least fits the plain chant a bit better).

 

 

Question:  If there is no Priest present, does the senior person recite the blessing as the Priest recites it (Christ God, bless the food and drink...)?  Or is it more appropriate to recite, "Through the prayers of our holy fathers..." per a reader service?


Edited by Gregory Korbut, 30 August 2013 - 11:06 PM.





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