Graces

A significant portion of these Graces and Toasts have been provided by Bro. Robin Carson, The Most Worshipful Grand Chaplain (2012)

General Graces

The graces in this section should be suitable for just about any occasion.


Almighty God, we thank You for this food, and for the harmony within this company of brothers. Grant us the strength and the courage to do Your work through our work.
Thank You for this food, O God. Just as it provides sustenance for our bodies, Your word provides sustenance to our spirits.  Amen
                                     

In the presence of The Great Architect, let us be grateful for this food, and more especially for the brotherhood that brings us together to enjoy it. Let us give thanks for this abundance, but remain ever mindful of those who are without.  Amen
                                     

Father of us all, we ask for harmony at this table, and peace for the world we live in. Bless this food to our use that we might always remember those who do without.  Amen
                                     

Almighty Father, we earnestly seek Your blessing on us, and on this food. Grant us the building of happy memories together, and grant that through our work, we might have some small effect for good in an increasingly troubled world.  Amen
                                     

O God, keep us ever thankful for the many blessings you have bestowed upon us: for food, for friends and for fellowship. Grant, too, that we may always carry into our lives the lessons taught to us in our work as Masons; and so, in some small way, make the world a little better.  Amen
                                     

Help us to be good men, Almighty God, and to use the many gifts You bestow upon us, such as this food and this fellowship, to Your use and glory.  Amen
                                     

Almighty Father, we thank You for providing food for this table, and sustenance for our hearts. May we use the food You give us to build the strength we need to live our lives in the ways we know we should, both as men, and as Masons.  Amen
                                     

O God, we thank You for this evening of fellowship. We thank You for our time of work together, and ask that our efforts might be reflected in our day-to-day lives. We also thank You for this food, and this time of refreshment together.  Amen
                                     

Look with favour upon this gathering of brothers, Almighty Father. Grant us harmony both at this table, and when we are away from it. Let us remember those in the world who have neither food nor peace, as we give thanks that you have blessed us with both.  Amen
                                     

Almighty Father, we earnestly seek your blessing on us, and on this food. Grant us the building of happy memories together, and grant that we might have some small effect for good in an increasingly troubled world.  Amen
                                     

O God, we gather together in Your name in the hope of becoming better men. Grant that the work we have done this evening might advance us toward that goal, and accept our heartfelt thanks for this food and fellowship we are about to enjoy.  Amen
                                     

O God, we thank You that we are able to be here tonight: that You have given us the health and the means to be together as brothers. We thank You for this night’s work, and we thank You for this food and fellowship.  Amen
                                     

O God, we thank You for this evening of fellowship. We thank You for our time of work together, and ask that our efforts might be reflected in our day-to-day lives. We also thank You for this food, and this time of refreshment together.  Amen
                                     

O God, we thank You that our various paths have brought us together here in harmony this evening. We thank You, too, for this food, and for the fellowship we share. May this evening’s work and refreshment make us better instruments of Your will.  Amen
                                     

We thank You, O God, for giving us companionship when so many are lonely; and for food when so many of Your children are hungry. Grant that our hearts might rejoice in the bounty You provide us; but keep us ever mindful of those who are without.  So mote it be.
                                     

GAOTU, we thank You that our various paths have brought us together here in harmony this evening. We thank You, too, for this food, and for the fellowship we share. May this evening’s work and refreshment make us better instruments of Your will.  So mote it be.
                                     

O God, keep us ever thankful for the many blessings you have bestowed upon us: for food, for friends and for fellowship. Grant, too, that we may always carry into our lives the lessons taught to us in our work as Masons; and so, in some small way, make the world a little better.  So mote it be.

Variations on a Theme

If there is a grace you like, whether it is one of these, or one of your own, it is easy to make changes to it for another Festive Board. Here are two I wrote, and the second one is just a shorter version of the first.


O God, we thank You bringing us together in harmony this evening. We thank You for the work we have done, and for the food and fellowship we now share. Grant that we may bring brotherly love to this table; relief to those who need it; and truth to every aspect of our lives.  Amen
                                     

O God, we thank You bringing us together this evening. We thank You for the work we have done, and for the fellowship we share. We thank You, too, O God for this food, and for this company of brothers. Amen

The Seasons

Autumn

Almighty God, we thank You for yet another Autumn together as brothers. Let us always remember You both at labour and at leisure as we meet together to seek light in this coming season of darkness. More especially, we thank You both for this food, and for the fellowship of the evening. Grant us the harmony of this night in all our coming days.  Amen
                                     

Winter

Brethren, as we enter Winter, the season of darkness and cold, let us give thanks to God for the warmth we share this evening: warmth that keeps the cold away, and warmth in the fellowship we feel. Let us also give thanks for the food we eat together.
May that warmth and food remind us, though, of those who have neither; and let our prayers always include the poor, the destitute, and those who struggle with their lives. May God bless them, as he has blessed us.  Amen
                                     

Spring I

Almighty God, we thank You for lengthening days and the return of birds as we celebrate another Spring together as brothers. We remember You as you return the light after our long season of darkness.
More especially, we thank You both for this food, and for the fellowship of the evening. Thank You for the sustenance, and for the harmony we share.  Amen
                                     

Spring II

As we leave behind the darkness and cold of Winter, let us give thanks to God for the cordiality and fellowship we enjoy today. Let us also give thanks for this food we share together.
May God give us fond memories of those who cannot be with us today, grant us stillness in the midst of turmoil, and peace during our lonely moments. God bless our table, and God bless us all.  Amen

Degrees and Installations

 First Degree

Almighty Father, we thank you for this gathering of brothers, both old and new. We thank you for the food we are about to eat, and the harmony we share. Help us to bring brotherly love and truth to all those we touch, and relief to those who need it. Amen
                                                  

We thank you, O God, that we are able to extend the gift of enlightenment to him who seeks it, and who now joins us as a Master Mason. We thank you too for those brothers who presented this work on behalf of us all, and did so with dedication.
Bless this food, O God, that we may partake of it in harmony, and leave here refreshed and willing to do Your will.  Amen
                                                  

Almighty Father, we thank you for our newest brothers who join us at this Festive Board for the first time. Grant that they might be regular partakers of both the work we do, and of the harmony we share when the work is done.
Bless, O God, this food and this company. Keep us ever mindful of the brotherhood we share, that we might become better members of our society.
Amen
                                                  

GAOTU, we thank You for the work we have done this evening, and for our newest brother whom we welcome gladly to this Festive Board. We thank You for the harmony we share, for the food before us, and for the many other blessings You have bestowed upon us.  Amen

Second Degree

Almighty God, grant us Thy blessing this evening as we celebrate the continuing progress of our newest brethren toward the Light. Grant that the work we have done might provide each of us the direction we seek, and that the food we eat might help to sustain us, as we all continue our several journeys. Make us always thankful for Your help along our way.  Amen
                                                  

O Merciful God, bless us as we celebrate yet another step that our newest brethren have taken toward the Light. Bless this food, O God, and bless this happy gathering of brothers.  Amen

Third Degree

Even in death, we find renewal, Almighty Father. In darkness, we find light. Among strangers, we recognize brothers. Like this food, these are great gifts, O God; and we thank you for them with all our hearts.  So mote it be.
                                                  

Most High, bless this company with Your presence as we gather in fellowship to celebrate the new Master Masons among us. Bless, too, the food we are about to eat, the harmony we share, and the prospects of bringing Your goodness into our lives.  Amen

Installation

Great Architect, Creator of All, grant thy blessing on the new officers of this lodge, its members, and all those who visit it. Bring us harmony both at labour and at refreshment, bless this food we enjoy tonight, and keep us ever mindful of those who need our help.  Amen
                                                  

O Great Architect, grant the blessing of light to the officers of this lodge, both old and new, to its members, and to all those who visit it.
Bring us harmony both at labour and at refreshment in the year ahead.
Bless this food we enjoy tonight, and keep us ever mindful of our lesson at the NE angle of the Lodge.  Amen

A December Installation

Almighty Father, at this darkest time of the year, bless the new officers of this lodge, and grant them the light they need to help it to prosper in brotherhood.
Bless, too, both its members, and all those come as visitors; and grant us harmony both at labour and at refreshment. On this cold night, bless this food and this company, and keep us ever mindful of those in need.  Amen

For Those in Need

These graces are intended to be examples of how to incorporate the need to remember a Brother or their family in the moment of quiet just before a Festive Board. The grace remains the same, but the introduction to it requests thought and prayer for those who need it.
                                                  

Before we ask God’s blessing on our food, and on our company, let us take a moment to remember our recently departed Brothers, V. W. Bro. Name, and W. Bro. Name. Let us also remember their families in our prayers, especially their wives who have lost their life companions.
O God, be with us as we join together to partake of the bounty you have given us. Bless this assembly of Brothers, grant that we may be thankful for how much we have, and make us ever mindful of those who have nothing. Grant too, that we, through our work as Masons, might always build according to Thy will.  Amen
                                                  

Brethren,
Before we begin our meal, let us pause a moment and remember in our hearts and prayers RW Bro. Name, District Deputy Grand Master of our Name District, who is in hospital. Let us also remember those who love him, and their distress at his illness.
Bless this food, Almighty Father, that as it gives us nourishment for the body, so we might realize the nourishment for our minds and hearts that Your Word provides. Strengthen us in the days to come, and help us always to choose the path of goodness provided by our Masonic work.  Amen
                                                  

Almighty Father, we would ask you to bestow Your grace on W. Brother Name and his family during this time of grief and trial. Grant them peace, and healing through happy memories of their recently departed mother and grandmother.
And help us to be good men, Almighty God, and to use the many gifts You bestow upon us, such as this food and this fellowship, to Your use and glory.  Amen
                                                  

Brethren,

Let us remember our brothers who are in care, or in hospital, and cannot be with us this evening. Let us bring to mind RWBro. Name, in hospital with pneumonia; WBro. Name, who is in continuing care, and who recently lost his son; and RWBro. Name, who is in continuing care, and now must grieve the loss of Name, his wife.
Keep these valued brothers in Your care, O God, and in our thoughts and prayers.Help us to be good men, Almighty God, and to use the many gifts You bestow upon us, such as this food and this fellowship, to Your use and glory.  Amen

Special Occasions

Thanksgiving Day

In this case, with a visit from the Grand Master.
                                                  

Almighty God, we thank You that we have so much. On this Thanksgiving Day, we thank you for this food, and for this company of our brothers. We thank you, too, for the work and energy that our Grand Master and his officers devote to the care and improvement of our brotherhood, and through those efforts, to the betterment of the world as a whole.
Here, in the midst of our own plenty, O God, we would also ask You to assist those who have little or nothing, and to keep us ever mindful of Your children in distress.  Amen

                                                  

A Visit by the Grand Master

Almighty God, we thank You for this food, and for the company of our brothers. We thank you, too, for the work and effort that our Grand Master and his officers devote to the care and improvement of our brotherhood, and thereby, to the betterment of those whose lives we touch.
Through You, O God, we have much; keep us ever mindful of those who have little. We have much to be thankful for, and we would ask You to help us remember that.  Amen
                                                  

We thank you God for this evening of fellowship and brotherhood. Grant us the strength to apply what we know of goodness to a world that so frequently forgets it. Bless our Grand Lodge and its officers who work untiringly on our behalf. And bless this food to our use, and this assembly to thy will.  Amen
                                                  

At Lodge in a Masonic Museum

A grace can be especially written for a special occasion in the lodge, such as an outdoor lodge, or a joint meeting.

O God, as we gather here where the past meets the present, keep us mindful of our ancient roots and of the great lessons to be learned from that past. You have given us light, O God; may You now bless us, and the food we are about to eat, and grant that we might share that light with others.  Amen

                                                  

A District Meeting Luncheon

Almighty God, You have blessed us with food to eat, and the good company of our brothers. Grant that we may honour these gifts with gratitude in our hearts, and actions governed by Thy guidance, both today, and as we live the days to come. Amen

A Grace by Another

Brethren, on behalf of us all, I offer this brief Grace written by an anonymous English Mason:
Bless us O Lord and these Your gifts, which we are about to receive of Your kindness, and keep us mindful of those in want. So mote it be.

Remembrance Day

Brethren,
Let us remember with thanks the men and women who have, and still do, honour us by pledging their lives to help us live in peace in the Canada we all love. They have fought so that we do not have to, and it is right and proper that we never forget them.O God, be with us as we sit together to share the abundance of food and friendship You have given us. Bless us here tonight, and bless us as we return to our daily lives. Bless, too, this food; and make us ever mindful of the lesson of charity we learned at the rough ashlar.  Amen
                                                  

Let us think quietly for a moment of those men and woman who have offered, and offer now their very lives for those principles of Good which we all hold so dear. Let us offer deepest thanks for their unflagging bravery as we remember them now.
Almighty God, we offer You thanks for the safety and warmth of this gathering. May the fellowship of this Festive Board pervade our lives, and may the food we eat together in harmony bind us in that fellowship.  Amen

Widows’ Brunch

Our lodge honours the widows of members who have passed to the GLA at several functions. These graces are intended for those occasions.

O God, bless us all at this special meal, but most especially bless and comfort, with happy memories of a good life, those who have lost their life-companions.
We thank You for this food, and for this time together, and ask that
You grant us peace and comfort this day, and every day.  Amen
                                                  

O God, we thank you for our being together at this special meal. We ask you to bless the food we are about to eat, to bless us, and to bless all our loved ones, but especially those who can only be with us in spirit today.
Grant us peace and comfort this day, and every day.  Amen
                                                  

We also honour the widows of Passed members with a mid-winter tea, and here is a grace suitable for such an event.

As we leave behind the darkness and cold of Winter, let us give thanks to God for the cordiality and fellowship we enjoy today. Let us also give thanks for this food we share together.
May God give us fond memories of those who cannot be with us today, grant us stillness in the midst of turmoil, and peace during our lonely moments. God bless our table, and God bless us all.  Amen

                                                  

Ladies’ Night

Like many lodges, our lodge has a Ladies’ Night. These graces are intended to honour those women who must put up with men who are “off to lodge”.

Thank You, God, for this special evening, for the food we are about to eat, and for the companionship we enjoy. We thank You, too, most especially, for the women in our lives who grace and adorn us with their presence. Bless them especially, both those who are with us tonight, and those who cannot be present.  Amen.
                                                  

O God, we thank You for blessing us with this happy gathering this evening. For though we are a society of men, we would be so very much less without the women in our lives, and we thank You for such a wonderful gift. Bless, O Lord, our wives and companions, both here with us tonight, and those who are absent. Bless, too, all the women in our lives: the mothers, sisters, daughters and friends.
Additionally, grant Your blessing, O God, on the food we are about to eat, and on the companionship of this assembly.  Amen.
                                                  

Almighty God, You have blessed us all with the women we know.
Women have given us life, patiently raised and taught us, and, for the men here tonight, have become fast companions who share both our joys, and our secret tears.
We thank You for bringing us here tonight to celebrate the women we know, and how they have shaped us with their love.
We also thank You for this food, and for the warmth of this gathering.  Amen.

Graces by Others

There is nothing wrong with using graces that you find in books, or online. It is my habit, though, when I use one of those, to acknowledge the source at the beginning with a statement like, “Brethren, tonight I offer a grace composed by Ralph Waldo Emerson,” or something similar.

Here are seven good ones.
                                                  

From The Freemason website

Give us grace, O Lord, 
to be ever thankful for Thy providence, 
with hearts always ready
to provide for the needs of others.
                                                  

O Thou who kindly dost provide
For every creature’s want!
We bless Thee, God of nature wide,
For all Thy goodness lent;
And, if it please Thee, Heavenly Guide,
May never worse be sent;
But whether granted, or denied,
Lord, bless us with content!

Robert Burns (1759 – 1796)
                                                  

Blessing to God, forever blest.
To God the master of the feast,
Who hath for us a table spread,
and with his daily bounties fe(e)d;
May He with all his gifts impart,
the crown of all – a thankful heart.

Charles Wesley (1707-88)
                                                  

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882)
                                                  

God, our Father, in a world where many are lonely, we thank You for friendship.
In a world where many are despairing, we thank You for hope.
In a world that many find meaningless, we thank You for faith.
In a world where many are hungry, we thank You for this food.

Anonymous
                                                  

Architect of Heaven and earth,
Giving all new worlds their birth,
Condescend to hear us raise
Deeply grateful words of praise
For this food and drink tonight,
Given by You for our delight.
And help us, Lord, by word and deed
To give our help to those in need.

Anonymous
                                                  

From The Good Companions Lodge No.6005, East Lancashire:

We thank Thee, Architect Above,
For this good food and brotherly love.
Relief for all in need we pray,
Thy Truth, our aid from day to day.

Writing a Grace

The best grace is one you would compose yourself that fits the occasion for which you need it. Let me offer a few tips.

  1. Begin the grace with an invocation, either to the MH, or to the Brethren themselves. Here are two examples:
    “O God, as we are gathered here . . . .”, or
    “Brethren, on this special occasion, let us ask the MH to . . . .”
    Doing this both gives a focus to what you are about to say, and gets the attention of the Brethren.
  2. Create the body for the grace. Here, you should offer thanks for the company and the food; but it is also an opportunity to mention those in need, or the special occasion for which the grace is written. There are lots of examples of how to do this throughout the booklet.
  3. Last, close the grace with some sort of conclusion. For example,
    “So let us take with us the harmony we feel this evening in order to .  . .”, or
    “As You have nourished us this evening, so give us the strength to . . . .”

Festive Board Prayer

Almighty Father, Supreme Governor of the universe, we thank Thee for this evening. Tonight we call three amongst us BROTHERS for the first time.
Assist us, guide our feet to travel the indented pavement so that we all feel safe in your hand.
Amen.

Oh Lord, My God, is there anything that you won’t do for us?

Keep us safe, healthy and happy in this troubled world.
Thank you for the blessings of this Brotherhood and the evening we are about to enjoy.
Keep our minds clear, our bodies fit and our devotions pure.
Amen.

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