Merry Christmas and happy new year.
Prayer before Christmas Dinner 2012
We are grateful for the many ways we are blessed this night.
In a world where many walk in hunger; we’re blessed to have an abundance of food. And so, may we eat with humble and grateful hearts.
In a world where many walk alone, we're glad to have each other.
At a time when many are in sorrow, having had their children and other loved ones taken from them unexpectedly, we're grateful for this moment of joy and to be together, especially in the light of an extraordinary year.
Having survived a year of illness, we hope that God's compassions never fail us,
and that his mercies are new every morning.
We give thanks for the relief from the sickness of this past year and for the hope of renewed health.
On this night of joy and in this moment of togetherness, we also feel the absence of people we loved.
Let us remember the Christmas celebrations of the past and be grateful for having had them.
Let us soften our hearts and be more compassionate with everyone we meet and be in harmony with one another.
And finally, let's remember the central reason we are here. The beauty of this table tonight is that we gather as people with a wide range of beliefs. Yet whatever we believe, one fact is indisputable:
Jesus Christ, who was born this night, said that the two great commandments that contain the whole law of God are to love your God with your whole heart, with your whole soul, with your whole mind, and with your whole strength. And also to love your neighbor as you love yourself.
So in light of all what we believe, what we have endured and all we face ahead,
may this food restore our strength, giving new energy to tired limbs and new thoughts to weary minds.
May this drink restore our souls, giving new vision to dry spirits and new warmth to cold hearts.
And may this time together restore our souls as we head into a new year with the opportunity to be renewed.