Can you help us bless our wedding dinner?
May 17, 2012 8:20 AM   Subscribe

Can you help us find the transcript of a blessing or poem from Praire Home Companion? Either that, or some other suitable grace for a Catholic/atheist/multifaith wedding blessing before dinner.

Teradude and I are working out the final details of our wedding and reception, and we're looking for a blessing to say before dinner is served. We'll have a good mix of Catholics, Protestants, Jews and atheists, so we'd like something that's not too "churchy" but also expresses our thanks for all the good things in our lives. Any suggestions?

Teradude mentioned a blessing or poem he heard from Garrison Keillor on Prairie Home Companion a couple years ago (perhaps around thanksgiving time) that might just fit the bill. He can't remember all of it, but it ended with something along the lines of "...this happy condition, gratitude" Does this ring a bell with anyone, and if so, can you point us to where we can find the full text, or a recording?

Otherwise, we'd welcome other suggestions for a brief blessing to say before dinner. Thanks!
posted by teragram to Media & Arts (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

Google "prairie home companion" and you'll find their website. They keep an archive of previous shows with transcripts. I believe there is a search function somewhere on the site where you can look for that phrase.
posted by phoenix_rising at 8:31 AM on May 17, 2012

We are grateful for this good food and those who prepare it, for the good friends with whom we share it, and on this day we are especially thankful for the love which [bride's name] and [bridegroom's name] have for each other. May all those here continue to receive such gracious blessings. Amen.
posted by dpx.mfx at 8:40 AM on May 17, 2012 [3 favorites]

Garrison Keillor also does a brief segment of radio called The Writer's Almanac, which talks about a writer with a significant event that day (or in the adjacent weekend days). It also always ends with a poem read out by Keillor, and that may be the more likely source to listen to Keillor simply reading poetry. (Unless, of course, there was also yodelling, which would take us to PHC's The Lives of the Cowboys.)

The Writer's Almanac website has entire texts of the poems he reads, and while my handful of searches didn't find anything that I'd call a fit for your poem fragment, I did find this entry from last Thanksgiving which discusses a book called "On Gratitude" in which writers respond to a challenge by Emerson to "include all things in your gratitude," and how doing so has aided their writing careers.

WA is sponsored by, which also has loads of searchable poetry. Good luck!
posted by Sunburnt at 9:31 AM on May 17, 2012

By the way, Keillor has a signature sign-off (redundant?) for "The Writer's Almanac" which could be a good finish:

"Be well, do good works, and keep in touch." I see now that it's a trademarked phrase, so don't print it on anything or make any money by using it.
posted by Sunburnt at 9:37 AM on May 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

Many things by Wendell Berry may fit this bill; he has many strong and lovely words about people, the earth, and giving thanks.

The Farm has some things to say about work, and love, and thanks, and interconnectedness. What We Need Is Here is another good one, listed among some of Berry's other poems about halfway down on this page.

This is his Prayer Before Eating:
I have taken in the light
that quickened eye and leaf.
May my brain be bright with praise
of what I eat, in the brief blaze
of motion and of thought.
May I be worthy of my meat.

I'm away from my bookshelf right now, but I can flip through my collection at home later tonight and might be able to find some more suitable ones.
posted by redsparkler at 1:46 PM on May 17, 2012

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