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Where did blessing the food come from?


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6 minutes ago, Rain said:

I don't mean saying "grace" over food. Or thank Heavenly Father for it.

I mean actually "blessing" it. 

I have wondered this my whole life. I have seen a few references showing that we should… but why? No concrete idea. 

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52 minutes ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

Thanks!  That's really interesting.  

 

56 minutes ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

Interesting. Thanks!

The Jewish one doesn't seem to answer the question if we are going by the scriptures give.  It says, "bless the Lord", not the food.

I'm unclear if it's say the blessings on the food came before 70AD or around them or after as the date is given in a couple of paragraphs earlier.

I'll have to look at the pdfs on Islam later.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Fether said:

I have wondered this my whole life. I have seen a few references showing that we should… but why? No concrete idea. 

We have some really different thoughts and really similar ones.  It's always interesting to read your posts just to see if we match or not.

I haven't wondered all my life, but have for a good long time.  I've seen many reasons,  but they have never completely worked for me.  I finally stopped blessing the food because I don't want to pray in vain - though I do give gratitude for it. 

Edited by Rain
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Jesus was an example of doing this:
JST, Matthew 26:22, 24–25. 

22 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread and brake it, and blessed it, and gave to his disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is in remembrance of my body which I give a ransom for you.

24 For this is in remembrance of my blood of the new testament, which is shed for as many as shall believe on my name, for the remission of their sins.

25 And I give unto you a commandment, that ye shall observe to do the things which ye have seen me do, and bear record of me even unto the end.

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Would we feel it wrong to ask a blessing on/give a blessing to if a member a surgeon who was operating on a loved one that their skills and insights would be at their highest so as to yield the best results for the surgery?

I don’t personally see much difference blessing food so that its chemical components will be the most effective they can be for interacting with my body so I get the most out of the food I eat and the least harm if by chance I have an unknown intolerance to some of those chemicals.  

I see blessing the food as sanctifying the food or making it sacred.  This contributes then to increasing the sacred space in my life.

But if others don’t see it that way, see the food as inanimate and locked into a set of reactions/interactions where there is no leeway for a blessing to make a difference so it wouldn’t be right to bless as if that could change how it behaves or see eating daily meals as a mundane effort and sacred ‘food’ should be limited to the Sacrament, that is a reasonable POV to me. 

Edited by Calm
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1 hour ago, Rain said:

We have some really different thoughts and really similar ones.  It's always interesting to read your posts just to see if we match or not.

I haven't wondered all my life, but have for a good long time.  I've seen many reasons,  but they have never completely worked for me.  I finally stopped blessing the food because I don't want to pay in vain - though I do give gratitude for it. 

I bless the food purely because some prophet mentioned we should do it once… but I’ve been questioning it since high school. I was always confused by the deliberate and ironic “bless the donuts” phrase.

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1 hour ago, JAHS said:

22 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread and brake it, and blessed it, and gave to his disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is in remembrance of my body which I give a ransom for you.

The word translated as 'blessed' here is εὐλογέω. I especially like meaning IIIB in the context of blessing food:

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I. to praise, celebrate with praises

II. to invoke blessings

III. to consecrate a thing with solemn prayers

   A. to ask God's blessing on a thing

   B. pray God to bless it to one's use

   C. pronounce a consecratory blessing on

IV. of God

   A. to cause to prosper, to make happy, to bestow blessings on

   B. favoured of God, blessed

The sacramental meal is not the only example of Jesus blessing food, either. It happened each time he fed a multitude:

Mark 6:41:

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And when he had taken the five loaves and the two fishes, he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and brake the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before them; and the two fishes divided he among them all.

Mark 8:7:

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And they had a few small fishes: and he blessed, and commanded to set them also before them.

 

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1 hour ago, Calm said:

I see blessing the food as sanctifying the food or making it sacred.  This contributes then to increasing the sacred space in my life.

Yes! And I need as much sacred space in my life as I can obtain.

One of the habits that I picked up as a missionary is praying before driving. I've continued to do that ever since. It makes the experience of travelling, even if only to work or the shops, feel different when it begins with a request for protection.

Edited by Hamba Tuhan
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“Bless this food that no harm or accident will come to us.”

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Do other Christian faiths “bless” their food?  I always remember the classic prayer Jimmy Stewart gave in the movie Shenandoah,

Lord, we cleared this land. We plowed it, sowed it, and harvested it. We cooked the harvest. It wouldn’t be here, we wouldn’t be eatin’ it if we hadn’t done it all ourselves. We worked dog-bone hard for every crumb and morsel, but we thank you just the same anyway, Lord, for the food we’re about to eat. Amen.”

 

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Time was when eating food and living to tell about it afterward (or at least, being well afterward) was, perhaps, a much more dicey proposition than it is now, with modern preservation means and methods (though Cal does make a good point that, even now, not all of us tolerate or respond well to everything that we eat or that we could eat).  In those circumstances, I would have wanted my food to be blessed, too (and, in the case of something to which, otherwise, I might have an unexpected reaction, still do).  This scripture, from Nephi, comes to mind:

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2 Nephi 32:

9 But behold, I say unto you that ye must pray always, and not faint; that ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall pray unto the Father in the name of Christ, that he will consecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of thy soul.

Is simply eating food one of the "performances" that this scripture contemplates as being "for the welfare of thy soul"?  Recall this scripture:
 

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Doctrine and Covenants 88 (emphasis mine):

15 And the spirit and the body are the soul of man.

 

My $0.02, actual value, as always, much less, not available in all areas, not valid with any other offer, restrictions may apply, void where prohibited, see local retailer for details. ;)

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Just now, 2BizE said:

Do other Christian faiths “bless” their food?  I always remember the classic prayer Jimmy Stewart gave in the movie Shenandoah,

Lord, we cleared this land. We plowed it, sowed it, and harvested it. We cooked the harvest. It wouldn’t be here, we wouldn’t be eatin’ it if we hadn’t done it all ourselves. We worked dog-bone hard for every crumb and morsel, but we thank you just the same anyway, Lord, for the food we’re about to eat. Amen.”

 

:D :rofl: :D

I love Jimmy Stewart.  I would rep you for this, if I could.  Thanks for the chuckle! ;)

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56 minutes ago, Bernard Gui said:

“Bless this food that no harm or accident will come to us.”

Which, depending on who cooked/prepared it, might not be as bad (or as unusual) of an idea as, at first, it might seem. ;)

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Bless these donuts, ice cream and root beer floats to nourish and strengthen our bodies that we may have the energy to serve thee….. barf

we need to just not do it in some instances because it is flat out stupid. Might as well bless my Macallan to nourish and strengthen my body lol. It is prob less harmful I am sure. 
 

actually more likely is the women started working outside the home and forgot how to cook. Started to need a blessing in order to be able to eat it. I mean the first presidency did say women were pursuing pleasures outside the home with jobs and neglecting the kids. Just my hypothesis. 

Edited by secondclasscitizen
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On 8/18/2021 at 6:57 PM, Hamba Tuhan said:

It seems to be common across the Abrahamic faiths:

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.............

  • JudaismBefore eating, a blessing is said based on the category of food that is being eaten. The categories are: (i) Bread, (ii) fruits that grow on a tree, (iii) fruits/vegetables that do not grow on a tree, (iv) derivates of the five grains (except for bread, which has its own blessing), (v) derivatives of grapes and (vi) everything else.

 

  •  

The standard Jewish blessing is "Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who brings forth bread from the earth"/"....who creates the fruit of the vine," etc.  The blessing is not on the food, but rather on God who provides the food and drink.

Edited by Robert F. Smith
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1 hour ago, 2BizE said:

Do other Christian faiths “bless” their food?  I always remember the classic prayer Jimmy Stewart gave in the movie Shenandoah,

Lord, we cleared this land. We plowed it, sowed it, and harvested it. We cooked the harvest. It wouldn’t be here, we wouldn’t be eatin’ it if we hadn’t done it all ourselves. We worked dog-bone hard for every crumb and morsel, but we thank you just the same anyway, Lord, for the food we’re about to eat. Amen.”

Could be that the script was written by a Jew, since this is the Jewish way -- to bless the Lord, not the food.

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Quote

https://insider.pureflix.com/prayer-faith/saying-grace-10-inspiring-mealtime-prayers-to-share-with-family

Dear Lord, thank you for this food we are about to eat. We are grateful for your provision. We ask that you would bless this food and continue to guide our family along Your path. In the name of Your son Jesus, amen.”

Dear Lord, thank you for giving us the opportunity to eat out tonight. We know not everyone gets the chance to go to restaurants, and we thank you for the blessing to be able to do so. Please help this food to nourish us, as we are grateful for your provision. In the name of Your son Jesus we pray, amen.”


 

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Where did blessing the food come from?

Uncertain.

I believe pagans used to bless their food to cast out devils though, so I suppose it's possible that some variant of this practice seeped into Christian tradition.

Doesn't seem like too big of a stretch for early Christians, who take the world (and everything in it) to be in a fallen / sinful state, to adopt the practice of praying to God to bless their food.

 

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9 hours ago, Bernard Gui said:

“Bless this food that no harm or accident will come to us.”

That's how I pray whenever I travel to Mexico. 

Montezuma's revenge is real!  

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