In Compendium of Prayers and Graces, acclaimed and accomplished author Revd Neville Barker Cryer focuses on the very ancient practice of saying of grace before dining. An act of expressing thanks to God for the provision for our food, drink and fellowship in which to share them, saying grace is a practice that is still observed on many occasions. The same is true at all meetings of British Free and Accepted Masons, adopting the ancient Jewish custom of saying grace both before and after dining, and the author explains why there are different graces for before and after meals.
Originating from the Latin word ‘Gratias’, meaning ‘thanks’, grace has always been attached to the Latin ‘Deo’, ‘to God’, therefore blessing the Creator for the divine provision of food. The sincere offering of grace can be a necessary and helpful introduction to sharing and being thankful that we have food to eat when so many are hungry. It is an act that binds us to share, not least the Freemasons belief and trust in a Supreme Being, private to each one of us, but yet forming a shared conviction.
The graces and prayers gathered within Compendium of Prayers and Graces are from new and many older sources. It is hoped that they may enable those who act as Chaplains in Lodges, as well as others charged with that important duty, to vary the content and purpose of what they are offering.