Count Your Blessings
Ask participants in the days or weeks prior to the celebration to prepare a list of at least ten things they are thankful for. Begin the ceremony with each person placing their list beneath a candle in a fireproof candle holder and lighting the candle to signify sending up warm thoughts of gratitude with the light of love and divine essence to the giver of these blessings.
Setting the Table for the Feast
Keep decorations simple and thoughtful. Each decoration, utensil and dish placed on the table graces the table with gratitude and humility. Place each item thoughtfully in its place. Using name cards can provide an opportunity to speak or intend a special blessing upon each guest while preparing their place setting. As they are seated, the blessing takes seed within their heart and soul.
Grace with Gratitude
Speak a blessing of gratitude in the tradition and custom of those participating. For example:
“We gather to give thanks for the abundance of our blessed Mother Earth as she so generously yields up her harvests for our bounty.”
“We are indeed grateful for the kind and gentle hands that have prepared this meal, and we petition for an extra measure of blessing upon those who have toiled tirelessly in all the preparations of this feast.”
“We give thanks for the water that quenches the thirst and serves in the preparation of the food; for the cool refrigeration, ice and chilling methods that keep food fresh and delicious; for the heat that cooks and warms our nutritious and enjoyable meal dishes.”
“We humbly express our appreciation for the feast, the gathering of souls and sacred space within which we enjoy these blessings.”
“May we be a blessing to one another and to those in need, and may angels attend to bless, protect and guide us and all who hunger and have hungered, that they may be filled. May all know gratitude and satisfaction.”
Feed the Hungry
One way to demonstrate your gratitude for the ample feast is to share the abundance with another. Here are a few ideas:
Invite some special guests who were not as amply blessed to dine with you.
Prepare meals or dishes to distribute to those who hunger.
Make donations of food storage items or money to purchase them to a local food pantry, shelter or charity.
Volunteer at a local soup kitchen, shelter or charitable agency that feeds those in need.
Set up a regular donation or volunteer schedule to aid others all year long.
Seal the Meal
Seal the blessing of the meal and abundance with a spoken blessing and anointing. You may place an anointing on the alter with a drop of pure olive oil placed on the alter with your finger. You may bless participants with an anointing energetically by the intent of your heart or with a single spritz of holy water or blessing spray and the intent that the energy of the blessed liquid will fill the room.