Fruit From Washington - Graces, Blessings,
Toasts and Curses
Graces, Blessings, Toasts and Curses (mostly of a Literary Bent) - Collected for Your Use, Edification and Amusement
toast n. 1. A person, institution, sentiment, or the like to whose health or in whose honor a company drinks. 2. The act of proposing the health or honor of a person or thing as a toast. 3. Archaic. A lady to whose beauty or charms toasts are frequently proposed. v. To drink to the health or honor of. To propose or drink a toast [(From TOAST (from the notion that the name of a celebrated lady could flavor the drink like a piece of spiced toast).] Source: The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language.
Blest be those feasts
Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use
them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving.
Whenever people gather for food and drink, it is cause for thanksgiving. Blessings and graces are a part of our heritage. Ceremonies, festivities and worship give rise to blessings covering more than food and drink. We bless marriages, homes, children, and animals. We bless the day and the way. We hope that you will find inspiration in this collection of literary toasts, graces and thanksgiving blessings from various peoples and cultures through the ages.
A THANKSGIVING FABLE by Oliver Herford
was a hungry pussy cat, upon Thanksgiving morn,
"Then with his thanks for having fed,
and his thanks for feeding me,
A good time for the saying of grace and raising of toasts...2004 President's Thanksgiving Day Proclamation
All across America, we gather this week with the people we love to give thanks to God for the blessings in our lives. We are grateful for our freedom, grateful for our families and friends, and grateful for the many gifts of America. On Thanksgiving Day, we acknowledge that all of these things, and life itself, come from the Almighty God...
Thanksgiving is also a time to share our blessings with those who are less fortunate. Americans this week will gather food and clothing for neighbors in need. Many young people will give part of their holiday to volunteer at homeless shelters and food pantries. On Thanksgiving, we remember that the true strength of America lies in the hearts and souls of the American people. By seeking out those who are hurting and by lending a hand, Americans touch the lives of their fellow citizens and help make our Nation and the world a better place. (From the Thanksgiving Day Proclamation by the President, 11/23/04)
President's Thanksgiving Day Proclamation
Almost 400 years ago, after surviving their first winter at Plymouth, the Pilgrims celebrated a harvest feast to give thanks. George Washington proclaimed the first National Day of Thanksgiving in 1789, and Abraham Lincoln revived the tradition during the Civil War. Since that time, our citizens have paused to express thanks for the bounty of blessings we enjoy and to spend time with family and friends. In want or in plenty, in times of challenge or times of calm, we always have reasons to be thankful.
America is a land of abundance, prosperity, and hope. We must never take for granted the things that make our country great: a firm foundation of freedom, justice, and equality; a belief in democracy and the rule of law; and our fundamental rights to gather, speak, and worship freely. (From the Thanksgiving Day Proclamation by the President, 11/21/03)
May rich blessings -
The following is an excerpt from the
2002 President's Thanksgiving Day Proclamation
On November 22, 1986, President Ronald Reagan addressed the nation by radio in observance of Thanksgiving Day: This coming Thursday we'll celebrate a holiday that belongs uniquely to our nation -- Thanksgiving Day. Millions of us will travel from all parts of the country to gather in family homes, observing the holiday according to longstanding tradition: turkey with all the fixings, pumpkin pie, laughter, the warmth of family, love, and, yes, a moment of prayer to give thanks. Yet, at the same time, many among us will be less fortunate. And just as Thanksgiving Day has always been an occasion for counting our blessings, so, too, it's always been a time for making life better among our fellow Americans. In churches and synagogues across the country, for example, food will be collected in the next few days for distribution to the needy, or on Thanksgiving Day itself. And with this spirit of Thanksgiving in mind, I thought I'd speak with you for a moment this afternoon about the goodness of the American people and our willingness to give each other a helping hand.
The spirit of voluntarism is deeply ingrained in us as a nation. Maybe it has something to do with our history as a frontier land. Those early Americans who gave us Thanksgiving Day itself had to help each other in order to survive -- joining together to plant crops, build houses, and raise barns. And perhaps they discovered that in helping others their own lives were enriched. In our own day, a poll showed most Americans believe that no matter how big government gets and no matter how many services it provides, it can never take the place of volunteers. In other words, we Americans understand that there are no substitutes for gifts of service given from the heart... (From the Thanksgiving Day Proclamation By the President of the United States of America, 11/22/86)
...a prayer for every politician:
Pray for peace and grace and spiritual food,
Here a little child I stand
Bless, oh Lord, these delectable vittles;
Pray God bless us all, said jolly
To the Lord
To the Lord praises be,
Some hae meat, and canna eat,
Thank you for the food we eat.
Ma Kettle (seated at a bountiful table
surrounded by her large family): Say grace, Pa.
I have lawns, I have bowers,
Blessings be with them, and eternal
Blessings do not come without sacrifice. Nowhere is this found to be more poignantly true than in the life and death of Hannah Szenes (Senesh).
Blessed is the match consumed in kindling
So here -- with a grateful heart,
I leave this campaign with a prayer that has even greater meaning
to me now that I've come to know our vast country so much better and
that prayer is very simple: God bless America.
Blessed are those who can give without
What blessings thy free bounty gives,
And the prayer, which my mouth is
too full to express,
Calvin Coolidges Thanksgiving
May your belly never grumble
Honor, riches, marriage blessing,
Lord, dismiss us with thy blessing,
Bless, oh Lord,
Blessed is the person who is too busy to worry in the daytime and too sleepy to worry at night. Leo Aikman
There is an apple-tree with huge apples such as grow in fairy dwellings (great are these blessings), and an excellent clustered crop from small-nutted branching green hazels. Early Irish Lyrics: Eighth to Twelfth Century Edited & translated, Gerard Murphy 1956 (Oxford The Clarendon Press)
Blessed is he that getteth understanding.
For blessed are the givers,
and more happy in the end
Bless them that curse you,
May fortune meet you every way
and fill your life with blessings.
I pray to heaven to bestow the
best of blessings on this house, and all that shall hereafter inhabit
it. May none but the honest and wise rule under this roof.
that spot, where cheerful guests retire
Monday's Child is fair of face,
You are the blessing of Heaven
in this house.
God bless the man who first
Mama may have
There is ever a song somewhere, my
May the road rise to meet you.
Scottish Blessing - Be ye our angel unawares
If after Kirk ye bide a wee,
Scottish Blessing - May the blessing of light be on you
May the blessing of light be on you
- light without and light within. May the blessed sunlight shine on
you like a great peat fire, so that stranger and friend may come and
warm himself at it. And may light shine out of the two eyes of you,
like a candle set in the window of a house, bidding the wanderer come
in out of the storm. And may the blessing of the rain be on you, may
it beat upon your Spirit and wash it fair and clean, and leave there
a shining pool where the blue of Heaven shines, and sometimes a star.
And may the blessing of the earth be on you, soft under your feet
as you pass along the roads, soft under you as you lie out on it,
tired at the end of day; and may it rest easy over you when, at last,
you lie out under it. May it rest so lightly over you that your soul
may be out from under it quickly; up and off and on its way to God.
And now may the Lord bless you, and bless you kindly. Amen.
Gaelic Wedding Blessing
Mi\le fa\ilte dhuit le d'bhre/id,
Translated as: "A thousand welcomes
to you with your marriage kerchief, may you be healthy all your days.
May you be blessed with long life and peace, may you grow old with
goodness, and with riches." This is attributed to the Rev. Donald
MacLeod, minister of Duirinish, Skye, Scotland c. 1760.
Old Scottish Blessing - May the hills lie low
May the hills lie low,
May all evil sleep,
Old Scottish Blessing - If there is righteousness in the heart
If there is righteousness in the heart,
Another Scottish Blessing
Lang may your lum reek. (Long may your chimney smoke.)
God be supervising your sleeping and
A Gaelic Prayer
Slainte mhor agus a h-uile beannachd duibh
Good health and every good blessing to you!
Blesse this house from every wikkede
Blesse This House
Saint Francis and Saint Benedight
Oh Thou, who dwellest in so many homes,
possess Thyself of this. Bless the life that is sheltered here. Grant
that trust and peace and comfort abide within, and that love and life
and usefulness may go out from this home forever.
May your hand be outstretched to all
Middle High German Blessing
Whose bread I eat, his song I sing. Anonymous
A Blessing Spell for Winter Solstice
We ask a blessing on this house,
For Herne is here, and Mistletoe.
With wine and cake we make a toast,
Solstice Eve Chant
The geese fly high this Solstice morn,
Winter Solstice Chant
Geese and standing stones and mist,
The Celtic Blessing of the Nine Elements
May you go forth under the strength
German Blessing following a Sneeze
Links to More Blessings
To the glory that was Greece
May you live all of the days of your life. - Jonathan Swift
Eat thy bread with joy,
Another glass, Watson!
said Mr. Sherlock Holmes, as he extended the bottle of Imperial Tokay.
Fifty more Christmases at least
in this life,
May their days be long, and
full of happiness.
To those gone but not forgotten. And to those forgotten but not gone. Shoe Comic 10/27/00
Links to More Toasts and Help Writing Your Own Toasts
Without darkness who could appreciate the light? A curse is the flip side of a blessing. Although not very pretty, curses are a part of human behavior, the human condition, our literature and our history. So, here are a few choice curses (be very careful with their use for there is an old saying, Curses, like chickens, come home to roost). The best advice in the art and practice of good cursing is to keep it lightas William Burroughs once said, Casual curses are the most effective.
May the Devil cut the toes of all
May the enemies of America be destitute
of beef and claret.
To the enemies of our country!
But blast the man, with curses loud
Go to the dickens.
Let her live to earn her dinners
John Millington Synge, Irish dramatist who lived from 1871-1909, author of The Playboy of the Western World. He wrote The Curse to a sister of an enemy who disapproved of his writing.
May his pig never grunt, may his cat
May each of your days be worse than
the last and may you live forever.
Links to More Curses