There are three important elements of a meal blessing:
- That it thanks God for his goodness.
- That there is food somewhere nearby.
- That it’s short.
So I was looking at some old manuscripts (apparently from 1496) and found this:
On top (after the title) is a version of the standard meal blessing used by Chaldean and Assyrian priests:
- Extend, O Lord our God, the right hand of your compassion from your holy heaven, and bless [and sanctify] this meal of your adorers; make it about with benefits and blessings, through the [adorable] Name of your glorious Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, forever.
Below it is one I haven’t heard before, which fulfills the first two conditions presumably as well as the first one, but the third condition even better. Here’s a translation:
- By the right hand of your Majesty, may the table of your adorers be blessed, and by the Word of your grace: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, forever.
Or, if you want a more boring word order:
- May the table of your adorers be blessed by the right hand of your Majesty and the Word of your grace: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, forever.
The standard “forever” at the end of the Trinitarian formula is…standard, though I’m not sure it makes any sense here, since the meal won’t last forever no matter how bad the food is. Morever, “table” is usually just a piece of furniture in English, so it might be more idiomatic to translate pathora as “meal.” So maybe a short and sweet rendition would be:
- May the meal of your adorers be blessed by the right hand of your Majesty and the Word of your grace: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Guess which one I’ll be using from now on.