Sunday, July 19, 2009

Definitions of Grace, part 3

3. (also grace period) a period officially allowed for payment of a sum due or for compliance with a law or condition, esp. an extended period granted as a special favor

I've been grateful for this a time or two...

4. a short prayer of thanks said before or after a meal

We always said grace before dinner when I was growing up. And my grandfather always said *the longest* graces before holiday meals. Well, being a bit odd, he didn't talk much usually. Or maybe he talked a fair amount, but people didn't hang around to listen. I know I dutifully sat through the "Zero" presentation -- I remember only that he submitted it to National Geographic -- and tried thereafter not to be the only person in the room with him. Not kind in retrospect, only self-preserving. Maybe he figured since he had a captive (hungry) audience at grace-saying time, he'd take advantage of it for a few minutes. He always included using this food for our spiritual, mental, and physical well-being. In my teenage snarkiness, I remember shouting a silent "Amen" over the "mental" part of that.

Now that I've got my own family, grace is said way more haphazardly than I like, except by my 9-year-old, who bows her head, folds her hands, and says grace to herself before every meal, including snacks. My 11-year-old says it if and because we make him but views it as a waste of good eating time. Or rather, not that it's a waste, but that it *postpones* eating by a vital five seconds. Literally. (Try it: "Bless us, O Lord, and these Thy gifts which we are about to receive from Thy bounty through Christ our Lord. Amen.") Maybe we should move grace to *after* the meal?!

5. (His, Her, or Your Grace) used as forms of description or address for a duke, duchess, or archbishop

I'm American. And Protestant. Often non-denominational. No. 5 does not apply.

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