Table Prayer: Be Present At Our Table, Lord

Table Lord

The song Be Present At Our Table, Lord is one of several that can be sung as an English or Norwegian table prayer at meals. As an predominately Lutheran country since 1537, to say this song has a long tradition in Norway is no exaggeration!

The music is attributed to the Genevan Psalter (a song book) in 1551 and the original lyrics were written by British hymnist John Cennick in 1741. 

Lyrics To Be Present At Our Table Lord In English

Be present at our table, Lord;
Be here and everywhere adored;
Thy creatures bless, and grant that we
May feast in paradise with Thee.

We thank Thee, Lord, for this our food,
For life and health and every good;
By Thine own hand may we be fed;
Give us each day our daily bread.

We thank Thee, Lord, for this our good,
But more because of Jesus’ blood;
Let manna to our souls be giv’n,
The Bread of Life sent down from Heav’n.

Words To Be Present At Our Table Lord, In Norwegian

Være til stede ved bordet vårt, Herre;
Være her og overalt beundret;
Thy skapninger velsigne, og gi at vi
Kan fest i paradis med Thee.

Vi takker deg, Herre, for denne maten,
For liv og helse og alt som er godt;
Ved Thine egen hånd kan vi bli matet;
Gi oss hver dag vårt daglige brød.

Vi takker deg, Herre, for vår gode,
Men mer på grunn av Jesu blod;
La manna til våre sjeler bli giv’n,
Livets Brød sendt ned fra himlen.

How to Sing Be Present At Our Table Lord

The thing to remember in singing a prayer together is to have fun. You don’t have to be perfect or professional, just present and participating!

In English

In Norwegian

It was surprisingly difficult to find a video of this song in Norwegian! This has no pictures, but the sound is the best that I could find. If you can find or create a better one, drop me a link in the comments!

Many people look fondly upon memories of Norwegian table prayers with the ones they love. Consider carrying on this tradition or starting it up again if it has fizzled out for a while. If you play instruments, sheet music for this song is also available. A heritage must be maintained to be meaningful, so in finding your own way to celebrate your roots consider a simple song!

You may also enjoy this article on the Norwegian Table Prayer.

Is there a history of Be Present At Our Table, Lord in your family? Does your group or club sing it? We would love to hear from you!

 

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13 Comments

  1. Pingback: Norwegian Table Prayer | Norway At Home

  2. Come Lord Jesus be our guest, let this food unto us be blest. Amen

  3. I grew up having this prayer sung at any meal at church. Our pastor would begin the prayer. Now that I am on the west coast no one has ever heard of it. I’m going to try and circulate it and try to get it started.

  4. I’ve been singing the first verse for as long as I can remember at the Lutheran church I grew up in. I never knew there were more verses, but my mother’s family (of Norwegian descent) has always used the first two lines of the second verse as a spoken table grace! Now I know where it came from.

  5. M family has sung this prayer in our family from when my Mother was little an she is 78yrs old an grew up in Bendigo, Victoria, Australia

  6. My family has said this prayer for years especially at Holiday dinners! I didn’t know it was sung to the doxology tune. My dad was raised Lutheran I have to guess maybe it came from his side of the family. So interesting its history is Norwegian!

  7. We’re not Norwegian but we’ve been singing the first verse ever since I remember, from my moms side but there English as in British and I sung this for my friends once at a dinner and they looked at my like I was from another planet

  8. The singing of the 1st verse has been used in our family for over a hundred years; I too was unaware of more than just the 1st verse.

    Come Lord Jesus be our guest, let these gifts to us be blessed. [Daily Grace]

  9. My extended family sings Be Present at our annual Christmas dinner. This will be the 100th annual dinner in 2017.

  10. The Henry County, Illinois, American Legion and Auxiliary meet monthly for business and supper. The first stanza is sung for our table grace.

  11. My childhood in Eastern North Dakota were filled with Sunday church dinners blessed with singing this song. I always thought it was a Lutheran prayer! We continued this tradition for a time after we moved south, but slowly it faded away. Of course hearing the old hymn brought the memory of the song so I had to look up the lyrics. The last stanza welled in my soul, I had never known it. Wow, I never knew it was a Norwegian blessing either! Being from pure Norwegian descent, and being raised in a predominantly Norwegian community, I was unaware of the origin of this song.
    Thank you for posting this! How beautiful that the lyrics are an example of the greatest gratitude we can offer our Lord at mealtime! I am so happy that I found this. I am so proud of my Norwegian heritage and the beautiful song of thanks. Thank you!

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