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The College Grace

The college grace acknowledges God's gifts, seeks the Lord's continued blessing, and in hope longs for the peace made possible through Jesus Christ. It is the traditional prayer offered each Sunday evening before the college dinner. Ordinarily, grace is led by the college master, though on special occasions other members or gusts of the college may offer the prayer.

For hundreds of years, the members of colleges around the world, but especially in Oxford and Cambridge, have acknowledged God's beneficient care through formally offered prayer at the beginning of common meals. In Reginald H. Adams's fine book, The College Graces of Oxford and Cambridge, a wide range of traditional prayers are surveyed, typically both in their Latin original as well as English translation.

While the members of Brooks College generally hear the college grace offered in English, Dr. Junius Johnson has rendered it in splendid Latin form and on occasion the college asks the Lord's blessing in the Latin tongue used by Christians for two millennia.

In English:

Gracious Father, who out of bounty and love meets all of our truest needs: grant to us worthiness of character, strength of mind, and godliness of heart, that we who receive this meal and all your gifts may use them rightly to your glory, and be brought thereby into the fullness of your peace, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

In Latin:

Pie pater, qui e copiis caritateque omnes nostros verissimos usus suppeditat, da nobis morium dignitatem, mentis vim, et cordis pietatem ut nos qui has epulas ac omnia tua dona accipimus digne ad gloriam tuam illis utamur atque per haec in pacis tuae plenitudinem feramur, per Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum. Amen.