Where Did the Custom of Saying Grace Before a Meal Come From and Why Was the Tradition Once Performed After?

Today, we say grace before a meal in thanksgiving for an abundance of food, but in ancient times, food spoiled quickly, often causing illness or even death.

Nomadic tribes experimenting with unfamiliar plants were very often poisoned.

Before a meal, these people made a plea to the gods to deliver them from poisoning.

But it wasn’t until after the meal, if everyone was still standing, that they offered a prayer of thanksgiving, or “grace.”

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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