Most religions have a moment of reflection and/or words of thanks spoken before meals. Lincoln’s Inn members come from many faiths and from none.
Last November, Council debated whether we should retain the explicitly Christian form of words used to give thanks before dinner in Hall: Bless, O Lord, we beseech Thee, these Thy creatures to our use and ourselves to Thy service, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The debate was very thoughtful. The Bar Representation Committee (BRC), which represents other members of the Inn, was also consulted. A subsequent vote by the Bench (the governing body of the Inn) resulted in a decision to use a more neutral form of words in future.
The words we now use are, In this moment of silence, let us give thanks for all that we are about to receive and for the company of this Honourable Society.
The Christian grace is still used when appropriate, for example at Sunday lunch after a chapel service.