Norwegian Table Prayer

I have been reading this series of books by Lauraine Snelling about the Norwegian immigrants coming to America. In the books they always say the same table prayer. The author never translates for the reader so….

For Grandma Moo, my Mom and for my own curiosity here is the prayer and its translation:


I Jesu navn gar vi til bords
a spise, drikke pa ditt ord.
Deg, Gud til aere, oss til gavn,
Sa far vi mat i Jesu navn.

In Jesus’ name to the table we go
To eat and drink according to His word.
To God the honor, us the gain,
So we have food in Jesus; name.

Second Translation:

“I Jesu navn gar vi til bords Spice og drikke pa ditt ord Deg Gud til ere oss til gavn Sa far vi mat I Jesu navn.”

From Ã…lesund, came this translation by Dag Petter Eide:

In Jesus’ name we sit by the table to eat and drink at your word. By humbly honoring you God, we get food in Jesus’ name.

listen to the audiohere.

16 thoughts on “Norwegian Table Prayer

  1. Grandma Clute

    How cool – I just heard the audio. Now we know why we always sing the table grace. I remember my grandpa and grandma always saying it but I don’t remember them singing it,
    The norwegion prayer hung in their kitchen.

    Praise, Praise Praise!!!

    Love, mom

  2. Jess


    You might like a book called Hannah’s Daughters. I haven’t read it, but took a look at it in a bookstore and it is about Norwegian ancestry as well.

  3. gen

    OMG!! my family is norweigen so we say this prayer alot, i always wanted to know what we’re always saying, i’m going to surprise my parents at the table tonight!! instead of saying…i jesu navn gàr vi til bords…i’ll say…in jesus name we go to the table to eat…so awesome!!!! my aunt or my grandma cross-stitced a few and framed them and now they’re in the kitchens of my family! any way i wanted to say a short thanks for whoever translated this from me and my family. i love you!

  4. David Dahlberg

    Thank you for providing this information. I found this prayer in my father’s Masonic bible!

  5. carolena

    we used to say, come lord jesus, be our guest, thank you for this food we’re blessed. amen. is there more to this table prayer does any one know it?

  6. Megan Post author

    Carolena, We said, “Come Lord Jesus be our guest.. May this food by thee be blessed.”

  7. Oscar Kostad

    Both my parents came from Norway. My Mother taught me this Norske table prayer more than 60 years ago when I was the younger generation. And now at 91 years I have said this prayer many times at family gatherings. Perhaps I can teach it to this new younger generation. Oscar

  8. cindy burgett

    I was telling a coworker that my grandmother taught me this table prayer when I was a little girl, boy did this bring back memories I didn’t remember the end of the prayer Amen

  9. Robin

    I love Lauraine’s books. I own the entire series and I’m in the process of reading it again for the third time. At this time I’m finishing “A Measure of Mercy”. I get something new every time I read them. Thank you for posting the prayer.

  10. Marca

    I’m usually the person in our family designated to say the Norwegian prayer at special meals like Thanksgiving and Christmas. For those who are unfamiliar with the language I usually also add an English version that is accurate in spirit and rhymes, though not a literal translation:
    “In Jesus’ name we take our place
    To eat and drink upon his grace.
    To His good, and to our gain,
    We take our place in Jesus’ name. Amen.”

  11. Carol

    Bless you for taking the time to share this table prayer. November 2014
    I an half Norwegian ( on my fathers side) My father taught this grace to our 4 children when they were young.
    In honor and fond memories of their grandfather each of their grown families all give this blessing at Thanksgiving.
    We were never told the translation. For this Thanksgiving I will include a copy of both translations and a picture of
    my father, to my 11 grandchildren. Blessings

  12. Kristine

    Here is the best version to learn from, spoken and sung.
    In other videos, people go too fast and mumble through it. That’s a dead giveaway that they don’t really know it. But if you learn the words and their meanings, you will slow down a little and say it right.

  13. Nigel Haynes

    Thank you for sharing this. I’m also a Norwegian descendant, but from immigrants to southern Africa (Rhodesia). My Bestepapa, whom I loved dearly, always recited this grace and I learnt it off by heart, which lead to a very funny story. One day I was hitch-hiking, whilst at university in South Africa in the eighties, and got a lift from a young Norwegian businessman from Oslo. I proudly told him I was quarter Norwegian, and we chatted away very happily (he spoke perfect English). Then I proclaimed that I could say grace in Norwegian, and of course he wanted to hear me……. Off I went phonetically reciting the table prayer as above. When I was finished he just looked at me, maybe started to panic a bit, as the thought must have passed through his mind…..”is this young fellow insane! He’s rambling incoherently like a lunatic”… I’m not sure what he thought, but certainly didn’t understand a word that I said… not one word (he told me so). He was actually very polite though, and said that my Bestepapa probably spoke “high Norwegian” which was the language spoken long ago, and unfortunately he could only understand “modern” Norwegian 😀

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