Arrowmen use OA grace to give thanks before meals
By Reed Powell
Before your next meal at the conference, you might pause for a moment and recite the Order of the Arrow grace. The language of the Order of the Arrow grace invokes the poetry of the Pre-Ordeal, Ordeal and Brotherhood ceremonies and alludes to the four tests of the Ordeal, explained National OA Chaplain Billy Walley.
“The grace acknowledges the rest of sleep, the break of day or daily journey on the trail of life or cheerful fellowship about an evening fire or food and our work to serve others, all for which we are thankful,” he said.
The prayer was written after members of the National Order of the Arrow Committee realized in 2012 that all four BSA national high adventure bases had their own mealtime prayers unique to their own activities and geography, but the Order had no such prayer. Thus, a small group gathered to write a grace appropriate for the Order of the Arrow. At the National Planning Meeting in December 2013, Whaley submitted many proposals and the national committee selected the grace that is now in use.
The Order of the Arrow grace reads is as follows:
“For night alone that rests our thought,
For quiet dawn that lights our trail,
For evening fire that warms and cheers,
For each repast that fuels our work,
We give thanks, O Lord.”
All are encouraged to use the grace before meals at ordeals, conclaves, fellowships and other lodge, section, region and national events.