Latin Graces

At St Catharine's, grace is traditionally said in Latin at Formal Hall and Feasts. Here you can find the texts of the two most commonly-used graces in College.

Ante Cibum (Before Food)

Oculi omnium aspiciunt et in Te sperant, Domine.
Tu das iis escas illorum tempore opportuno.
Aperis Tu manus et imples omne animal benedictione Tua.*
Benedic nobis, Domine, et omnibus donis Tuis,
quae ex larga liberalitate Tua sumpturi sumus +
per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum. Amen.
All eyes look up and hope in you, Lord.
You give them their food at the right time.
You open your hands and fill every living being with your blessing.
Bless us, Lord, and all your gifts,
which we are about to receive from your great bounty
through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

* This phrase is taken from Psalm 145 vv 14-15. It is commonly in use at other Cambridge Colleges.

+ The words Benedic, Domine, dona tua quae de largitate sumus sumpturi are recorded as a blessing as early as the eighth century. This phrase, and variations on it, are used as a pre-prandial grace at many Oxford and Cambridge colleges.

Here is an audio recording of the Ante Cibum grace, read by Professor Sir John Baker. Click the play button to hear it.

Post Cibum (After Food)

Benedictus sit Dominus in donis Suis.
Adjutorium nostrum in nomine Domini, qui fecit coelum et terram.
Sit nomen Domini benedictum.
Agimus tibi gratias, Omnipotens Deus,
pro fundatore caeterisque Benefactoribus nostris,
et pro universis beneficiis Tuis,
qui vivis et regnas Deus in saecula saeculorum. Amen.
Deus conservet Ecclesiam, Reginam, Principes, Regnum, Veritatem et Pacem.
May the Lord be blessed in his gifts.
Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
May the name of the Lord be blessed.
We give you thanks, Almighty God,
for our founder and other benefactors,
and for all your benefits,
you who live and reign, God for ever and ever. Amen.
May God guard the Church, the Queen, the Rulers, the Kingdom, Truth and Peace.


Here is an audio recording of the Post Cibum grace, read by Professor Sir John Baker. Click the play button to hear it.