Thursday, January 07, 2010

Deg Gud Till Aere, Oss Till Gavn

On my grandfather's side I have a thoroughly Scandinavian heritage, Norwegian and Danish, and like many Americans with Norway in the blood, I occasionally said the popular Norwegian table prayer growing up. I have a little wooden plaque, which belonged to my grandmother, on which it is written:

I Jesu navn går vi til bords
Spise og drikke på dit ord.
Deg Gud till aere, oss till gavn,
Så for vi mat i Jesu navn.

'Bords', table, has an English cognate in 'board' (as in 'room and board'). So, although I'm not fluent in Norwegian, we could perhaps translate as:

In Jesus' name we go to board
to wine and dine as in His word;
to God the glory, to us the gain,
and so we eat in Jesus' name.

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