Norwegian Prayer (Archives)

I grew up in a very old fashioned Norwegian family of ten. (Eleven, if you count Gramma Olga, matriarch of our household.) I remember Olga pedaling away on the old Singer sewing machine, singing ancient songs and rhymes; as a young boy, I was more interested in how the sewing machine worked than those soon-to-be-forgotten words. How I wish now that I had taken the time to learn them!

On the other hand, the Norwegian Table Prayer will never be forgotten, as we children had to recite it, in unison, in Norske, before every meal. It goes like this:

I Jesu navn gar vi til bords

Og spiser, drikker pa ditt ord

Deg, Gud, til aere, oss til gavn

Sa fa vi mat i Jesu navn.



In Jesus name, we go to the table

To eat and drink according to his word

To God, the honor, to us the gain

So we have food in Jesus name.


Yea, Olga was old-country stern. I always thought she was just being mean by not letting me rest while churning butter; turns out she was only being firm with me because she wanted firm butter!

Art by Yamata


10 thoughts on “Norwegian Prayer (Archives)

  1. Amazing memories. It’s always the way that what we don’t value at all as kids, we wish later that we had. 😦 I listened to an interview with a Greek Australian guy (now a TV personality here). He said his parents made him go to Greek School on weekends and he hated it. But later, when he could go to Greece and speak the language, he was suddenly so glad for all the hours he’d spent in Greek school. So he was saved from his own child preferences.

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  2. Wonderful Post Michael! I also regret not recording the colourful and often humorous stories of the pioneer days in the Kirkland Lake Gold Camp that my Mother’s Mother shared with me as a child. I also recall some years ago asking a city librarian where to find Viking Poetry and was told it didn’t exist (as had others told me before this) so I did some exploring in the central library myself and found the skold literature. I had a strong feeling guiding me to the poetry. Most of it was paid for praise of conquests of course. I identified with sometimes having to do that back then. Hype. Lol


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