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by Abigail Van Buren

Man Prays For Forgiveness From Other Diners In Restaurant

DEAR ABBY: My wife and I had dinner with some other couples at an elegant, white linen tablecloth restaurant. After the meals were brought to the table, someone said, "We need to pray." In this quiet, candlelit setting, a "Bless us, oh Lord ..." was spoken aloud by most of the people in our party, causing heads to turn at a number of nearby tables. Undoubtedly, the din sounded like chanting. I was embarrassed.

Please understand, we are religious and we pray aloud in church, but not in restaurants. I have seen people bow their heads and pray privately, which seems more appropriate. Is there a rule of etiquette about praying in a restaurant? -- SILENTLY PRAYING FOR ADVICE

DEAR SILENTLY PRAYING: Yes, there is. In restaurants, praying should be done quietly and inconspicuously to avoid distracting other diners.

Read more in: Etiquette & Ethics