daily bread

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A Bible open to a page showing the Lord's Prayer in the Gospel of Matthew. Matthew 6:11 reads: “Give us this day our daily bread”.

Possibly a reference to the Lord's Prayer in the Bible, part of which reads in the King James Version: “Give us this day our daily bread” (see Matthew 6:11, and compare Luke 11:3).



daily bread (uncountable)

  1. All those things, such as regular food and water, needed to sustain physical life.
  2. (by extension, chiefly Christianity) All those things, such as regular prayer, worship and meditation, needed to sustain spiritual life.
    • 1572–1573, William Tyndall [i.e., William Tyndale], “A Prologue vpon the Epistle of S. Paule to the Romaines”, in [John Foxe], editor, The Whole Workes of W[illiam] Tyndall, Iohn Frith, and Doct. [Robert] Barnes, Three Worthy Martyrs, and Principall Teachers of this Churche of England, Collected and Compiled in One Tome, togither, beyng before Scattered, & now in Print here Exhibited to the Church. To the Prayse of God, and the Profite of all Good Christian Readers, London: Printed by Iohn Daye, and are to be sold at his shop vnder Aldersgate, OCLC 230694423, page 39, column 1:
      I thinke it meete that euery chriſten man not onely know it [the Epistle to the Romans], by roate and without the boke, but alſo exerciſe himſelf therein evermore continually, as with the daily bread of the ſoule.
    • 1817, Thomas Cranmer, “[Extracts from An Answer, by the Reverend Father in God, Thomas Archbishop of Canterbury, Primate of All England and Metropolitan, unto a Crafty and Sophisticated Cavillation, Devised by Stephen Gardiner, Doctor of Law, Late Bishop of Winchester, against the True and Godly Doctrine of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Our Saviour Christ. First Printed in A.D. 1551, and afterwards in 1580, from which Last Edition the Extracts are Taken.] Connexion between the Sacraments and Our Resurrection.—At page 183.”, in Legh Richmond, editor, A Selection from the Writings of the Reformers and Early Protestant Divines of the Church of England. [...] This Volume Contains Various Tracts and Extracts from the Works of Archbishop Cranmer; with a Memorial of His Life (The Fathers of the English Church; 3), London: Published by John Hatchard, bookseller to the Queen, 190, opposite Albany, Piccadilly, OCLC 770459, page 629:
      For he [Augustine of Hippo] calleth there the daily bread, which we continually pray for, either corporal bread and meat, which is our daily sustenance for the body, or else the visible sacrament of bread and wine, or the invisible sacraments of God's word and commandments; of the which sacraments God's word is daily heard, and the other is daily seen.
    • 1987, Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen [i.e., Gabriele di Santa Maria Maddalena], “298. Corpus Christi: Thursday or Sunday after Trinity Sunday: Year A”, in Divine Intimacy, volume III (Ninth Sunday through Twenty-first Week of Ordinary Time), enl. and rev. edition, San Francisco, Calif.: Ignatius Press, →ISBN:
      This [the Eucharist] is not a physical food but a spiritual one, the very Body and Blood of Christ, offered for them as viaticum for their earthly journey. It is the "daily bread" which the faithful should ask for and eat [every]-day, more hungry and eager for it than for earthly bread.

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