Bastian, who Kellas had just met, had said an unusual grace before the meal:
Kellas asked about Bastian’s grace before the meal. Astrid glanced at him and smiled (…). She explained that Bastian didn’t believe in God, but believed the flaws and limits of man required him to have some way of filling the needs that religion otherwise supplied. These were hope, gratitude, humility, restraint, confession, and atonement. He’d found such a way for himself, and it came out in his graces, his conversations and his counsel.
From We Are Now Beginning Our Decent, by James Meek (published 2008).