This is the first post in my series “That’s Why We Do That?”
Growing up, Sunday lunch was a big deal in my family. We would all head to my grandparents house where my grandmother would prepare an absolutely enormous meal for our close family – the five of us, my Aunt Laurie and her family and whoever else of our family was in town at the time.
As an adult, I still tend to eat large meals for Sunday lunch. My family will head to our favorite restaurants and enjoy a meal we would never eat for lunch on a weekday.
Why do we do this?
In the Roman Catholic liturgy, it is required that you fast for one hour before receiving the Eucharist. During the Medieval Age, people did not have personal watches or time keeping devices of any kind really. Rather than risk the chance of violating the fast, people would simply not have breakfast. Since breakfast was the largest meal of the day in that time, it meant that people had not eaten since supper the previous day (which was usually taken shortly after sunset).
The result was a lot of hungry people.
These people would generally carry large meals with them to the church and after receiving Eucharist, they would eat their meals before going back to whatever they had to do that day.
This practice evolved into what we call church potlucks today but it is also the reason people still tend to gorge themselves on Sunday afternoons.