Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Old Sunday Dinner

Paul Horsch and His Family During their Sunday Dinner

In the Old Days, American Families would gather round the table after Church for a big Sunday dinner. Often relatives would come by - like a brother, aunt or cousins. There would be laughter and happiness and a joyous day of rest from labor. There were Blue laws * so the stores were all closed.  It was like the country encouraged everyone to stay home and have family time.  This was still going on in the 1960's.

Mother went out of her way to plan and prepare a hearty meal. She would get the children to help her set the table and then send them off so they would not be "under foot." Mother made a big pitcher of lemonade or iced tea. She also had plenty of freshly brewed coffee. There was often fresh baked bread, or biscuits, that she had prepared the day before. This big meal was a way to nourish the family with comfort and love.

After dinner, the women visited and cleaned up.  Sometimes they talked about the state of the culture or  comforted each other over some trial. This helped make getting through the week much better, knowing they would get together each Sunday after Church.

The men would head outdoors or in the living room and talk and visit, while the children raced out to the porch, or the back field, to enjoy each others company.

This was a precious time of remembering the morning sermon, refreshing the soul with good fellowship and enjoying a rest from worldly cares.

I think we lost a little something when the blue laws were mostly repealed. 

Mrs. White

*The Blue Laws were In Effect in Massachusetts, where I grew up, and where my Mother grew up.  Other states had similar laws.*

Precious - What Sunday Used to Mean to Housewives.

How a 3 Year Old Amazed the Family, in - Commandments Before Playing. 

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Helen said...

this is how South Africa was when we left in 1986. They were in a time warp, which was wonderful. A lot different now, though.

MamaHen said...

I love the picture. My grandmother had wallpaper similiar to that. And I love how they are passing the baby around. So precious.

Mrs. Laura Lane said...

You know, I remember it being like this when we visited my grandma in her little hometown. I never realized that there was something called a Blue Law. I thought it was just something people did.

I'm home sick this morning with a sick child; but, I think I am going to try to do something extra special for next Sunday's dinner.

Thanks for opening my eyes.

Dimple said...

Thanks for the reminder!
Our family is much smaller these days, with our children in different states, but today I have invited a sister-in-law over for dinner after church. I will remember how it used to be when the family was together.

Anonymous said...

loved this post! i miss sunday dinner at my folks , which we had every sunday without fail and the kids played in the yard with grandpa and more. but we had to move to Texas and now we live too far away. :(

Katrina said...

It seems in these days, families are spread out all over the country. I have one sister, and she lives in TX while I'm in CA...and I'm missing out on being "Auntie" to her little ones because we only see each other on average once a year. So sad. Same thing with my husband's 3 siblings. They live out of state, too -- it seems we are the only ones who stayed in CA. Everyone else left for different states. We don't have cousins for our kids, nor are we the Auntie and Uncle we would have liked to have been. I have nine children, and I just hope when they all grow up and move away, that they at least stay within an hour's drive from us.

Saw your blog on the blog hop - I'm a new follower:)

DWYHomemaking  said...

This is something I've just started doing in my home. I try to prepare everything I can on Saturday {dessert, sides and set the table} that way when we come home from church I can just whip it up. My kids love this meal because we use our fine china and all have dessert and decaf coffee together! Thanks for such an encouraging reminder about the good old fashioned sunday dinner!