Rediscovering The Feast

For much of the history of humankind feasting was about the rich and powerful giving of their abundance to the people who worked for them, or it was about equal sharing, with each participant contributing what they could afford to give. Nowadays our feasts are primarily about the workers further enriching the rich and powerful and spending far more on the occasion than they can possibly afford. The poor do not even get the scraps that fall on the floor anymore. The last remnants of the sharing paradigm exist only at the family level and even this is increasingly rare as family members become more distant from each other and we all become more insular and antisocial.

However, it is at the family level that the ember of true feasting still flickers, albeit dimly. Therefore, if feasting is to return to its original status, a celebration of mutual responsibility within community, those of us who wish to take feasting back from the selfish rich need to search for it within the grass roots of our communities and carefully fan the embers until they burst into full flame again.

The Church should be an ideal place for the rediscovery of feasting to take place. Sadly, at all its levels, it is too much part of the problem rather than being a leading part of the solution. Status and hierarchy are paramount for many of its members and even more of its leaders and functionaries. The days of all things being held in common are long gone, even for just once a year.

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