The Church Fathers emphasized the reading of scripture together in the domestic church. Praying together, especially taking the time to give thanks for and bless the food we share, can become a chance to recollect the actions of the Last Supper. If you have fallen out of the practice of saying grace before meals, why not start again? If your table grace has become stale or “rote”, perhaps it is time to refresh it. Call to mind the celebration of the Eucharist as you gather around your food and share it, whether a loaf of bread and a bottle of wine, or a casserole or a pizza. Recollect God’s presence in your midst and the saving acts of Christ as you give thanks for your blessings of food and drink. In the words of John Hill, “a renewal of the dinner table…would still not be the Eucharist, but it could nevertheless be a ‘meal of remembrance’”. We can “recognize the essential relationship of interdependence between the domestic church and parish church, between the dinner table and the holy table, …[and] restore foundations for the renewal of the parish liturgy when it returns.”
We encourage you this Lent to review your devotional practices around dining, whether it is alone or with your household. Consider reading scripture together. Refresh your practice of saying grace before eating; some wonderful table prayers have been provided by John Hill.