Dining on Tradition by Joanne L. Canda

Dining on Tradition

Joanne L. Canda on How Using Great-Grandmother's China Has Made Us a Godlier Family

I love setting our family table with Great-grandmother's old china on Sundays and special family occasions. It might be my girlie self; in fact, I know it is. My husband has always wondered about a wife who lights candles and sets out wildflowers for picnics and on camping trips. But my being a practicing Christian woman might have a hand in this habit also. Allow me to explain.

To our forebears, acquiring valuable china and silver flatware was worth the financial sacrifice because setting a beautiful table did not just mean flowers and napkins. There was emotional and cultural weight to a formal table setting. Family and friends were invited to share what was the very best to be offered. You would dress nicely for a Sunday or holiday dinner, and so the table was dressed nicely, too. There would be a certain formality about what on other days were common activities. The idea was not to intimidate the table guests but to honor them, to create something special for those who were special to the host and hostess. These meals were significant occasions, and so they began with the lighting of candles and prayer.

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