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Hallo again to all.

The fashionable meal that takes the place of breakfast and lunch* is one in which we are rarely able to participate. Our associates typically go out to brunch Sunday mornings while we are in church. Recently however, a confluence of circumstances led us to join in this cultural touchstone of brunch. This portmanteau of betweenness dates to late 19th century England, first appearing in print in 1985, but it gained popularity in the 1930s.

Brunch could serve as a heavy meal after either a long night of drink, or after church, relieving the woman of the house some of the pressures having to cook a large Sunday dinner. The tradition of alcoholic beverages with drink—whether mimosas or Bloody Marys—adds to the fashionable, yet comfortable stylings of this meal.

Admittedly, the brunch we attended was not one of avocado toast and champagne or a Scandinavian buffet, but rather one of pancakes slathered in syrup, turkey sausage, toasted cheese sandwiches, and copious amounts of coffee and juice. Rather than fashionable people and astute conversation, there were toddlers and babies, and talk of local university sporting events.

Brunch is, as meals go, one with ample room for socialization. It comes at a relaxed time of the day, when we feel comfortable spending time with friends and family. The easy atmosphere takes brunchers out of the context of their weekly concerns and gives them a chance to simply be—whether at a restaurant, ordered off a menu, a buffet, or in one's own family dining room.

We often early decline brunch invitations in favour of church attendance, as we find those same things more abundantly present in a community of faith where the central meal is the Eucharist. As attendance in church has fallen in the last several decades, it shouldn't be surprising that this smorgasbord of food has gained popularity. Still, it is small wonder people gather for such things as brunch on Sunday mornings, as those longings for a bit of 'time out' from the world do not change, whatever our religious leanings.

So much emphasis in the contemporary Anglican milieu is on taking action based on what we take from the liturgy, and rightly so. Still, that makes it easy to forget that all of us, at some point or another, sit in the pews looking for solace and rejuvenation. We would not want to replace worship with mimosas (using a white wine for the Eucharist is more than strange enough), but we do think it worth remembering as we plan corporate worship that sometimes people will need to be cared for in order to later do the caring.

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3 March 2019

*Not elevenses, though we like that too.

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