Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Potluck Lunch on February 10th and a Review of the Origin of a Potluck
While we have all attended potlucks, not many people know the origin of the word. In this context a potluck is defined as "a communal meal to which people bring food to share." Synonyms for a potluck meal include Jacob's join, Jacob's supper, and in church circles it is sometimes called a 'faith supper.'
According to one anthropological assessment of the potluck, church meals can be as important as services, doctrine, or ethics. They are often construed as analogies for the church's understanding of the structure of society.
As reviewed in Wikipedia, the Irish, know potluck as a meal with no particular menu. The term comes from a time when groups of Irish women would gather together and cook dinner. They only had one pot so they cooked the meal together with whatever ingredients they happened to have that day.
The potluck can also refer to the fellowship offering which was a communal dinner by a religious community as well as an act of sacrifice. As per Jewish sacrificial ritual it included the boiling of the meat after the fat had been burned off on the altar. A representative of the priest would randomly plunge the fork into the boiling pot and whatever portion of the meat came out on the fork was for the priest. This could rightly be considered to be the "Luck" of the "Pot," both for the priest and for the person making the sacrifice. It is not surprising then that the term "'potluck' is used for church social meals.
Regardless of the etiology of the potluck, all are welcome to contribute a meal and share in fellowship on February 10th.