As hard as it is to believe, the Eucharist – one of the central tenets of the Christian faith – began as a meal the Lord shared with His disciples where He uttered the words “This is My Body…This is My Blood…which will be given up for you.”
The sharing of food among the members of a community – be it for a gathering in a spiritual context or even a common meal – is actually one of the best ways to bring people together. In the Philippines, the only predominantly Christian country in Asia, Holy Week is marked by family reunions, times that bring people together at the table in celebration of Christ’s triumph over sin and death in the spirit of kinship and camaraderie.
As meat is specifically forbidden for the Good Friday fast, families partake of various fish and seafood dishes. Some may be as simple as the sarciadong isda (known as cardillo in other parts of the country) made with fried fish smothered with a sauce made with fresh tomatoes.
It can also be as austerely elegant as a salmon meuniere served atop mashed potatoes, or even as lavish as Norwegian smoked salmon dressed with a tangy vinaigrette and sprinkled with capers.
Whether your Lenten fare is simple or elegant or a pleasant combination of both, be sure to share it with those nearest and dearest to you in commemoration of that Last Supper when our Savior gave Himself up to save us from our sins.