Postponed to Jan. 13

First Church revives Boar's Head Madrigal Dinner

Jan 05, 2018

Belfast — A Boar's Head Feast, originally scheduled for Epiphany Day (Jan. 6), has been postponed to Saturday, Jan. 13, at 5 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall of The First Church in Belfast, United Church of Christ.

All are invited to come and join with the king and queen and their court as they are entertained by the Lord of Misrule and the many mummers (actors and mimes), musicians and singers. Children of the Sunday School, along with adults of the church and the community will fill the character roles.

The First Church ha​d a history of doing the Boar's Head Madrigal Dinner back in the early 1990s. Now, as the church celebrates the 200th year of the building of its sanctuary in 2018, it is reviving this playful celebration of the Christmas season.

The feast recalls the medieval English tradition that celebrated the last day of Christmastide (the 12th day of Christmas) and the welcoming of the New Year. It is unknown precisely where the boar's head as a dish originated. Earliest written record of the ceremony dates back to 1170 in England but its roots certainly go back to pagan rituals involving the sacrifice of a large boar to the god Frey, the Germanic god of fertility.

As the custom became popular throughout Europe, it also became a cherished event in the great manor houses of Britain. The Christian Church endowed the custom with symbolic meaning and elevated it to the service of God, with the ceremony thus becoming a service of praise to the Lord of the Universe by the Lord of the Manor.

The feast being prepared by First Church cooks will include roast pork, ham, and turkey, along with potatoes, various vegetables, rolls and bread pudding dessert. Of course "wassail" or mulled cider (non-alcoholic) will be included!

Tickets can be ordered from the church office. The cost is $​15/$10/$5​ per person​; $25 ​for families with young children.

The First Church Fellowship Hall entrance is at 55 Spring St., at the Court Street intersection. The First Church is an open and affirming congregation, welcoming all, and the building is ADA accessible.

For more information or to order tickets, please call the church office at 338-2282.

 

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