A Medieval Affair
This weekend I went to the Abbey Medieval Banquet. It’s a night where you can immerse yourself in medieval culture. As a lover of all things historical I totally feel completely at ease and at my element in dressing up.
I mean I was named after a princess after all…
I love the long flowy dresses of that time and the camaraderie of sitting down at a long banquet table sharing a meal with friends and meeting new ones.
Life as a medieval person definitely wasn’t easy but in the midst of their lives there are lessons that can be learnt and applied today.
Here are four ideas I observed as I enjoyed the festivities:
4 Ways To Live a Medieval Life in a Modern World.
Medieval People Served
During the Medieval period there was a clearly defined feudal system. This feudal system was basically a series of obligations one owed to one another. It may include protection, giving of food/shelter, and monetary contributions. They had to rely on one another in a time filled with conquests, disease, and corruption.
As I looked around me at the Medieval banquet I saw many a volunteer serving. You heard me. They had volunteered their night to serve us at the banquet. Can you imagine how hard that would be? Smelling the beautiful aromas, watching the dancing but not being able to participate? They simply served.
At the beginning of a feast it was customary in Medieval times to offer a bowl of scented water to freshen up from your journey. I love this. It’s not so much the washing of their hands but rather the care the host put into making sure their guest was comfortable.
What can we do in our every day life to serve others and to make them feel ‘freshened up for their journey?’
It’s so easy to get caught up in our own self care that we forget to look at the needs of the others around us.
Of course looking after ourselves is awesome and often we need to do that first so that we can better serve others. I have seen the opposite happen where one serves everyone else but themselves and this too can be detrimental.
Let’s be challenged to cultivate a servant heart today.
Sharing of a meal was a ritual
I absolutely love this! The sharing of a meal was a ritual that was central to medieval culture. It was often referred to as messing together. Isn’t that great?
The feast would consist of many courses which were served onto platters and everyone helped themselves.
Isn’t it funny that when our guests come around we spend so long getting ready that sometimes we miss what is important. We dart from kitchen to dining room trying to impress our guests when really we need to forget about showing off our Masterchef skills (or lack thereof), and just sit and ‘do life’ with our guests. By all means get out your best cutlery and light a few candles for ambiance but remember to share not just in the meal but in each other’s lives.
Religion was important to them.
I was going to say God was really important to them during this time. However, during this time people were really involved because they didn’t really know any better. They were scared of what would happen to them in the afterlife. They had wired in fear rather than love. Read my post about that here.
To me it isn’t religion that we need to cultivate. It’s more about our own individual connection with God.
What do you do to connect with the divine?
I remember when I sat down with my coach we uncovered that I connect by ‘doing.’ I connect best in the car! In the car I can’t go anywhere so I find I tune in more to God when I’m going about my every day business rather than sitting down on the couch reading intently. She also reminded me to look at what the women in the Bible were doing to connect with God as opposed to what the men did. The women were always doing things while the men were typically sitting and learning from the teachings.
What are you doing today that connects your heart to God?
It was important at a feast to provide entertainment for the guests. At the feast we went to we were delighted by jugglers who performed tricks, dancers, fire twirlers, and listened to Troubadours who sang about courtly life.
Not every dinner party must include entertainment. It’s more about what can we do to bring delight to our guests. At our dinner parties we like to play board games which can sometimes be divisive. However, it’s always a lot of fun purely because of the delight it brings and the fact that we get to do life with one another.
I hope that this week you can find ways to serve, connect and entertain the people around you. May you find opportunities to bless others and to live a Medieval life in a Modern world.
What are some ways of the past that we should incorporate more into our modern day lives?
I love the point about sharing a meal together. I am definitely one that is often busy in the kitchen and missing out on being with my guests. This us definitely something I am going to consider next time I plan a meal with guests.
Me too. I stress heaps about everything being right and often miss out on just ‘being.’ Glad you liked it and got something out of it. You are one of the most giving people I know so I realise how hard it would be for you to sit down. Let me know how you go with just ‘being’ with your guests next time.
Beautiful post to I loved what you took away from the experience. I love all things medieval and dressing up too!!! I’ve always wanted to go to the banquet. Can’t wait for you to tell me all about it next Saturday 🙂
I’ve been to the fair a few years ago and loved it!! I’ve wanted to go back the last 2yrs but had commitments.
Thanks Rebecca for the lovely comments. The fair is on the same weekend as our coaching training day so not going this year (although it’s been a few years since I’ve been to the fair). The banquet is amazing and so much fun. Dressing up is such a hoot and hanging out with friends is great too. Thanks for the blog love.