Dinner · Family life · hospitality · memories

(L)Oven Monday – Memories of Sunday Dinner


The term “Sunday dinner” carries with it sweet memories of wonderful aromas and samplings of things like roast beef, gravy, Southern green beans, mashed potatoes, salad and rolls.  The meal was finished off with a special dessert – perhaps homemade pie or a layered cake.

In my mind’s eye we are seated at the dining room table, cloth napkins in the lap and beautiful dishes before us to hold the prepared feast. All this wasn’t to impress anyone – it was tradition, whether it was just family, or if guests were invited.

Sunday Dinner followed the morning worship service at church.  It was what happened after the gathering with believers for study, worship and the preaching of God’s Word.  We marched into the house after church, set down Bibles and purses, and  donned an apron over our Sunday clothes to finish the preparation necessary to get the meal on the table in a surprisingly short amount of time.

Because of the prep that had been done ahead of time, it wouldn’t be long before the call to dinner came.  The table had been set, the roast promptly put into the oven before leaving for church, the salad made the night before, and potatoes peeled and bobbing in the boiling water in the crock pot so they’d be ready to mash.  The dessert stood at attention under the cake dome and dessert plates stacked beside it, ready to hold the finale – to most, the best part of the anticipated meal!

In record time,  we’d set each filled bowl on the table, giving the meat platter the grandest place, like a bouquet of roses or a crystal chandelier in the middle of the table.  Those seated around the table held hands, and bowed their heads as they gratefully gave thanks – for not just the food before them, but for another opportunity to gather like this on Sunday, the first day of the week to worship at church, and now to share in this meal at home with all the warmth of fellowship, tradition and the best food on the planet.  It was time for “Sunday Dinner” and were thankful.

I wonder if you have memories of Sunday dinner like I do?  Did your family gather for a meal that was different from the rest of the week?  Recently my daughter was telling me that she’s finding it hard to do those Sunday dinners because of the time it involves.  It does take time, but once you gather some recipes that work well to make ahead of time, and learn some skills in starting your efforts early so there’s not even a ton of clean-up afterwards, you will be able to pull off Sunday dinner without spending the whole weekend in the kitchen.

Sunday dinner communicates to your family a desire to go above and beyond.  It gives that sense of family and belonging that I described earlier.  So why not learn and stretch yourself and go the distance at least a couple times a month for starters and make a fantastic meal and experience in your kitchen?  You’ll be making more than good food!

For some future Monday posts, I’m going to be sharing some recipes that are good for Sunday do-ahead meals.  They’ll be recipes that you won’t have to spend tons of time working on once you get home from church.  Please leave me comments here with any questions or problems you would have about making a meal like this.

  • What stumps you when you go to prepare a “Sunday Dinner?
  • What keeps you from making a home-cooked meal on Sunday?
  • Do you feel intimidated to invite people over on Sunday?
  • Do you feel confident about the how-to’s of a meal like this?
  • How could I encourage you?

I’m gathering some of my favorite Sunday dinner recipes and will have a list of entrees, sides, salads, and desserts that will be simple to make and serve to your family. I’ll also be sharing some TIPS that will make you feel confident to make Sunday Dinner a part of your weekly routine!

Let the comments/questions begin!


11 thoughts on “(L)Oven Monday – Memories of Sunday Dinner

  1. I’m excited for this series! I always loved our Sunday dinners, from the table settings to the food and of course dessert – and I always dreamed of recreating those experiences for my own family. I’m not intimidated to invite guests over for a meal, but I do have a hard time coming up with menus that feed a crowd, are affordable and offer something for guests who are trying to eat a healthy diet. I tend to lean toward pasta dishes for a crowd, and that doesn’t really work for healthy eating. Roast beef for 8 will blow my grocery budget…and I’ve served roast chicken to everyone! LOL.


  2. I’m looking forward to this series! I’d love to be more intentional instead of coming home from church hungry and trying to invent something asap. Thanks for thinking of this 🙂


  3. I try to have leftovers ready for after church, but I don’t think that would necessarily be enough for guests too. I’m looking forward to learning from you on this topic. Affordability is important as well as trying to avoid gluten.


      1. I can pretty much adapt anything, so don’t feel like that has to be a top priority. 😉Looking forward to learning!


  4. Need affordable, healthy meal ideas (that aren’t pasta) that can be made in a crock pot or quickly. I no longer have a time-bake feature on my oven, which I had often relied on before. I know a major roadblock for many women preparing a Sunday dinner is babies and young children. As a pastor’s wife I made Sunday dinners for my family for many, many years, and invited guests. Now our children are grown and married and they all have babies, toddlers, and small children who need to be fed and put down for naps as quickly as possible. They don’t want to do Sunday dinners and rely on leftovers but that is getting harder when they have a family of 6! Look forward to this series!


  5. Yes, I usually have to nurse my baby right when I get home from church! And have 3 other littles as well. However, I like to have a nice meal waiting for us. My husband is a pastor and I think it is the least I can do to help him out on a Sunday. I am looking forward to your ideas!


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