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Święconka tradition emulates the very first Easter – 7 foods, and Holy Saturday Blessing of Food

John Dejak wrote an excellent article on holy Saturday traditions earlier this week. But the tradition itself of preparing a basket of various foods, which are actually outlined in the blessing itself (see below), goes back pretty far. Among the Slavs, nearly everyone has a similar tradition.

The idea of having something to do in preparing very specific things goes all the way back to the very first Easter, however. There were, after all, the ointment-bearing women who brought specific things to the tomb of our Lord on holy Saturday. They had to run around and find the right things and make preparations, and get it all done within a specific time. I find it to be a recipe for perfect expectation of the resurrection on Easter!

You start to smell things that you haven’t seen for all of lent, and ham, and eggs and cheese — that is, if you has been following a strict fast. But, if you gave up candy or other things, I suppose this could be similar because what you’ve been without — something you’ve noticed to be missing is very close to being returned to you! I find it mouth watering to even scramble the eggs that go in the babka bread dough!

It is a tradition worth keeping, and it makes the first meal of Easter all the much more special!

Here’s a typical Easter basket:

Easter Baskets

And a look inside:

IMG_4526

A Typical Blessing imparted by a priest on Easter baskets:

The foods traditionally blessed for Easter, the feast of the Lord’s Passover from death to life are the foods which God prescribed for the ancient Passover meal: lamb, bread, wine and bitter herbs.

Greeting

P. May the grace and peace of Jesus Christ be with you.

ALL: AND ALSO WITH YOU.

P. He loves us and freed us from our sins by his own blood.

ALL: TO HIM BE GLORY AND POWER FOR EVER AND EVER. AMEN.

P. + Our help is from the Lord.

ALL: WHO MADE HEAVEN AND EARTH AND EARTH.

P. Let us pray:

Blessing of the Paschal Lamb

The Lamb, either made of meat or a symbolic lamb in the form of cake or butter is the ancient Passover food by whose blood the Israelites were saved. Jesus is our Pascal (Passover) Lamb by whose blood we are saved.

P: Father, giver of all good things, you commanded our ancestors in faith to partake of lamb on Passover night. + Bless this lamb prepared for our celebration in honor of your Son’s Passover from death to life, for he is truly the Paschal Lamb by whose blood we are saved. As we enjoy the food which you sanctify for our nourishment, may we also obtain your + blessing through the cross and resurrection of your Son. Yours is the power, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, crow and forever.

ALL: AMEN

Blessing of other Meats

Ham celebrates the freedom of the New Law which came into effect through Jesus’ resurrection, in distinction to the Old Law which forbade certain meats. Sausage is an ethnic addition to enhance the celebration; its links remind us of the chains of death which were broken when Jesus arose.

P. O God, through Moses you commanded your people in their deliverance from Egypt to kill a lamb and mark their doorposts with its blood. We understand this to prefigure our deliverance by Jesus’ shedding of his blood. May it please you to + bless and sanctify this meat which we desire to eat in praise of Him, our Paschal Lamb, who lives and reigns for ever and ever.

ALL: AMEN

Blessing of Bread

Bread reminds us of Jesus, the risen Lord, who in the Eucharist is the food of our earthly journey and the true bread of everlasting life.

P. Almighty, everlasting God, be pleased to + bless this bread. May it be a healthful food for body and soul, a ward against every disease, and a defense against all harm. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, the bread of life, who came down from heaven and gives life and salvation to all the world, who lives and reigns for ever and ever.

ALL: AMEN.

Blessing of Dairy Foods

P. O God, creator and author of all being, + bless these cheeses and butter and other dairy foods. Keep us in your love, so that as we partake of them, we may be filled with your bountiful gifts on account of our Lord’s glorious resurrection from the dead. We give glory to you, our Father without beginning, to your Son who is our true Food, and to your good and life-giving Spirit, now and forever.

ALL: AMEN

Blessing of Eggs

Eggs are a sign of hope and resurrection. Jesus comes forth from the tomb as the chick breaks the shell at birth. Because of the special meaning, it is fitting that the eggs to be blessed be decorated with symbols of Easter, Alleluia, and so forth.

P. Father in heaven, let your + blessing come upon these eggs. When we break them, we see a sign of your Son rising to new life from the tomb. May we eat them in joyful celebration of his resurrection, for he lives and reigns with you for ever and ever.

ALL: AMEN

Blessing of Cakes and Pastries

P. Lord Jesus Christ, living bread of everlasting life, + bless these cakes and pastries as you once blessed the five loaves in the wilderness. As we eat them may we receive the health we desire for body and soul. We ask this of you, our risen Lord, who live and reign for ever and ever.

ALL: AMEN

Blessing of Horseradish (Herbs)

Horseradish represents the bitter herbs prescribed in the original Passover meal as a reminder of the bitterness and harshness of life in Egypt. It reminds us of the bitterness of Jesus’ Passion by which He entered into glory.

P. O God, through Moses you directed the Israelites to carry their sheaves to the priests for a blessing. Hear our prayers and shower abundant + blessings on us and these assorted foods which we gratefully present to you in honor of your Son’s resurrection. Grant that we may find them a remedy against sickness, a source of strength for our bodies, and a protection of soul by calling on your holy name. We ask this through Christ our risen Lord

ALL: AMEN.

Blessing of Wine

Wine is the drink of the Passover meal and the Last Supper. Its sparkle reminds us of the glory of Easter. Wine gladdens our hearts and helps us enter into the joy of the resurrection.

P. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, in Cana of Galilee you changed water into wine. Be pleased to + bless this wine which you have given us as refreshment. Grant that whenever it is taken as drink, it may be accompanied by an outpouring of your lifegiving grace, for ever and ever.
ALL: AMEN

Blessing of children and candy

Father we ask you to + bless the children and their parents and friends. Grant that they and their families may appreciate all that you give them. + Bless their Easter Eggs and candy and all the gifts that they have received. Grant that they will learn to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, your Son and our brother. As they eat these foods and candies may their Easter joy increase. We ask this through Christ our risen Lord.

ALL: AMEN

Intercessions

P. The Son of God who invites us to the Pascal feast stands ready to help. Let us call upon him in our need.
Response. Lord prepare us for the feast of life.
That Easter may find us cleansed of sin and ready to live anew our Christian faith, we pray to the Lord.
Response. Lord prepare us for the feast of life.
That the bread we share may be a reminder of the bread of life we share in the eucharist, we pray to the Lord.
Response: Lord prepare us for the feast of life.
That we may be ready to give from our table to those who hunger and thirst, we pray to the Lord.
Response: Lord prepare us for the feast of life.
That we may one day enjoy the banquet of the Lord in the heavenly kingdom, we pray to the Lord.
Response: Lord prepare us for the feast of life.

Prayer of blessing.
God of glory, the eyes of all turn to you as we celebrate Christ’s victory over sin and death. Bless us and this food of our first Easter meal. May we who gather at the Lord’s table continue to celebrate the joy of his resurrection and be admitted finally to his heavenly banquet. Grant this through Christ our Lord.
ALL: AMEN
May Christ always nourish you and strengthen you in faith and love, now and forever.
ALL: AMEN
And may almighty God bless you all, the Father, and the Son, + and the Holy Spirit.
ALL: AMEN.


This article, Święconka tradition emulates the very first Easter – 7 foods, and Holy Saturday Blessing of Food is a post from The Bellarmine Forum.
https://bellarmineforum.org/2013/03/30/swieconka-tradition-emulates-the-very-first-easter-7-foods-and-holy-saturday-blessing-of-food/
Do not repost the entire article without written permission. Reasonable excerpts may be reposted so long as it is linked to this page.

John B. Manos

John B. Manos, Esq. is an attorney and chemical engineer. He has a dog, Fyo, and likes photography, astronomy, and dusty old books published by Benzinger Brothers. He is the President of the Bellarmine Forum.
  • Well, we have the Facebook link now giving the opportunity to share our posts again, but now it is putting the wrong picture up. seems like you can never win!

  • evie andrejczyk says:

    I would like to order a cover for my basket to bring to church. I have been doing this for over 50 years . I was taught by my mother-in-law and love the tradition. I am actually Irish/french/austrian. do you have a catalog????

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