Truly He Has Risen!
Хрисtос Воскрес! Воїстину Воскрес!
Christ has risen, truly He has risen! And here we are, basking in the glow of our Redemption, at least during these Octave days.
The high level of activity has toned down, advertising on TV has shifted, and although sin continues, there is a sense of peace.
There is always a significant family factor in our Easter, not like the Christmas gift-giving, caroling, ringing in the new year, and certainly without that secular invention, the Easter bunny. In our family, the Food Blessing at St. Constantine Ukrainian Catholic Church in Northeast Minneapolis is a highlight of the Easter week-end, knitting together the hallowed events of the Triduum to the anticipation of the Easter feast by blessing the food to be used on Sunday.
Holy Saturday is busy with bread-baking, egg decorating, and general preparations. My middle son, who journeyed 140 miles with his family and middle daughter (hostess for the week-end) experiment with new designs
for pysanky (Ukrainian dyed eggs) and the kids run through the house chanting, “Bless the cheese, bless the meats, Amen” (pronounced Ah-meen). Metta, 20 months, doesn’t get it, but runs along. My preparations at home were abit different because I decided to make paczki (Polish doughnut holes), just a few dozen, never as perfectly round and tasty as my grandmother’s, but satisfactory. The process is a bit involved, nothing like the days and dozens when all the kids were home and each had a job, measuring, rolling, like an assembly line. They still talk about the fire that occurred one year when first born-son, who was in charge of the removing the pastry from the boiling oil, got too close with the plate and specifically the paper towels on the plate. Minor damage, the cooking went on.
This year there was a large crowd at the blessing, many young faces, fewer oldsters, a lot of children. I don’t know if they were recent immigrants or children returning to the joy of their youth, but when the priest intoned the Ukrainian hymn, all joined in perfect polyphony. We Anglos have been coming over 20 years and still can’t get it right. The priest prays, blesses, and sings in Ukrainian and English and then comes to bless each basket. He is free with the holy water. He said he remembers getting doused as a youngster and thought how great it would be to become a priest and do that to people too.
After the blessing, off to church. There before the hidden altar is the Shroud of Christ, before it a large Oriental rug and a kneeler.
Many came on their knees across that rug to venerate the Shroud and kiss the Holy Wounds of Christ. It is always a time for education, penance and thanksgiving. This year I noticed a little crown of thorns above the Shroud. I suppose it was gauche to stand there and take a picture of these holy things, but if I hadn’t, you would not be able to share in our Easter experience.
This article, Truly He Has Risen! is a post from The Bellarmine Forum.
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