Blessing of the Easter Food Baskets
There will be the traditional Blessing of the Easter Food Baskets at the Redemptoris Mater Chapel
St. John Paul II Catholic Campus Ministry, 2603 Old Omen Rd, Tyler
This tradition dates back to the seventh century.
Baskets containing Easter foods are brought to church to be blessed on Holy Saturday. The basket is traditionally lined with a white linen or lace napkin and decorated with sprigs of boxwood (bukszpan), the typical Easter evergreen.
While in some older or rural communities, the priest visits the home to bless the foods, the vast majority today visit the church on Holy Saturday, praying at the Tomb of the Lord (the fourteenth and final Station of the Cross). The blessing specifically address the various contents of the baskets. The priest then sprinkles the individual baskets with holy water.
The foods in the baskets have a symbolic meaning:
- eggs – symbolize life and Christ’s resurrection
- Babka (Easter Bread) – A round or long loaf topped with a cross or a fish, symbolic of Jesus, who is the Bread of Life
- lamb – represents Christ
- Salt – A necessary element in our physical life. Symbolic of prosperity and justice and to remind us that people are the flavor of the earth.
- Chrzan (Horseradish) – Symbolic of the Passion of Christ still in our minds
- ham – symbolic of great joy and abundance
- Butter – This dairy product is often shaped into a lamb (Baranek Wielkanocny) or a cross. This reminds us of the good will of Christ that we should have towards all things.
- Kielbasa (Sausage) – A sausage product, symbolic of God’s favor and generosity.
- Smoked Bacon – A symbol of the overabundance of God’s mercy and generosity.
- Cheese – Symbolic of the moderation Christians should have at all times.
- Candle – Represents Christ as the Light of the World.
- Colorful Ribbons and Sprigs of Greenery – are attached to the basket as signs of joy and new life in the season of spring and in celebration of the Resurrection.
- Wine – for joy
- Sweets – suggest the promise of eternal life or good things to come.
The food blessed in the church remains untouched until the great Easter feast.