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Blessing of the Easter Baskets & Schedule

Posted on March 19, 2024 in: News

Blessing of the Easter Baskets & Schedule

The Blessing of the Easter baskets is a long-cherished tradition in the Catholic faith. Rooted in religious significance and cultural heritage, it has come to hold profound meaning for people of all ethnic backgrounds. Its roots date back to the early 12th century history of Poland, and is now observed by many Eastern European countries, the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Many Eastern Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians, including Czechs, Croatians, Hungarians, Lithuanians, Russians, Slovaks and Ukrainians, also participate in this holy ritual.

On Holy Saturday, the day before Easter, families gather at their church with elaborately decorated baskets filled with an array of traditional foods. These baskets typically include eggs, bread, salt, sausage and other symbolic foods.

Each item in the basket carries its own significance. Eggs, often hand-painted in vibrant colors called “pisanki,” represent new life and the resurrection of Christ. Bread symbolizes Jesus as the "Bread of Life.” Salt serves as a reminder of God's covenant, an unbreakable bond between the Divine and humanity. Kielbasa, ham or other meats signify God’s great abundance and the joy of the Easter feast. Bread, often a sourdough or rye, represents the staff of life. Babka, a sweet Easter bread, or a lamb-shaped pound cake is often added, reminding us of the sweetness of life. Salt serves as a symbol of wisdom, purity and preservation. Butter, often in the shape of a lamb — the Lamb of God — represents the goodwill of Christ that we should have towards all. Wine, the drink of the Passover meal and the Last Supper. Often, baskets will also be adorned with greenery, red and white ribbons and a white candle, representing Jesus, Light of the World. 

As families assemble in the church, the parish priest will perform a solemn blessing over the baskets. This involves prayers, sprinkling of holy water and the use of incense. He will then invoke God's blessings upon the food, asking for health, prosperity and spiritual nourishment for those who partake in these offerings.

The blessed foods from the Easter baskets are not meant to be consumed immediately. Instead, they become part of the Easter Sunday meal, a festive and joyous occasion marked by the breaking of the Lenten fast. 

Through the Blessing of the Easter baskets, Catholics continue to pass down their faith and values from generation to generation, and to their faith community, who are also welcome to take part in this rich, beautiful tradition. 

 

Wesołego Alleluja! (Polish for Happy Easter!) 

 

By Andrea DePaola

 

HOLY SATURDAY BLESSING OF THE EASTER BASKETS

9 a.m.

•St. Patrick Church, East Hampton

10 a.m.

•St. Maurice Church, Bolton
• Our Lady of Lourdes, Gales Ferry
• St. Bridget of Kildare Church, Moodus
• St. Joseph Church, Norwich
• Our Lady of the Lakes, Oakdale
•St. Mary Church, Portland
• St. Joseph Church, Willimantic

 

11 a.m.

• Sacred Heart Church, Groton
• St. Bernard Church, Rockville
• St. John the Evangelist, Uncasville Noon
• St. Mary Church of the Visitation, Clinton
• St. Andrew Church, Colchester
• St. Mary, Mother of the Redeemer Church, Groton
•St. Joseph Church, Norwich
• Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Quaker Hill
•St. Mark Church, Westbrook
• St. Joseph Church, Vernon Rockville

12:30 p.m.

• St. Joseph Church, Vernon Rockville

1 p.m.

• St. Mary of Czestochowa, Middletown
•St. Francis Church, Lebanon
• St. Coleman Church, Middlefield
• St. Joseph Church, Vernon Rockville

1:30 p.m.

• St. Joseph Church, Vernon Rockville

2 p.m.

• St. Joseph Church, Vernon Rockville


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