Blessing of Easter Baskets at St. John’s Church

By on April 15, 2019

St. John the Evangelist Church will hold its annual Blessing of the Easter Baskets on Saturday, April 20, at 3 p.m. Rev. Peter Mottola will preside.

According to the Polish tradition of Swieconka (pronounced “shvyehn-SOHN-kah”) or “Easter lunch,” each food to be blessed in the basket symbolizes an aspect of the Easter story. The elaborately decorated eggs called Pisanki, for example, represent hope and new life. The molded butter lamb and its red banner represent Jesus and the victory of life over death. Other traditional basket items include bread, lamb-shaped cakes, yeast cakes, salt, horseradish, and meats including kielbasa (Polish sausages), ham and lamb.

Long ago, cooking was not permitted on Easter Sunday so warm meals were not served that day. While there are many regional variations on the contents and their meanings, the foods are almost always placed in a lined wicker basket and covered with a white linen cloth. The basket is then decorated with sprigs of boxwood, forsythia, pussy willows or daffodils. Children fill their baskets with jelly beans, candy eggs and chocolate bunnies. On Holy Saturday, families bring their baskets to church to be blessed, and then share the foods with family and friends at their Easter Sunday celebration.

There will be a take home treat for the children. All are welcome to bring their baskets of food to the church that Saturday afternoon for this Easter basket blessing. St John the Evangelist Church is located at 55 Martha Street, Spencerport. For information, call 352-5481.

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