We will be blessing Easter baskets! Come to the church at 2:00 - 3:00 pm on Holy Saturday, April 16th to have your Easter food and treats blessed by the priests.
Traditionally, the faithful brought lamb, other meats, bread, eggs, horseradish (and other bitter herbs), and wine as a way of consecrating the whole of the Easter season. Items to bring, however, are not limited to those above, so don't forget the chocolates!
Blessing of the Paschal Lamb
The lamb, either meat or a symbolic lamb in the form of cake or butter, is the ancient Passover food in whose blood the Israelites were saved. Jesus is our Paschal (Passover) Lamb by whose blood we are saved.
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.
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.
Blessing of Eggs
Eggs are a sign of hope and resurrection. Jesus comes forth from the tomb as a chick breaks the shell at birth. Because of the special meaning, it is fitting that the eggs be blessed and decorated with symbols of Easter.
Blessing of Horseradish (Bitter 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.
Blessing of Wine
Wine is the drink of the Passover meal and of the Last Supper.
Can't make it? Please us the rite below:
The Father of the family says:
Throughout Lent we have been preparing for the resurrection of the Lord by prayer, almsgiving, and fasting. Our Lenten fasting is a reminder of our hunger and thirst for holiness, which is satisfied only by Christ who feeds and nourishes us by His word and sacraments. When we gather at our first meal of Easter may this food be a sign for us of that heavenly banquet to which the Lord calls us.
READING OF THE WORD OF GOD
A member of the family then reads a text of sacred Scripture (John 6:1-14): Brothers and sisters, listen to the words of the Gospel of St. John.
After this, Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee [of Tiberias]. A large crowd followed him, because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick. Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. The Jewish feast of Passover was near. When Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a large crowd was coming to him, he said to Philip, “Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?” He said this to test him, because he himself knew what he was going to do. Philip answered him, “Two hundred days’ wages worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little [bit].” One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?” Jesus said, “Have the people recline.” Now there was a great deal of grass in that place. So the men reclined, about five thousand in number. Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were reclining, and also as much of the fish as they wanted. When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples, “Gather the fragments left over, so that nothing will be wasted.” So they collected them, and filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat. When the people saw the sign he had done, they said, “This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world.”
PRAYER OF BLESSING
With hands joined the Father prays.
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.
The food is sprinkled with Holy Water.
The Father concludes the rite by signing himself with the sign of the cross and saying:
May Christ nourish us and strengthen us in faith and love now and forever.