Blessing of Paschal Foods/Easter Baskets

Baskets brought for last year’s “Swieconka” Easter Basket Blessing in my parish.

In some places there is an old tradition of blessing the food that will be eaten on Easter morning (thereby breaking the traditional Lenten fast). These foods are usually brought in a nicely-decorated basket to the church on Holy Saturday morning to be blessed. See, for example, this information on the Polish tradition of swieconka.

Customs of course vary somewhat by country, and there is also the fact that now we tend to break our fast by eating chocolate or other candy on Easter morning instead of healthful kielbasa, eggs, butter, and bread!

The old Rituale Romanum (Roman Ritual) had a series of blessings for paschal foods. These more or less responded to the tradition that was prevalent in Poland and the other Slavic countries. I have made a file with these blessings, taken from the Rituale and with minor adaptations. It might be useful for any priest who will be doing an Easter Basket Blessing. DOWNLOAD IT HERE (PDF).

The final blessing on the page covers “all the other things” — from Lamb-shaped butters to chocolates and jelly beans. So regardless of what people bring in their baskets, everyone’s basket will be blessed.

I hope this file is useful for priests who have this tradition or wish to start it in their parishes.

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