Blessing of Easter Baskets

Our church is doing this at Easter service…anybody who has celebrated Pascha in an Eastern church, what do you put in your basket and where could i find a pascha basket cover/candle for my basket? This is our first year doing this, last year the church we were at did the service at midnight and we couldn’t get there with our very small children.

Trying to remember everything with my sleepy brain…:stuck_out_tongue:

This is coming from a Ukrainian Easter basket:

–> Of course you need the paska. No Easter basket is an Easter basket without paska! :smiley:

–> Pysanky, as well as plain eggs (I think we hard-boiled the plain ones)

–> Horseradish

–> Kobasa

–> Ham

–> Butter

–> (blessed) Candle

–> Cloth below and above (embroidered)

I am probably forgetting something. Maybe someone else can fill in the gaps. The “cover” you mention is just a rushnyk-- ours were either given to us as gifts or bought. There are several places you can order them online, and if you want I will try to find and post the URLs tomorrow.

Hello Catharine,

Here’s a link if you wish to purchase a special Easter rushnyk. I usually put some pysanky in the basket, as well. Salt and pepper, some greenery or flowers, farmer’s cheese and a relish made of grated beets with horseradish are also sometimes included. My mother would always peel some of the hard boiled eggs. She would shape the butter and then press XB and a cross into it. Our church has the blessing of food on Holy Saturday afternoon so whole families can attend. The incense together with the aroma of the food can be quite heady!

Oops, forgot the link:

yevshan.com/main.asp?cid=683

Thank you Kuryakyn and mariyka–I think the already embroidered cloths are out of my budget this year–perhaps I’ll have to make do with some plain cloths and work on my own throughout the coming year. Now I have more ideas as to what to put in. I was planning to make pascha bread (or at least Hungarian milk-loaf) and the horseradish sounds right up my alley, if not my family’s. :smiley:

I think i’ll be putting in some chocolate rabbits and lambs if i can find them as well (for the kids, of course, right?).

Since our teeny congregation borrows space in a Roman Catholic church we will be celebrating “early” on Saturday with the service, blessing of baskets and a potluck.

Hi Catherine

It isn’t only the Eastern Christians who have this custom.

You find that Slovaks, Czechs, Poles, Hungarians, Croatians and Slovenes also bless baskets of Easter food and they are 99% Roman Catholic.

You find different things in the baskets depending on where you’re from. For instance, Croatians and Slovenes put lamb in their baskets instead of ham.

In Western Slovakia, they make a veal loaf and put that into their basket.

My family is from Eastern Slovakia and we put slab bacon into the basket along with the ham and kolbassy.

In regions where they made wine, you will often find bottles of wine.

In some regions of Hungary and Croatia, they also put in garlic and spring onions.

Hope this helps…

Hi Catherine

You can also go to www.hanuseys.com

They have plenty of Easter stuff including printed basket covers and plastic molds to make your butter lamb.

You may also want to take a look at www.allthingsukrainian.com they have AWESOME basket covers in 3 sizes, small, medium and large. All are hand-done.

If you are planning on waiting, you can also check out eBay. There are some incredible things there that are coming from Ukraine.

You may want to consider getting small baskets for your kids to take to church with their candy. You can put your food basket there and
their baskets next to yours.

Yevshan has some nice ones; there are also several vendors on Ebay who specialize in Ukrainian items. The pasok cover is generally not a usual rushnyk, but has “Khristos Voskres” and other ornamentation on it.

And cheese paskha… and krashanky…butter lambs…and all the other stuff already posted. Have fun with it.
FDRLB

I belong to a Roman Catholic parish that is not a “nationality parish”. People are from all sorts of nationalities, but my pastor still has the blessing of Easter food.

Fr. Dn,

I believe it started out as a wrap for the Paska bread, so it was also called a chilbovka. Have you seen the photos of the Hutsuls from Jasynja and their gigantic paska breads? They make a special big basket just for the “Velyku Paska”! Joj!

Ung

The custom of taking a basket of food to be blessed on Holy Saturday is a custom that was brought from Central and Eastern Europe.

I grew up in a community with 6 Catholic churches, 4 Roman and 2 Eastern. Of these parishes only the Slavic churches; Slovak and Polish Roman Catholic and the Byzantine Catholic parish blessed Easter baskets. The Irish, Italian and Lebanese Catholics did not.

Today, many of the Roman Catholic parishes have adopted this tradition reguardless of the make up of their particular parish.

My basket last year had ham, sausage, cheese, hard-boiled eggs, hrudka which is a custard or cheese, chrin which is horseradish and beets, paska bread, butter, wine, chocolate, and a candle.

My uncle in Cleveland goes to a non-ethnic Roman Catholic parish but there are still many “hunky” families and you can tell which ones are “hunky” by the baskets that come in, what they have in them and the covers.

I’ve seen laundry baskets with pans of lasgana and plastic bags fresh from the grocery store. I’ve seen loaves of bread still in the plastic wrapper and eggs still in the carton that were going to be cooked once they got back home. It’s amazing sometimes… I’ve also had to get up and leave the church to keep from laughing at some of the sites… I think if a parish is going to follow this custom, they REALLY need to explain what should be done and how it should be done…

At my parish, it is mostly traditional items in the baskets. Usually eggs (hard boiled, not in a carton), butter lambs, sausage, horseradish, sweet breads.

My pastor is Irish, but the retired priest in residence is Bohemian.

Here’s a flyer they can print out
stanneorthodoxchurch.org/Great%20Lent/basket.jpg

Here it is easier on the eyes
carpatho-rusyn.org/easter.htm

Fr. Dn,

I believe it started out as a wrap for the Paska bread, so it was also called a chilbovka. Have you seen the photos of the Hutsuls from Jasynja and their gigantic paska breads? They make a special big basket just for the “Velyku Paska”! Joj!

Ung

They do the big Paskas around Yaremcha and the hill country as well. Sometimes the Artos needs its own table - I guess they need to make sure everyone gets plenty on Nedilya at the Svyachenne…

Sausage, Bacon, Eggs, Cheese, Salt, Pepper, chocolate.
Plus anything you gave up for Great Fast that won’t go bad over 4 hours.

Reminiscent of St. Mary Magdalene’s presentation of a red egg to Emperor Tiberius with the exclamation Christ is Risen, hard-boiled eggs are dyed red on Holy Thursday and placed in the Easter basket to be blessed on Sunday. A folk game is to knock the end of eggs against each other, with the person whose egg does not crack winning. It is traditional that the eggs are the first thing eaten.

There is a quote I’ve read about the last egg eaten on Cheesefare sealing the mouth and the first egg eaten on Easter opening it, but I can’t remember it well enough to find it in google. Does anyone else know the quote?

There is a quote I’ve read about the last egg eaten on Cheesefare sealing the mouth and the first egg eaten on Easter opening it, but I can’t remember it well enough to find it in google. Does anyone else know the quote?

Haven’t heard that one before - would love to see it.
FDRLB

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