The blessing of the food (świȩconka) for the first Easter meal on Holy Saturday afternoon has long been a tradition in many Eastern European churches. Children can be seen walking to church with baskets full of chocolates, candies and colored eggs, while adults have baskets full of foods that will be integral to this special meal: bread, cheese, butter and sausage, etc. Some parishes in Poland have as many as three or four services for the faithful to pray together and to have their baskets blessed.
GIA’s Victoria Zibell first wrote this blessing in April 2020 when the pandemic was just beginning and church gatherings were still prohibited. She writes, “The Blessing of Easter Baskets holds a special place in my family’s Easter traditions and it was my hope that this service would help others who were also missing the ability to gather together as well as those who might not be familiar with the tradition, but would like to celebrate the first Easter meal with these prayers.” While regulations have changed in many parts of the country, not all parishes are able to safely conduct an Easter Basket Blessing Service and these prayers could still be used as you are gathered around the table with your family or friends.
NOTE: The blessings and music are provided in English and Polish, but can be adapted for other languages and can incorporate other pieces of music or spoken responses that are familiar for your setting.
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Victoria is the Managing Editor for GIA’s sacred music resources. She joined the GIA editorial team in 2013. Victoria is involved in the music ministry as a cantor and instrumentalist at Incarnation Parish in Crestwood, Illinois, and plays oboe at various parishes in the Archdiocese of Chicago as well as in the Elmhurst University Concert and Community Band. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in music business, economics, and business administration from Elmhurst University in Elmhurst, Illinois as well as a Master of Arts degree in liturgical ministry from Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, Illinois. Victoria is currently on the board for the Chicago chapter of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians. She particularly enjoys traveling and playing golf as well as baking and reading in her spare time.