Easter Basket Blessing

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Have you ever participated in an Easter basket blessing? Our parish recently started offering a lovely Catholic activity for Holy Saturday. We were given the opportunity to have Easter baskets blessed on this day in preparation for Easter Sunday. This is long been a tradition in Eastern European countries, but is now gaining some traction in the United States. 

This tradition dates all the way back to the early 12th century in Poland. You can also find priests blessing Easter baskets in other ethnic parishes such as Eastern Roman Catholics. 

The basket can be filled with whatever you’d like, but it is fun to include some foods and items that have rich symbolism for Easter. Each region has its own favorites, with Croatians adding lamb, Slovaks including veal, Hungarians tucking a wine bottle in. Each country has a tradition of including decorated eggs. The food in the basket is traditionally used for Easter Sunday breakfast and can last all through Easter week. 

If your parish offers this opportunity, don’t miss out! Use this list of Easter basket contents for inspiration.

Easter Basket Blessing and Symbolism

White linen or napkin – Lines the Easter basket and reminds us of the shroud that covered the body of Jesus

Butter lamb – This molded butter symbolizes the sacrificial Paschal Lamb, Jesus Himself

Easter eggs – The eggs symbolize new life and the Resurrection

Easter bread – Sweet bread, often topped with a small cross, reminds us that Jesus is the Bread of Life

Horseradish – This evokes the Passover and symbolizes the bitterness of the Passion of Christ

Vinegar – This reminds of the sour wine that Christ was offered while He was on the cross

Ham or lamb – These meats celebrate the Resurrection and the end of the abstinence from meat during Lent

Bacon – This symbolizes the abundance of God’s graces on us

Salt – Salt is symbolic of purification and preservation from corruption

Sweets – Sugary sweets, cakes, and candy are a reminder of the sweetness of eternal life and the abundance of God’s blessings

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Easter Basket Blessing

These blessing are from the 1964 Roman Ritual, Roman Ritual: Volume III, The Blessings, translated by Philip T. Weller.

They are to be said over the baskets and then the baskets and contents are to be sprinkled with holy water. 

Blessing of Eggs
Lord, let the grace of your blessing come upon these eggs, that they be healthful food for your faithful who eat them in thanksgiving for the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you forever and ever. Amen.

Blessing of Lamb
God, who by your servant Moses commanded your people in their deliverance from Egypt to kill a lamb as a type of our Lord Jesus Christ, and prescribed that its blood be used to sign the two door-posts of their homes; may it please you to bless and sanctify this creature-flesh which we, your servants, desire to eat in praise of you. We ask this in virtue of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you forever and ever. Amen.

Blessing of Bread
Holy Lord and Father, almighty everlasting God, be pleased to bless this bread, imparting to it your hallowed favor from on high. May it be for all who eat of it a healthful food for body and soul, as well as a safeguard against every disease and all assaults of the enemy. We ask this of our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, the bread of life who came down from heaven and gives life and salvation to the world; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever. Amen.

Photo credit: Vladimir Alexiev, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia, Creative Commons license

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