Polish Easter Blessed Breakfast
About Polish Easter Blessed Breakfast
To the Christian church and Polish culture, Easter is the highest holiday of the church year. After all, it is a celebration of Christ rising from the dead, and our own promise of eternal life in Heaven. The Polish Blessed Breakfast on Easter Sunday morning is a very special event. After fasting for 40 days during Lent, the enormous breakfast is an inviting feast, that’s certain to put back on some of the weight loss in fasting over the past 40 days.
But first, let’s dial back to Holy Saturday. On the morning of Holy Saturday, Christians fill a basket with portions of items on the Easter Sunday breakfast menu. This includes bread, meats, eggs, sweet bread, and more. It even includes salt, pepper, butter, horseradish, and wine. Yes, the Easter Blessed Breakfast includes wine!
In Christen churches with large Polish communities and even other Christian churches, there is a special Holy Saturday morning ceremony. If you have never attended, it is a fantastic event. Just before the ceremony the church is a buzz with cheerful conversation and laughter. After all, the long Lenten season is past, and the celebration of tomorrow’s Easter is truly something to put you in a celebratory mood. In addition, outside of the church walls, spring is breaking out all over. As the ceremony is about to begin, the participants open all of the items in their baskets. The pleasant aroma is all but overwhelming.
The ceremony is relatively short. The presiding priest says a few prayers and makes a few comments, usually about the pleasant aromas. Then he blesses the baskets with holy water. Upon completion of the ceremony, participants wrap the food back up and take the Easter blessed basket home.
Note: Children often bring their Easter baskets, too.
Traditional Foods for the Easter Blessed Basket
These foods are most commonly included. Variations are fine:
Bacon – a symbol of the overabundance of God’s mercy on us.
Bread – Home-baked bread, the staff of life
Easter Bread (Babka) – a special round loaf, made of rich dough and raisins and decorated with a cross. It reminds us of Jesus the Risen Lord.
Candle(non-edible) – It symbolizes Jesus, the Life, and the Light of the world.
Horseradish – Represents the bitter herbs of the original Passover meal. It symbolizes the bitterness of the Passion of Jesus.
Cheese – a symbol of Christian moderation
Colored Eggs – Indicates hope, new life, and resurrection
Butter – Shaped into the figure of a lamb, or a cross. Celebrates the end of Lent and the richness of Salvation, which flows from the death and resurrection of Jesus.
Ham – is symbolic of great joy and abundance
Salt – Symbolizes wisdom and preservation from corruption and reminds us that Jesus did not undergo corruption from the grave.
Sausage – This is a Slavic tradition. the links remind us that Jesus broke the chains of death when he rose from the dead.
The Polish Easter Blessed Breakfast
After Easter Sunday morning mass, it is time for the traditional Polish Easter breakfast.
- In preparing for the breakfast, cut all of the foods in the blessed basket into enough pieces for everyone who is there.
- Then pour the blessed wine back into the wine jug or bottle. Now all of the wine is now blessed. Pour the wine into decanters and then into individual glasses at the table.
- Begin the meal by passing dishes with the blessed food around the table. Each person takes a piece.
- Pass the blessed salt, pepper, horseradish, and butter around the table, too.
- No one tastes the blessed food until everything has been passed out.
- Now, you begin with the sliced blessed egg (no one seems to know why this is first).
- After eating the egg slice, raise your wine glasses in a toast.
- After the toast, anything on your plate is fair game to eat.
- After eating all of the blessed foods, bring out ample amounts of any other foods.
- Different families may have differences in the foods and variations of the traditions.
- People with health issues or allergies, can pass on salt, gluten, high-carb foods, and nuts.
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