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 lost in fasting.
But first, let's dial back to the day before.... Holy Saturday. On the morning of Holy Saturday, a basket is filled with portions over every item to be served at the breakfast on Easter morning. This includes: breads, meats, eggs, sweet breads, and more. It even includes the salt, pepper, butter, horseradish, and wine. Yes, wine will be served at breakfast!
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 sight to behold. Just prior to the ceremony the church is a buzz with cheerful conversation and laughter. After all, the long Lenten season is past, and the celebration of the 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, in preparation for them to be blessed. The pleasant aroma is all but overwhelming.
The ceremony is relatively short, and the baskets are blessed with holy water. Upon completion of the ceremony, the foods are wrapped back up, and participants take the blessed. Basket home.
A short note: My Polish mother-in-law asked the priest in her non-polish parish to start this tradition. He gladly obliged. Only a few people showed up for that first event, not many more than our immediate family. As the years passed, it grew in popularity, with even children bringing in their Easter baskets to be blessed..
Traditional Easter Basket Foods:
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, make 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 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 - be 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 of the chains of death that were broken when Jesus rose from the dead.
The Polish Easter Blessed Breakfast
After Easter Sunday morning mass, it is time for the traditional Polish Easter breakfast.
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