Blessing of Easter Baskets

Friday, April 10

Blessing of Easter Baskets

Since the current situation does not allow gathering at church, everybody can use the following prayer for private blessing of the Easter food at home, with the family.

MEANING OF THE FOOD BLESSING

The blessing of food on Easter probably has its roots in the 3rd century. A cup with milk and honey would be blessed during the liturgy for the newly baptized and distributed between receiving bread and wine. This custom is attested during the Easter vigil as well and it survived in this setting for a long time. However, the blessing would no longer take place between the Eucharist, but only at the end of the liturgy.

This custom arose from the discipline of fasting throughout Lent and the special Easter fast during the Easter Triduum. Easter was the first day when meat, eggs, and other foods could again be eaten. Although not an obligation, the special fast during the Triduum may still be observed as well as the tradition of blessing food for the first meal of Easter.

This custom developed into various forms in different regions/countries and people would bring foods to be consumed either immediately after the Easter Vigil or on Sunday morning. One form of the rite (practiced in Slovakia) contains separate blessings for meats, dairy products, and bread (Pascha). Occasionally, little wax-lambs would be blessed and distributed to the faithful on the following Sunday.

SETTING IN LITURGY

Blessing of Easter food is to be associated with the Easter Vigil. Respecting the silence of Holy Saturday, the only day when there is no liturgy in the Catholic Church and the Church only waits in silence for the gift of redemption and new life, the blessing of the Easter food is to take place after the Easter Vigil or on Easter Sunday morning.