Dozens of Easter Baskets Blessed at Saint Mary Mokena

The mouthwatering scent of bread, sausage and other foods wafted from the Saint Mary Mokena altar during the annual blessing of Easter baskets on Holy Saturday.

Well over 100 people adorned the altar with baskets of all shapes and sizes, as unique as each family. Multicolored eggs and sugar lambs could be spotted in several baskets, adding to the joyous display.

St. Mary Mokena Easter Basket Blessing
Colorful, food-filled Easter baskets of various shapes and sizes adorned the altar of Saint Mary Mokena on Holy Saturday.

Father Raed presided over the blessing, sprinkling Holy Water on all the beautifully-decorated Easter baskets.

Saint Mary Mokena Easter
Father Raed blesses the Easter baskets on Holy Saturday at St. Mary Mokena.

The Easter basket blessing tradition is centuries old, having originated in Eastern Europe. Today, Catholics of all ethnic backgrounds participate. Typically, the baskets contain:

  • Bread, which symbolizes Christ;
  • Decorated, hard-boiled eggs, which symbolize new life in Christ’s Resurrection;
  • Sausage, which symbolizes God’s favor and generosity;
  • Salt, which reminds us we are the “salt of the earth;”
  • Horseradish and pepper, which symbolizes Christ’s bitter Passion;
  • A sugar lamb, which symbolizes Christ, the Lamb of God.

Other foods are also often included, such as fruits, chocolates, ham, cheese, etc. A white linen covers the food-filled basket, symbolizing Christ’s burial shroud.

Catholic Easter basket blessing
The Holy Saturday Easter baskets are covered with white linen for the blessing, symbolizing the white cloth that covered Christ in the tomb. Underneath, bread, sausage, eggs and other foods wait in anticipation of Easter breakfast.

After the blessing, the food in the basket is traditionally eaten during breakfast on Easter morning. The Holy Saturday blessing, with its festive baskets and abundant food, serves as a reminder that the austerity of Lent is over and the joy of Easter is right around the corner.

>> To learn more about the blessing of Easter baskets, visit this site.

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