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Swieconka – Blessing of Easter Basket

April 20, 2019 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm

The blessing of Food takes place on Holy Saturday, 20th April, at 3pm in St. Anthony’s Church, Kilcoole. This is a tradition of the Polish community living in our parish. Barbara explains that ‘the blessing of Easter baskets, called  ”Swieconk ” is one of the most enduring and beloved Polish traditions’.

Barbara Slusarczyk, mother of Maksysmilian has provided the following detail of this tradition for us.

The basket is traditionally lined with a lace napkin and decorated with sprigs of boxwood, ribbons and  spring flowers and covered with linen symbolizing the covering of Christ’s body with the shroud.

Each item of food in the basket is symbolic. The food used depends on the region in Poland but the most significant are:

  • Bread:  Symbolising  Jesus, the Bread of Life.
  • Eggs: ( hardboiled and decorated )  represent new life and Christ’s Resurrection from the Tomb.
  • Salt:  A necessary element in our physical life, that Jesus used its symbolism: “You are the salt of the earth”  It is also a symbol of purification.
  • Lamb:  Usually made of bread – representing Christ as the “Lamb of God“
  • Ham:  Symbolic of great joy and abundance.
  • Sausage:  Symbolic of God’s favor and generosity.
  • Vinegar and horseradish: Symbolic of the Passion of Christ.
  • Cheese:  A symbol of the moderation Christians should have at all time.

On Holy Saturday we bring the basket with the food to the church for a blessing and after Easter Sunday’s Resurrection Mass we gather at the table and  share the blessed food and exchange good wishes.

ALL ARE WELCOME to bring the food of Easter Sunday to St. Anthony’s church, Kilcoole, at 3pm on Holy Saturday for this traditional blessing.

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