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Did you already bless your Święconka?


pawian 163 | 10,429
23 Apr 2011 #1
Święconka (Polish pronunciation: [ɕvʲɛnˈtsɔnka]), meaning "the blessing of the Easter baskets," is one of the most enduring and beloved Polish traditions on Holy Saturday. While originally observed by Polish Americans in the U.S., it has become increasingly mainstream in U.S and is starting to grow in the U.K. as the Polish go there to live. Catholic churches, being observed by a wide cross-section of parishes.

Baskets containing a sampling of Easter foods are brought to church to be blessed on Holy Saturday. The basket is traditionally lined with a white linen or lace napkin and decorated with sprigs of boxwood (bukszpan), the typical Easter evergreen. Poles take special pride in preparing a decorative and tasteful basket with crisp linens, occasionally embroidered for the occasion, and boxwood and ribbon woven through the handle. Observing the creativity of other parishioners is one of the special joys of the event.

The food blessed in the church remains untouched until Sunday morning.

NrthPznnDvsn - | 10
23 Apr 2011 #2
Święconka (Polish pronunciation: [ɕvʲɛnˈtsɔnka])

They don't do this in US and UK? I did not know.. how sad.
OP pawian 163 | 10,429
23 Apr 2011 #3
Nope. It is a custom seen only in Poland. If I am wrong, may someone correct me.
Nathan 18 | 1,363
23 Apr 2011 #4
It is one of the most uplifting holidays, I think. Something about the spring besides the Ressurection which makes it all the more powerful. The boxwood would be the symbol of the eternity and it is usually sticked on the top of a paska, which might show the rise of new life from the bread which went through its ups and downs as Christ to end up giving a hope. The eggs might more likely symbolize the beginning. Are they eaten first thing after blessing in Poland? We have a peeled egg split in so many parts as a size of the family and each eats a slice after a prayer. The visit to the cemetaries is done right after the church to share the happiness with the passed away relatives or not. Also there is meat of some sort: a piece of kielbasa or pasztet or butter formed in hedgehogs, which is amazing. In the villages especially the embroidered scarfs that cover the basket are different, unique for each woman that made it.
OP pawian 163 | 10,429
23 Apr 2011 #5
It is one of the most uplifting holidays, I think.

Nat, is the custom of Easter basket still observed in Ukraine? I think it was when today`s western Ukraine belonged to Poland?

I found this film but it was made in Ukrainian church in Ontario.....
youtube.com/watch?v=uT_Au1_PUGo

My old film


NrthPznnDvsn - | 10
23 Apr 2011 #6
Nope. It is a custom seen only in Poland.

If it's only in Poland it must be some kind of a local post pagan custom.
OP pawian 163 | 10,429
23 Apr 2011 #7
Many Christian traditions came down from pagans. :):):)
joepilsudski 26 | 1,389
23 Apr 2011 #8
When I was a child, in Philadelphia, we always set the table with the foods mentioned (always a ham), but instead of lamb meat, we had butters in the shape of a lamb... And the priest came to the house to bless the food; it might have been Saturday, but could have been Wednesday or Thursday, because a lot of people/houses in the parrish...This is what I recollect...Of course, any food that would go bad was put in the ice box overnight, but not eaten 'til Sunday.

We decorated the Easter eggs and set up the table earlier in the Holy Week...Also, we always had palm leaves on the table, which we got at Church on Palm Sunday...I remember really enjoying everything about the holiday, and the priest coming to the house was a great way to keep the flock in touch with the 'little shepherds'.
Nathan 18 | 1,363
23 Apr 2011 #9
Nat, is the custom of Easter basket still observed in Ukraine?

Absolutely. And also we have much larger baskets than the one on a picture :) We take the whole table to the church for blessing, quite literally :)

I think it was when today`s western Ukraine belonged to Poland?

I don't think Poland had more significant influence on the Ukrainian Easter celebrations than the other way around, because even though Ukrainian Catholic Church is Catholic, it is more like Greek Orthodox Church where it draws its roots from, than Polish Church of Roman rite. In addition, the Polish presence in western Ukraine was more city-bound and the villages lived what they knew since times unknown. This is what I like about my village - it keeps old, old traditions. Nowadays though, there are exchange of cultural traditions and it is Ok, bu I wish everyone kept one's uniqueness. It makes it more interesting.

I found this film but it was made in Ukrainian church in Ontario

It is nothing compared to an outside, rural setting somewhere in Ternopil region with ages-old traditions.

the priest came to the house to bless the food, usually before noon on Good Friday, or sometimes Thursday

It is impossible, you might have confused the dates. Priests will never bless food on Good Thursday or Friday. The reason is Christ according to the tradition was crucified on Thursday; Food blessing and the end of the Lent coincide with the Ressurection, which is three days later.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
23 Apr 2011 #10
Salutes Nathan with Obolon :) :) I'm a big fan of eggs in any form. I was discussing Easter today with my mother-in-law and we both feel that changing positions, as the church has done, is unfortunate. It was the case that the eating of eggs was forbidden by the RCC as demolishing a key symbol but they adjusted their position. I'm looking forward to Palm Sunday :) :)
joepilsudski 26 | 1,389
23 Apr 2011 #11
It is impossible, you might have confused the dates. Priests will never bless food on Good Thursday or Friday.

You must right, as it was about 45 years ago...I just remember the priest coming to the house to bless the food...Anyway, Happy Easter & Christ is Risen!
Bzibzioh
23 Apr 2011 #12
The reason is Christ according to the tradition was crucified on Thursday

That was on Friday. On Thursday it was last supper.

I'm looking forward to Palm Sunday

Next year?
Vincent 9 | 805 Moderator
23 Apr 2011 #13
On Thursday it was last supper.

Not according to this:
bbc.co.uk/news/world-13114124
Nathan 18 | 1,363
23 Apr 2011 #14
That was on Friday. On Thursday it was last supper.

Sorry, you are right.

You must right, as it was about 45 years ago..

The same way here, JP, as you can see. Happy Easter to you too. Risen, indeed!

Next year?

Seanus suffers the same disease as Joe and me :) Everything upside down :)

Salutes Nathan with Obolon :)

Salut Seanus, you started on that too early ;) I am glad that brought back the traditions, it is really great. Happy Easter!

Not according to this

Oh, that's interesting. Thanks, Vincent.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
23 Apr 2011 #15
Oops, I meant Easter Sunday :) Palm Sunday next year too :) Given that I don't believe in the notion of a priest, I didn't bless any eggs.
ShawnH 8 | 1,509
23 Apr 2011 #16
It is a custom seen only in Poland. If I am wrong, may someone correct me.

And in Mississauga, about an hour or so ago...
OP pawian 163 | 10,429
23 Apr 2011 #17
Wow, never heard of it while it is quite a big town!

Mississauga (Listeni /ˌmɪsɪˈsɑːɡə/ is a city in Southern Ontario located in the Regional Municipality of Peel, and in the western part of the Greater Toronto Area. With an estimated population of 734,000,[1] it is Canada's sixth-most populous municipality,[2] and has almost doubled in population in each of the last two decades.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
23 Apr 2011 #18
Thanks, Nathan :) We all suffer from one thing or another ;) Happy Easter to you too :)
Nathan 18 | 1,363
23 Apr 2011 #19
Thanks a lot, Seanus :)
ShawnH 8 | 1,509
23 Apr 2011 #20
Wow, never heard of it while it is quite a big town!

Really just an extension of Toronto..... Completely connected in the east from Pickering, Oshawa, Scarborough, Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Burlington, Oakville and Hamilton... One big smear of civilization....

And home to lots of Polish People.
SeanBM 35 | 5,808
23 Apr 2011 #21
Did you already bless your Swięconka?

Nie, ale malowałem moje jajka.
OP pawian 163 | 10,429
6 Sep 2012 #22
With what results? :):):)
polonius 54 | 420
29 Sep 2012 #23
Why we are discussing Easter in September is hard to imagine, but if that be the case... The Easter food blessing in the US has spread beyond the Polish community. As the once tight-knit Polish neighborhoods dispersed over the past half-century and people moved into ethncially mixed suburbs, many requested their new parish priest to introduce the custom, and many did. The custom is a natural with parishioners of all ethnic backgrounds so soon Catholics of German, Irish, Italian, Spanish and other backgrounds began folloiwng suit. Goes to show that a colourful tradition can spread if it is not kept within closed communities. Same goes for the Mexican piñata -- now standard at kids' brithday parties of whatever background.
OP pawian 163 | 10,429
29 Sep 2012 #24
Wow! Do these foreign święconkas differ from Polish ones? I mean, do they adopt it but also add their own national traditions into it? E.g., do Italian take wine to church?
polonius 54 | 420
29 Sep 2012 #25
Now that's a really good question. I've only heard about this being the case without ever delving into the subject. But I'll try to check.
OP pawian 163 | 10,429
29 Sep 2012 #26
You are a good man, Polo. God bless you.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,900
29 Sep 2012 #27
Goes to show that a colourful tradition can spread if it is not kept within closed communities.

Why are you so against others introducing their traditions into Poland, then?
Gspsych
6 Apr 2015 #28
Merged: Easter dish of sausage, ham, eggs, horseradish and mustard?

My grandmother always made a dish for Easter of polish sausage, ham, hard boiled eggs, horseradish, mustard. I am not entirely sure it's a Polish dish but am hoping someone knows what it is called.
Looker - | 1,032
6 Apr 2015 #29
The only name which comes to my mind regarding this is święconka. Different foods are taken to the church in the basket to be blessed on Holy Saturday. And then this food is consumed at homes - prepared hot and served with horseradish and mustard.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Święconka
Roger5 1 | 1,458
6 Apr 2015 #30
Sounds right, Looker, except that the basket contains just a small amount of food, e.g. a few hard-boiled eggs, a sausage, a little bread, and everybody gets a little, symbolic piece of each at the table. btw, although I sadly miss my late father-in-law, I can't say I miss vodka with Easter breakfast.


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