Wednesday, April 20, 2011

a tisket a tasket


Your Easter basket should contain the following items- plus any other special treats to break the Great Fast with joy:
  • Paska (white yeast bread made with milk, sugar and eggs; similar to challah or panatone; I put sweet cheese in mine)
  • ham & sausages & roast lamb if it is available
  • horseradish- a nod to the Jewish Passover
  • boiled eggs- symbolizing new life in the Risen Lord
  • cheese, butter- more foods that we have been abstaining from, it is fun to make the butter in the shape of a lamb
  • wine plus a special drink for the kids
  • a candle to light during the blessing of the baskets
The basket is covered by a beautiful cloth saying "Christ is Risen"- this is a project I want to do with my big girls for next year for their baskets. In the meantime, they have simple, hand-woven cloths to use. In a nod to my American-style food safety paranoia, I always put a large 'blue ice' in the bottom of each basket. I am the only one who I know that does this, so if you see blue ice in a Pascha basket, you have found me!


  1. Thanks for sharing the beautiful tradition. The Greeks don't really do the "put your Easter basket on the altar during the service so the priest can bless it at the end" thing, I find, and so we are going to a Romanian midnight service instead this year. I am assured that it is about the same as the Ukranian Easter baskets, with the contents, covering, and tradition.

    Where did you find the pattern/equipment for the basket covering?

  2. And salt, to remind us that we are the salt of the world (and to flavor the eggs!)

  3. I love your cloth. Beautiful. And the eggs below are also.

    At our church on Easter, we greet each other with
    "Christ is Risen" and then the other person says, "Christ is Risen Indeed."
    Very similiar to yours, just one word turned around.

  4. Sigh. I miss it all so much. We make our Easter basket up each year, but my husband blesses it at home because the priest at the Latin parish we attend isnt really available for things like that.
    Have a Blessed Easter! Oh, I got my husband a mortar and pestle so that he can make mujdei(sp?). I got the recipe off of your blog here, since Father didnt give it to my husband, only my son and son isnt sharing! Husband will be soooo excited!

  5. Is your cloth embroidered or screen printed? Ours, sadly, is screen printed. I'd love to embroider one...someday.

    We aren't doing a basket this year :( Too hard with both of us working, and last year, I, uh, broke my hand the week before Easter. I have pics of 2009's basket, which I was thinking about including in tomorrow's PHFR.

  6. My grandfather is Polish and my mother each year has prepared the basket traditionally including molding the butter into a lamb. As a child, my mother asked our priest if he would bless the basket (he was a Southern Baptist convert--we live in the south) and he had never heard of the tradition and loved it and invited the whole parish and over half of the congregation showed up. Most had never partaken of it before. Thank you for posting this as several friends have been asking what to include today on facebook.

  7. Hello. I just made my Paska (we call it kulich) today. May you have a good Holy Week and bright Easter!

  8. I want to be with you. I have a hard time celebrating our Easter when I love yours so much.
    The meanings and traditions are so beautiful. I suppose it's hard in both rites, but the beauty is lost in the Roman rite.
    We wanted to get a taste of it at the Abbey for Vigil Mass. Uncle Howard would be amazed at the fire, hooded monks and darkness. But, then there's light.
    Having a tough time handling this. Shouldn't be but do. It's hard to do the right thing sometimes.
    Love to you all. Mom

  9. Vocal- It sounds like you haven't been to the vigil Mass in awhile- Go to it- and take advantage of the Abbey...if Uncle won't go, he'll sleep- there's no need for you to miss it

  10. Marfa---yum- congratulations on the big project of the year :) I need to bake more often- it is only at Easter that I regret not getting the big Kitchen Aid!

  11. Rabbit- don't be perfect- just throw something together- I have one very beautiful cover made (even the fabric is hand woven) by my husband's grandmother. I made one with simple cross stitch and we have one that is printed. I want to work with my big girls to make covers for next year

  12. Kristen- you have the right idea! I say- get a group of lay people together to politely ask the priest to bless baskets after church- it does not take too long....if the 'spirit of Vatican II' allows lay people to demand to be Eucharistic ministers and liturgical dancers- why can't it demand that the parish priest be 'pastoral' and take 5 minutes to bless baskets? ;)

  13. sweet cheese in your Pascha - that sounds wonderful! I'm going to have to figure out how to do that someday.

    Thank you for your kind words at my blog.

  14. Glory be to Jesus Christ!

    I stumbled on your blog yesterday and spent most of my afternoon reading here & there. I'm a from-birth Byzantine Catholic (I still attend the same church I was baptized in), but I often call myself "bi-ritual" because my mother is Roman Catholic, so growing up I attended Roman Catholic churches quite a bit, too. I think being familiar with both traditions helps me explain things to people who have never heard of Byzantine Catholics. I look forward to reading more.

  15. Christ is risen!

    Do you have a pattern for the cloth? I would like to make one too. I just use a pretty table cloth my grandma made. We invited a few of our Catholic friends and neighbors to our Byzantine Easter celebration and they were all amazed at how beautifully the Byzantines celebrate. We miss Byzantine liturgy though. Our goal is to build a Byzantine mission here and have the Byzantine priest to the North stop on his way to another mission to have liturgy. Who knows perhaps we could snag our own priest someday as Byzantine priests are hard to come by.


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