Saturday morning we prepared our basket of food to be blessed for Easter morning breakfast. We would get up early so we could color the eggs and help my mom wrap the food and prepare the basket. The family has grown so much that we now have brunch.
The basket is filled with ham, kielbasa, Easter bread, colored eggs, horseradish, butter, and two kinds of cheese. The blessed food is handled with much care, any scraps or crumbs are gathered and must be buried or burned. Also a little bit of each blessed item is kept back for the 2nd sunday of Easter to celebrate Russian Easter ( this at one time included Byzantine Rite which now goes with the Catholic Church Calendar)
As a child Easter Sunday could not come soon enough. We would go to 8am mass then come home for breakfast…NO candy from our Easter Baskets before breakfast ( as a kid you thought this was a cruel & unusual punishment..LOL)
Breakfast started with a blessing. Then my dad would pass out pieces of blessed egg topped with fresh ground horseradish and vinegar. The bitter horseradish and cider vinegar represented the death of Christ and the egg represented His life and resurrection. I don’t know how to spell the Ukrainian phrase that we speak. When my dad would present the egg for us to eat he says in Ukrainian “Christ is Risen” and we will answer him in Ukrainian “Indeed He has”. When we were little, this would cause giggles to break out as we would stumble over the mouth full of word for we wanted to answer my father perfectly. My Uncle Mike, my dad’s older brother, and his wife Aunt Eleanor would spend Easter with us. Uncle Mike would tell us to say “Easter Grass” in response as that is exactly what the phrase sounded like to us kids……We still joke about that to this day.
Before church we would line up to have our picture taken in our new Easter outfits…Bless my parents for their patience….especially my dad. It never seemed to fail, he would have the perfect shot and the flash bulb would not flash…We joke about the year the camera did not survive the Easter Picture.. 🙂