AxiosOrthodoxal news and traditionsHow to collect the Easter basket properly?

How to collect the Easter basket properly?

The feast of the Bright Resurrection of Christ or Easter is one of the most joyful moments for every Orthodox family. In anticipation of Easter, we try to prepare our soul and body, refraining from all evil during the Great Lent and Holy Week. However, more mundane things also occupy an important place in the preparation for Easter, for example, collecting an Easter basket, which the whole family will take to the night service later. How to collect the Easter basket properly? What foods can be consecrated in church? What is the meaning of food sanctification? You will find answers to these questions in our article.

 

First of all, let's talk about the meaning of the consecration of food and drink at the Easter service. This tradition is very ancient, and it originates from the practice of the first Christians performing the “evenings of love” or agapas. Agapa - (from the Greek. "Agape" - "love"), evening worship in the ancient Church, where the believers shared a common meal and took communion with the Body and Blood of Christ. Before that, all the offerings from the faithful were consecrated during the reading of a special prayer in which Christians thanked God for His earthly gifts and asked Him to consecrate them. Thus, the rite of consecration of various fruits, food, and drinks entered the Christian practice. It should be noted that all the offerings are not sanctified by the holy water, which the priest sprinkles on them, but namely by the grace of the Holy Spirit, which is requested during prayer. The Easter consecration means that after long abstinence during fasting, believers bring thanks to the Lord for His invisible help and ask them to consecrate food that they can now eat.
 

Before we talk about the content, let's pay attention to the basket itself, as it should be. Traditionally, in Ukrainian families baskets were made at home in the winter. Now they can be purchased at a church store, on the market, or directly from the people from villages. It is better to choose baskets woven from vines than from straw, since they are stronger and more durable. Also pay attention to the basket cover: a good basket should be covered with good quality varnish or paint that will not be printed on your hands or a towel. The size of the basket depends solely on how many products you plan to consecrate and on how much strength you have to carry the basket itself and its contents.
 

There are no church rules that would clearly regulate what products should be in the Easter basket. But there is a certain list that has already entered the practice of the church. So, in the Easter basket you must have:
 

1. The Easter cake (Pasca), which the housewives usually bake on the eve of Holy Thursday, or buy in the store. It is usually taken a few of them, in order to be able to attribute the consecrated bead to those who due to illness or other circumstances could not attend the service. Candles are lit and stuck in the cakes before sanctification.
 

2. Painted eggs (krashanky or pysanky), prepared on the eve of the holiday. It should be understood that krashanky can be eaten, while Easter eggs have only a decorative purpose. Traditionally, krashanki are painted in red or slightly brownish color, depending on the dye. Eggshell from consecrated eggs, are usually thrown into the river or given to poultry. It is not recommended to stick various stickers with icons on the painted eggs, which often then break off and are thrown away.
 

In addition, if desired, some other products can be added to the Easter basket such as:
 

1. Meat products that are well packaged so that they do not spread the smell in the church.
 

2. The first vegetables of the new crop - cucumbers, radishes, etc., grown in a home greenhouse or bought on the market.
 

3. Home or church (Cahor) wine. At Easter, the church law allows the use of wine not only on the occasion of a holiday, but also for the purpose of an aperitif for the stomach, which during fasting did not receive fatty meat for a long time. Stronger drinks are not recommended for consecration.
 

From above, the Easter basket is covered with a beautiful embroidered towel or a special towel with the inscription “Christ is Risen”. We hope our advice will be useful to you and will help you to feel the fullness of the Easter joy.

 




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