Blessing of Easter Foods and Distribution of Antidoron
When Europeans came to this country, many brought with them the custom of preparing a family basket filled with Easter foods and covered with a crocheted cloth. Often the cloth has an Easter emblem or the words 'Christ is Risen' crocheted on it. The basket is brought to Mass for blessing.
Each of the foods has a special significance. It sounds much like the special foods which our Jewish brothers and sisters use in the celebration of their Seder Meal.
Remember, the basket does not contain all the food you will eat on Easter Sunday, just a symbolic portion. Each national tradition may add something unique to its own liking. For instance the Slovaks add Horseradish mixed with ground beets called 'chren'.
Below is a list of the traditional foods:
EASTER EGGS! Of course! Brightly colored, seasonal representations of the New Life that Jesus gave us in His Resurrection.
PASCHA: a sweet, rich, yeast bread. It is usually round and has a golden crust. Often it has a cross of dough on the top surrounded by braids which can represent the crown of thorns.
OTHER BREADS: nut roll. 'kolac', poppyseed roll,
whatever Easter baked delights are of your own tradition.
KOLBASA and HAM or LAM a sign of abundance and that the 'Long Fast' is truly over.
CHEESE: "Syrek" Especially a small round cheese. Italian sometimes put in some Romano.
HORSERADISH: Nothing is better with ham than beet horseradish. Some add to their baskets a bit of vinegar or sour cream which is all meant to represent the bitter drink given to the Lord when He called out from the cross, "I thirst"!
BUTTER: especially the butter formed in the design of a lamb. You can actually find these at Eastern delis. Christ is the Lamb of God!
SALT: It gives zest to our foods and reminds us that Christ preserves us to life eternal.
And don't forget the chocolate eggs, the chocolate bunnies, and chicks, and a few jelly beans as well if you like.
Add your Easter dinner wine and decorate your basket with family heirloom napkins or linen.
Divine Mercy Sunday (Octave of Easter) April 27 – Pot Luck Easter Supper after Mass at STM
This will be our parish supper for Easter Season (50 days).
When people do not commune at the Liturgy (baptized people not yet in full communion), they may receive antidoron (an-dee-tho-ron) at the end of Liturgy (that is, blessed bread which is not the Blessed Sacrament. Since it is blessed, the antidoron should be carefully handled. It may be received from the Priest at the end of Liturgy.
Antidoron may also be taken home for use during the week. It is a pious custom for Eastern Christians to begin the day, after their morning prayers and before eating, by consuming a particle of antidoron.