All Saints of North America Orthodox Church (Hamilton, ON, Canada)

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Blessing of Baskets at the Vigil of Pascha

The ancient Christian practice of blessing food before it is eaten took on a new dimension in Slavic Orthodox lands at the celebration of the great Feast of Pascha.

Customarily, foods from which one was fasting would be brought to the Church for blessing by the priest at the vigil of Pascha (Saturday night). The food would then be used to break the Great Fast and celebrate the Lord's Resurrection.

We continue this tradition, and encourage everyone to prepare a basket of Paschal foods for blessing. Traditionally, this includes egg bread with a candle, eggs, butter, cheese, kielbasa and other meats. Cultural variations (such as chocolates, Chinese barbequed pork or duck, or suitable "feasting" foods from around the world) are also most suitable for Pascha baskets.

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