Many Polish people came to St Mary on the Hill Roman Catholic Church, Wednesbury, England, on Holy Saturday to have special baskets of food blessed by Parish Priest Monsignor Bruce Harbert.
The short ceremony is written out in full below, in an unofficial translation of the original Polish text.
The blessing of Festive Foods is an ancient tradition of the Church. It reminds us of the truth which St Paul, the Apostle expresses in these words: „Whether you eat, or you drink, or whatever else you do, do everything for the praise of God. (1 Cor 10, 31). Eating meals is a holy activity, this is why we pray before and after meals, and for the greatest feast, The Resurrection, we also bless the food.
When we finish the Holy Paschal Fast and meet the Risen Christ in the Holy Easter Mass, we return to our homes with Joy and sit down, with Christ, at the festive table. We will greet each other by the sharing of the blessed egg, a sign of new life, and exchanging sentiments of goodwill to all.
Priest: We ask Our Lord Jesus Christ, ever present among those who love him, to bless these foods for the Easter table.
Everyone prays for a moment in silence, after which the priest says
Priest: Lord Jesus Christ,
On the day before your Passion and death You told Your disciples to prepare the Paschal Meal, on the Day of the Resurrection you accepted the invitation of two disciples and sat down with them at the table, in the late evening you came to the Apostles, to eat a meal with them; we ask You, to let us experience with faith Your Presence amongst us during this Easter meal, the day of Your Victory, so that we can joyfully take part in your Life and Resurrection.
Living bread, You who come down from Heaven and in Holy Communion give life to the World, + bless this bread and all these festive breads in memory of the Bread with which you fed to the people listening to You in the wilderness, and which, after Your Resurrection You prepared for Your Apostles by the lake.
Lamb of God, victorious over evil and who washed the world from its sins, + bless this meat, and all the foods which we will be eating in memory of the Paschal Lamb and festive foods which you ate with the Apostles at the Last Supper.
+ Bless also this salt, so that it will protect us from corruption.
Jesus Christ, our Life and our Resurrection, + bless also these eggs, a sign of new life, so that we, sharing them with our family and friends, can also share the mutual Joy of You being with us. Let us all be at Your Eternal Feast, there, where You live and reign for ever and ever.
People reply: Amen
Then the priest blesses the baskets with Holy Water
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