PORTLAND, Maine — One of the most beloved traditions for Polish Catholics, dating back to the early history of Poland, will be renewed at the Easter Baskets Blessing at noon Holy Saturday, April 19, at St. Louis Catholic Church, 279 Danforth St.
St. Louis Church is the only Polish Catholic church in Maine. The parish was founded in 1915, and the church itself was built by Polish immigrants in 1924.
Baskets containing Easter foods are brought to the church to be blessed on Holy Saturday. Many Polish Catholics take special pride in preparing a decorative and tasteful basket, and observing the creativity of other parishioners is one of the special joys of the event.
The blessing specifically addresses the various contents of the baskets with special prayers. The priest then sprinkles the individual baskets with holy water. The foods in the baskets have a symbolic meaning, including bread, symbolic of Jesus, who is the Bread of Life; salt, representing prosperity and justice and to remind people that they are the flavor of the earth; eggs, indicating new life and Christ’s Resurrection from the tomb; and ham, symbolizing great joy and abundance. The food is then taken home and eaten on Easter Sunday.
All are welcome to have their Easter baskets blessed.