BLESSING OF THE EASTER BASKET AT OUR LADY OF MT. CARMEL, APRIL 7, 2007
Also known as Swienconcka, the blessing of Easter baskets has a central role in the Paschal Fast, which begins on Good Friday and continues through the Easter Sunday Mass. This fast is the oldest and most sacred of Catholic fasting traditions, and often requires Catholics to abstain from meat.
The Visionalist crew wanted to capture the blessing of the Easter baskets as it plays such an important part of the entire Easter celebration, and chose Mt. Carmel Parish in Wyandotte because of the close friendship we have developed with Father Walter J. Ptak. Ptak is a dynamic pastor with a love of traditions, but equally, to the true meaning of Catholic symbols. For example, he requested parishioners to share the blessings of the Resurrection with the poor and homeless, requesting that families bring a second Easter basket to leave at the symbolic tomb at the head of the church.
We were fortunate to meet Mary Sitko and her lovely family, with whom we just traveled to Poland, reuniting her mother Zofia with friends she had not seen in sixty years. Among the items in the blessed Easter basket, she carried various medicines for her mother: this is what Mary means when she says, “I was raised Polish… this is quite different from simply ‘being Polish’.