For the first time, here's a picture of our very own Easter basket, sitting in the church on the sanctuary steps in front of the altar -- that's a very attractive yet serviceable carpeting, isn't it? -- at the Easter Basket Blessing on Saturday afternoon.
This is our fourth year of doing this traditional blessing at our parish, but only the first year I've known how to work a digital camera. Duh.
Anyway, our basket held the following items: the ham, pictured in its inelegant plastic wrapping at the far left, our painted Easter eggs, the Honey/Oatmeal bread I baked, a blue container of salt, a candle and a bottle of chardonnay from Cupcake Vineyards, all because I couldn't resist the simple yet luscious elegance of their label. I hope the wine is as delectable as their packaging. I'll keep you posted. And don't forget to take note of my lovely embroidered Easter basket cover, which I bought on e-Bay for eight dollars. You don't often get a family heirloom for such a low price.
The blessing of the baskets was a great success this year, with about twenty families taking part -- last year, I think it was maybe about six. One fellow I'd never seen before came puffing in with an Easter basket the size of a baby dolphin just as Father was getting ready to do the blessing; the man paused in embarrassment as Father, who had just raised his arm with that holy-water-sprinkler-thingy, lowered it down again and said, "C'mon, bring it up. I was just getting started."
The man, chagrined, came forward and plunked his basket down on the floor as the rest of us looked interestedly on, wondering what on earth he had in the thing. It was heeeyooooge. Maybe an entire roasted hog? A fifty pound bag of salt? Whatever it was, it nearly had him knackered, and he stood up, back creaking a little, and wiped a sheen of sweat off his brow and apologetically scuttled into a pew.
The whole blessing takes about fifteen minutes, which is kind of a short time for the half-hour-there-half-hour-back we have in travel time, especially since I was in the throes of misery and had to sit in a seat that allowed me a direct line to the bathroom. Sorry to keep mentioning that in all these posts, but it's important to remember just how lousy I felt or the fact that I had an honest-to-goodness healing about five hours later won't be the momentous occurrence it truly is. Just tell yourself that I was in the bathroom all day powdering my nose. Maybe that will help.
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