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Ancient easter rites celebrated in Burlington

Story and Pictures by DENIS GIBBONS

Monsignor Martin Vallely blesses the Easter food baskets on Holy Saturday at Holy Rosary Church in Burlington.

The blessing of the Easter baskets, a tradition that dates back to the 12th century in Poland, was part of the Easter Triduum celebrations at Roman Catholic churches in the Bay Area.

Monsignor Martin Vallely, former pastor of St. Francis of Assisi parish in Stoney Creek, officiated at the ceremony in Burlington’s Holy Rosary Church on Saturday at 12 noon.

Dr. Vicki Chen, an organist at the church, proclaimed the reading.

Separate blessings with accompanying prayers are given to meats, breads, eggs and liquid refreshments.

Since Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians fast during Lent, none of the blessed food is eaten until after Mass on Easter Sunday.

This then becomes the traditional Easter breakfast. Generally, each member of the family eats a sample of everything in the basket.

The Triduum begins with the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday evening, continues with the Good Friday Liturgy, Stations of the Cross, the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday evening and Masses on Easter Sunday morning.

The lighting of a fire outside the church and subsequent illumination of the Paschal Candle mark Jesus Christ’s passage from death on Good Friday to life by His resurrection.

Trevor Price, Holy Rosary’s new music director, led the choir in the singing of hymns appropriate for each occasion.


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