By Marco Levytsky, New Pathway – Ukrainian News Western Bureau

Bishop David Motiuk, Ukrainian Catholic Eparch of Edmonton, blesses the Easter baskets at St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church in Edmonton on Holy Saturday, March 31.

Besides the special foods, the Easter Basket is also decorated with greenery and flowers, as well as coloured eggs, and beautiful Pysanky. Each basket is covered with a hand embroidered cloth cover, with Easter motif of pussy willows and Easter Eggs.

This blessed food may not be consumed until after the morning Resurrection Liturgy on Easter Sunday. The food in the basket is the only food being consumed at the Easter Brunch, which breaks the Great Lent fasting. Among the foods included are: Paska, special Easter Bread, symbolic of Christ, who is the True Bread to Christians; Baked Ham, symbolic of the great joy, and abundance of Easter, Kovbasa, a spicy, garlicky, smoked pork sausage, indicative of God’s favor and generosity; Red Beet Vinaigrette (with Horseradish), or plain Horseradish, symbolic of the Passion of Christ; Salt a reminder to Christians of their duty to others; Butter, decorated with a cross made out of cloves, or even molded into a shape of a Lamb, symbolic of the goodness of Christ; Cheese, indicative of the moderation that Christians should have in all things; and hard-boiled eggs, one of which will be cut to as many pieces as there are attendees to the Easter Brunch.