While Christians worldwide celebrate Easter, it is of special importance in the Polish culture, steeped in over 1,000 years of Catholicism and tradition. The Lenten season prepares us for the glorious resurrection of Christ.
Without Good Friday, there is no Easter Sunday. In today’s world, too many people want the joy of Easter without understanding the suffering that manifests in Good Friday. Lent requires three things: fasting, prayer, and alms giving. All three will help us get closer to Jesus. By repentance, self denial, and acts of charity we become better Christians.
At St. Joseph’s, run by Polish Catholic nuns, the Lenten period provides the stations of the cross daily, regular confession, and of course, daily communion. There is a traditional coloring of eggs and other social festivities that all embody the spirit of Easter. Christ has risen. Hallelujah.
~ Ron Goodrich
We have just finished a week of Easter celebrations here at Saint Joseph’s retirement home. You can see from our photos and blog that we continue to celebrate the Polish traditions as long as we can. Easter is a very special time, not just for senior citizens, but especially for those of us who can trace back to our Polish roots.
We started Easter week very solemnly with the stations of the cross and private meditations. That’s always an excellent way to start. Then we went into the festivities. On Holy Saturday morning, we have a wonderful tradition of blessing our Easter food, and people really do try to show their best.
There are people who actually make a lamb out of butter. It is a beautiful thing to see. The tables are decorated with flowers as Polish people are always known to bring flowers. It’s just second nature to do so. We had the traditional portions of salt, horseradish and kiełbasy (kielbasi, Polish sausages) and every type of babka you could think of. Never have we seen so many types of babka in such unusual shapes!
Last but not least there were of course, our Easter eggs that were colored beautifully. They were just so specially done by everyone. Father came down for special prayers and Sister gave us a reading. Father gave us all almost a bath as he sprinkled holy water and blessed our Easter festivities. He blessed the tables, the people, the food. He blessed everything.
All these activities were a beautiful beginning to a now almost ending Holy Week. On Easter Sunday St Joseph’s celebrated a very special family time. It was time for people to be together, to share memories, to share food, and to just be happy and remember what “Wesołego Allelujah” (Happy Hallelujah) means.
Easter is a happy new beginning for life and love and the spirit of God. We jumped right in and as we always do, we’re going to try to keep the joy each day here as long as we can. That’s us. St. Joseph’s retirement home.
~ Veronica Wojtowicz “Cioci Verna”