St Simon's Parish Blog

Welcome to the Blog of St Simon Stock Catholic Church, South Ashford, Kent, UK. Our address is: Brookfield Road Ashford Kent TN23 4EU

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For nine years up till July 2010, I was parish priest at St Simon Stock Catholic Church, South Ashford, Kent, England. From July 2010 until June 2011 I was Associate Pastor at St Peter's Cathedral, Marquette, Michigan USA and then Pastor at St Anthony Parish, Gwinn, MI until October 2013. I then transferred to the Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon to serve as Director of the Tribunal. And that's what I am currently doing. Since February 2015 I have also been serving as Pastor at St Stephen Parish, South East Portland. I miss "da UP" (Upper Peninsula of Michigan) but love being here in the Pacific North West.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Blessing of Easter Food


Our church was packed to capacity this morning for the annual ceremony of the blessing of Easter food. The custom is to bless lamb (or other meat), eggs and bread.

As well as signifying the end of the Lenten fast with the blessing of the food which is to be eaten at Easter, there is a rich symbolism to this tradition: the lambs sacrificed at the Passover and the blood placed on the lintels of the houses of the Israelites in Egypt brought about their liberation through the Exodus, and Christ is the true lamb whose sacrifice freed us from our sins; the eggs are a sign of new life through the Resurrection; the bread reminds us of the Bread of Angels, the manna with which God sustained His people through their sojourn in the desert and Christ is the Bread of Life in the Eucharist.

It is not, of course, an exclusively Polish affair although all the families who came this morning were Polish. To emphasise the fact that it is a tradition of the Church, I used the Latin blessings given in the 1925 Rituale Romanum.

Our altar rails came in very handy! And the food baskets formed a very lovely decoration of same.


I daresay the use of holy water on Holy Saturday morning is contrary to current liturgical law although the 1925 ritual specifies sprinkling after each blessing and the Polish people would certainly have felt short changed if I hadn't used it. So pastoral considerations prevailed.

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