One of our favorite traditions at St. John of the Cross is the Blessing of Easter baskets on Holy Saturday. Since we are not able to gather this year, please use the following blessing at home. Email a picture of your Easter Basket blessing to email@example.com, and we may use it in the bulletin or on social media.
Throughout Lent we have been preparing for the resurrection of the Lord by prayer, almsgiving, and fasting. Our Lenten fasting is a reminder of our hunger and thirst for holiness, which is satisfied only by Christ who feeds and nourishes us by His word and sacraments. When we gather at our first meal of Easter may this food be a sign for us of that heavenly banquet to which the Lord calls us.
READING OF THE WORD OF GOD
One of those present then reads a text of sacred Scripture (John 6:1-14).
Brothers and sisters, listen to the words of the Gospel of St. John.
After this, Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee [of Tiberias]. A large crowd followed him, because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick. Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. The Jewish feast of Passover was near. When Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a large crowd was coming to him, he said to Philip, “Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?” He said this to test him, because he himself knew what he was going to do. Philip answered him, “Two hundred days’ wages worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little [bit].” One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?” Jesus said, “Have the people recline.” Now there was a great deal of grass in that place. So the men reclined, about five thousand in number. Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were reclining, and also as much of the fish as they wanted. When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples, “Gather the fragments left over, so that nothing will be wasted.” So they collected them, and filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat. When the people saw the sign he had done, they said, “This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world.”
PRAYER OF BLESSING
With hands joined the Leader prays:
God of glory, the eyes of all turn to you as we celebrate Christ's victory over sin and death.
Bless us and this food of our first Easter meal. May we who gather at the Lord's table continue to celebrate the joy of His resurrection and be admitted finally to His heavenly banquet.
Grant this through Christ our Lord.
The leader concludes the rite by signing himself or herself with the sign of the cross and saying: May Christ nourish us and strengthen us in faith and love now and forever. R. Amen.