stapsdoes101things: '101' superimposed on a rose window (101church)
[personal profile] stapsdoes101things
6 April 2012

The cake above is a babka, a traditional Polish Easter cake. My partner, whose grandmother was Polish, has been enthusiastically rediscovering his heritage this year. This involves baking babka, dyeing hard-boiled eggs red with onion skins, buying vast quantities of cheese and smoked sausage, and taking the whole lot to church to get it blessed.

After various false starts, he discovered that the local Roman Catholic church, St Dunstan's, was actually holding a proper Swiecone, the blessing service, on Easter Saturday, so off we went.

I'm not sure what I was expecting - four or five Babcias with a cake each, perhaps. But this was huge - the church was full to bursting, mostly with young families, each bringing a basket of goodies. These were piled into a small mountain on the chancel steps. And I suddenly realised - of course; this is what you do at Easter if you're Polish and Catholic - which is something I don't think I'd ever appreciated before.

The priest seemed a bit bewildered, but played along gamely. The service was conducted in about equal parts Polish and English, so I was quite bewildered myself, but fortunately the congregation didn't have to do much beyond say 'Amen' in logical places.

Even if I didn't understand much of the service, I appreciated the principles behind it. The affluent world has horribly skewed attitudes to food, and it was very good to go to an event where food was appreciated as a blessing. I'd like to learn a little more Polish and go back next year. The chances of my converting to Roman Catholicism are approximately zilch, but this seemed like a very friendly, lively, congregation, and I'm glad to know it exists near me.

I only realised when we were half-way there that this would tidy up goal 14. I never got round to writing up my visit to the Friends Meeting House last summer, but the Quakers were a very friendly bunch and I may well go back there before the 1001 days are over. Anyhow, St Mary's, the Friends, and St Dunstan's together make this goal complete.

Z najlepszymi zyczeniami Wielkanocnymi. (With best wishes for Easter)

Date: 2012-04-09 11:07 am (UTC)
tree_and_leaf: Isolated tree in leaf, against blue sky. (Default)
From: [personal profile] tree_and_leaf
That's a splendid cake, and I like the tradition.

Date: 2012-04-09 12:41 pm (UTC)
countertony: photo of me in black and white (Default)
From: [personal profile] countertony
Theoretically the food is supposed to be consumed as the first meal on Easter Day. I will be scaling down my basket (as seen here) next year.

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