WHIPPANY, N.J. – Parishioners of St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church gathered on Holy Saturday, March 26, for the traditional blessing of Easter baskets.
On this lovely sunny day, the blessing of Easter foods took place outside, on the grounds in front of the church, with faithful of all ages lining the circular driveway and extending onto the walkways.
The Rev. Stepan Bilyk, pastor, welcomed all and then introduced the youngest children of the parish, who performed a selection of “hahilky,” or ritual spring songs and dances. The children’s presentation was prepared under the direction of Kaya Nynka and Oksana Mulyk.
Finally, Father Bilyk walked among all who had gathered, blessing their beautifully prepared baskets of foods – most importantly, the Easter breads known as “pasky” and “babky” – to be consumed on Easter Sunday.