Divine Mercy Sunday!







Today is Divine Mercy Sunday

Divine Mercy devotions took place at St Peter’s Cathedral in Lancaster this afternoon!

Our Parish Priest was invited to help hear Confessions and one of our Parish Organists was called in to provide the organ music for the devotions.







The devotions started with the Divine Mercy Image Procession to the Sanctuary where the image was then blessed.






The congregation were then invited to venerate the Divine Mercy image and relic of St Faustina. Canon Luiz Ruscillo who was presiding then proclaimed the Gospel and preached.






The Chaplet of Divine Mercy was prayed during Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. Adoration then took place whilst priests were available to hear individual Confessions.

The Blessed Sacrament remained exposed for the Parish Rosary which started at 4:00pm.






‘On this day the very depths of my tender mercy are open’

‘Jesus I trust in you’

The Blessing of Food








Baskets containing a sampling of Easter foods are brought to church to be blessed on Holy Saturday. The basket is traditionally lined with a white linen or lace napkin and decorated with sprigs of boxwood (bukszpan), the typical Easter evergreen. Poles take special pride in preparing a decorative and tasteful basket with crisp linens, occasionally embroidered for the occasion, and boxwood and ribbon woven through the handle. Observing the creativity of other parishioners is one of the special joys of the event.






Some children with baskets of food who gathered at St Patrick’s on Saturday afternoon for the service.

More traditional Polish churches use a straw brush for aspersing the water; others use the more modern metal holy water sprinkling wand. In some parishes, the baskets are lined up on long tables; in others, parishioners process to the front of the altar carrying their baskets, as if in a Communion line. Older generations of Polish Americans, descended from early 19th century immigrants, tend to bless whole meal quantities, often brought to church halls or cafeterias in large hampers and picnic baskets.

The foods in the baskets have a symbolic meaning:

  • eggs – symbolise life and Christ’s resurrection
  • bread – symbolic of Jesus
  • lamb – represents Christ
  • salt – represents purification
  • horseradish – symbolic of the bitter sacrifice of Christ
  • ham – symbolic of great joy and abundance.
  • The food blessed in the church remains untouched according to local traditions until either Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning.