Which Way Challenge

IMG_20190420_122051.jpg

The Which Way Challenge, that Cee began, has been picked up by the Sonofthebeach69 blogger.  The beauty of it is that it’s free form. You can include images of doors, gates, roads, streets, exits, signs, paths, waterways, you name it.

This week as it’s Triduum, I went with a religious theme.

IMG_20190420_122113.jpg

See more Which Way photos by clicking here.

Advertisements

Blessing Easter Baskets

Polish E basket

I recently learned of a Polish custom of getting Easter baskets blessed. The church just north of me had a sign about this ritual, which was held today at 1:30 pm. Even though the service was in Polish, I decided to go.

Over 200 people attended the event, most dressed up and brought traditional baskets like the one above. Other baskets were contemporary. The tradition is to put your family’s Easter Day food in the basket and have the priest bless it the Saturday before Easter.

The service I attended was short and sweet with some dialog between the priest and the congregation, the priest talking and then families bringing up their baskets and the priest spraying holy water over the baskets.

Blessing_of_the_baskets_Easter_tradition

This ceremony was outside and the priest blesses all the baskets together
rather than one by one as I saw.

Each item in the basket is symbolic. According to one article, “The baskets themselves are decorated with flowers, ribbons and greenery and lined with or covered by linen, which is often embroidered. The linen is symbolic of the shroud that covered the body of Jesus in the tomb.

“Foods in the basket and their symbolism include:

  • Salt representing wisdom, purity and preservation. It reminds us to flavor our dealings with others by the example of Christ.
  • Butter, often in the shape or a lamb — the Lamb of God — is symbolic of the goodwill of Christ that we should have toward all things.
  • Babka the sweet, eggy Easter Bread, often round and always topped with a cross symbolizing Jesus — the Bread of Life, the Risen Lord and the sweetness of life. Other baked goods, including lamb-shaped pound cakes, might also be included.
  • Bread, often sourdough rye bread, the staff of life.
  • Kielbasa, symbolic of God’s favor and generosity. Eastern European traditions contend the sausage links are a reminder of the chains of death that were broken when Jesus rose from the dead.
  • Bacon and/or ham, symbolic of the overabundance of God’s mercy.
  • Horseradish — as in the Passover meal — this bitter herb symbolizes the harshness of life and Passion of Christ. In the the Polish Easter tradition, horseradish is sweetened by mixing it with red beets — cwikta.
  • Cheese including Pascha, cottage cheese, goat cheese or cream cheese, a symbol to remind Christians to show moderation for all things.
  • Eggs, usually brightly decorated, symbolic of spring, new life and Christ’s resurrection from the tomb.
  • Wine, the drink of the Passover meal and Las Supper. Wine gladdens the heart and helps us enter into the joy of the resurrection and its sparkle reminds us of the glory of Easter.
  • Chocolates in the form of eggs, bunnies, jelly beans or sugar lambs are 20th-century additions to the baskets, symbolic of the sweetness of life.
  • Candle representing Christ as the Light of the world.”

Reference

New Castle News.(2019). “Polish Easter baskets filled with tradition.”Retrieved from http://www.ncnewsonline.com/news/lifestyles/polish-easter-baskets-filled-with-tradition/article_10db325b-b0bc-5ca4-ab5c-6c092086f7a5.html on April 20, 2019.

Masterpiece: Les Misérables

It’s no secret that Les Misérables is one of my favorite stories of all time. I’ve read the book and seen the musical, the film with Liam Neeson, the film with Jean Gabin and the one with Harry Barr. I’ve loved them all.

I lost track of time and missed the premier of Masterpiece’s newest Les Mis, but fortunately, I taped it and am now ready for episode 2.

Beginning with Thénardier (Adeel Akhtar) robbing the pockets of soldiers killed at Waterloo. As luck would have it, Pontmercy, a solider, wakes up and mistakes Thénardier for a savior. Then in the prison where Jean Val Jean (Dominic West) toils away while being abused, beaten and tricked by the guards and Inspector Javert (David Oyelowo), a 19th century French Pharisee. Early on we also see Pontmercy’s wealthy father-in-law who’s taken custody of his grandson when the boy’s mother died. Vehemently opposed to Pontmercy’s politics, the grandfather forbids Pontmercy to see his own son, Marius, a cutie pie in velvet and frilly collars.

Fantine’s story of meeting Felix, Cossette’s father, this production starts earlier in the book than the musical. We get to see the slimy, philandering Felix who loves and leaves poor, naive Fantine. Interwoven with Fantine’s story, we see Jean Valjean get freed from jail and encounter hostility and injustice till he’s welcome by the saintly Bishop Digne.

I’m thoroughly enjoying the story. It’s a lush production. I always have an odd feeling about computer graphics. I can tell it’s not real (or faux real). I sense something lacking in the vast settings that must be computer graphics.

The story spans decades and contains several plot lines. Victor Hugo dedicated each section of the book according to a main character. The screenwriter has woven several sections together and the chronology’s changed. Some things seem to be simultaneous here, when they weren’t in the book. For example, at the end of episode 1, Fantine’s holding her daughter Cossette, who looks like she is at least a year old. Yet Felix just abandoned her a few hours before. I thought Fantine got pregnant after Felix left her. Also, Jean Valjean has just left the Bishop’s. It seems the timing is off between Fantine, whose story doesn’t need much time to progress to the next stage, and Jean Valjean, who took many years to get to the next point when he’ll meet Fantine.

Even though there are some differences between other productions and these do bother me, the annoyance is small and Les Misérables is a story that can’t be ruined. (Knock on wood.) So far this series is off to a good start.