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( HOLY WEEK CUSTOMS )

SOME OF THE OLD WORLD CUSTOMS THAT ARE CELEBRATED BY
POLISH-AMERICANS, AND ARE A BIG PART OF OUR HERITAGE STEM FROM
OUR CATHOLIC FAITH. THE BIGGEST AND MOST IMPORTANT IS EASTER.
AT THE CONCLUSION OF HOLY THURSDAY SERVICES OUR ALTAR IS
STRIPPED OF ITS VESTMENTS AND IS LEFT BARE. THE TABERNACLE
IS LEFT OPEN AND THE SACREMENT REMOVED. AT THE SIDE ALTAR THE
SEPULCHRE IS PREPARED. AT 3:00 ON GOOD FRIDAY THE FIGURE OF
CHRIST WILL BE LYING IN THE TOMB. ON GOOD FRIDAY ( , )
BEGINNING AT 12:00 NOON ( , ) THE CHURCH IS FILLED TO CAPACITY
WITH WORSHIPPERS COMMENORATING ( COMMEMORATING ) CHRIST'S
CRUCIFIXION. THE CROSS IS CARRIED THROUGH THE AISLES COVERING
CHRIST'S FOOTSTEPS ON THE WAY TO CALVARY. AT 3:00, THE PRIEST
LEADS THE PROCESSION TO THE SEPULCHRE AND THE FIGURE OF CHRIST IS
UNCOVERED.
THE MORNING OF HOLY SATURDAY FINDS THE PEOPLE COMING TO THE CHURCH
TO RECEIVE HOLY WATER AND THORNS. IN POLISH HOMES YOU WILL FIND
A RECEPTACLE FOR HOLY WATER AT THE ENTRANCE OF THE BEDROOMS FROM
WHICH THE MOTHER BLESSES HER FAMILY WHILE THEY ARE ASLEEP AT
NIGHT. A VISIT IS PAID TO THE SEPULCHRE WHICH IS GUARDED BY
SOLDIERS. THE PARISHIONERS BRING EASTER LILIES TO ADORN CHRIST'S
TOMB. AT 1:00 WE BRING FOOD BASKETS TO THE CHURCH TO BE BLESSED,
WHICH WILL BE EATEN FOR BREAKFAST ON EASTER. THE FOOD CONSISTS OF
POLISH SAUSAGE (KIELBASA) ( , ) BUTTER SHAPED IN THE FORM OF A
LAMB WITH A RED RIBBON AROUND ITS NECK, SIGNIFYING CHRIST,
THE SLAIN LAMB. A SWEET BREAD MADE OF EGG AND SWEET RAISINS IS
BRAIDED INTO A LOAF, HORSERADISH AND COLORED EASTER ( EGGS ) ARE
ALSO IN THE BASKET.
EASTER MORNING AT 5:00 A.M. THE SUNRISE SERVICES BEGIN.
CHILDREN DRESSED IN WHITE ( , ) WEARING BLUE CAPES ( , ) COME IN
PROCESSION CARRYING FLOWERS. THEY ARE MET AT THE ALTAR BY THE
PRIEST AND WITH A TRUMPET FANFARE PROCEED TO THE TOMB. THERE
THEY FIND THE FIGURE OF CHRIST HAS BEEN REMOVED AND WHERE HE LAID
FLOWERS EN-MASSE. ARTIFICIAL SUNRAYS PROFUSE FROM THE TOMB, AND
THE SOLDIERS ARE GONE. CHRIST IS RISEN.
IN THE OLD COUNTRY EASTER MONDAY FINDS THE BOYS CHASING THEIR
GIRLS WITH LONG SWITCHES TO SWITCH THEIR LEGS. THEY IN TURN,
ARE CHASING THE BOYS WITH BUCKETS OF WATER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SAINT CLAIR SHORES

Keyword(s): DYNGUS DAY ; FOOD CUSTOM ; MUSIC ; RITUAL WHIPPING ; SWIECZONKA ; SYMBOL ; WATER

Subject headings: 663 Holy Thursday
663 Good Friday
663 Holy Saturday
Favorites
DRAMA -- Religious
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Church
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Easter eggs
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Easter Sunday
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Easter Monday Dyngus
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting F663.30

Date learned: 11-10-1971

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