Banquet of Faith

Some of our 2022 Pascha eggs (dyed brick-red with onion skins) sit on a nest of sweet lavender. These floral imprints are from marigold, barrenwort flowers, and a clover leaf.

Dying eggs red for Pascha is an ancient tradition, and symbolize the gift of eternal life though our Lord Jesus Christ’s glorious Resurrection.

Their shells represent the sealed tomb of Jesus, and when we crack our eggs together, we depict the end of the old and the beginning of the new… His Resurrection from the dead, the shattering of the Gates of Hell, and the Promise of Life Eternal!

The tradition of red eggs begins with St. Mary Magdalene, one of the Holy Myrrh-Bearers. As a witness of Christ’s Resurrection, and after His Ascension to the heavens, she began a life of ministry and also became known as an Equal-to-the-Apostles.

According to holy tradition, during her travels, St. Mary Magdalene gained an audience with the Emperor Tiberius in Rome… where she denounced the conduct of Jerusalem’s governor (Pontius Pilate) at Christ’s trial, by his condemning of an innocent man (whom he acknowledged to be) to death.

Then St. Mary Magdalene told the Emperor about the life and miracles of Jesus Christ, and His Resurrection from the dead. To illustrate the symbol of New Life (in Christ), she held an egg out to him, and joyously proclaimed, “Christ is Risen!”

The emperor mocked her saying, “There’s about as much chance of a human being returning to life again from the dead… as there is for that very egg in your hand to turn red!”

An instantaneous sign from God confirmed the truth of her message, and the egg immediately turned red!

Christ’s redemption transcends time and space. When we greet each other during the 40 days of Pascha-tide saying, “Christ is risen,” we confirm that not only did He rise all those years ago, but He remains risen right now.

Christ is risen! Truly He is Risen!

As for Me and My House…

Robin’s Nest in peach tree nestled beside a home ~ Photo by Juliana Tellier

… as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. ~Joshua 24:15

The summer before entering grade one, I found a beautiful blue robin’s egg on the grass – whole and intact. There were several tall trees nearby, and to my distress, I couldn’t find or return it to its appropriate home. Determined to help, I gently wrapped the egg in Kleenex and brought it home. For days, I carried it bundled in my pockets, and at nights, I slept with it under my pillow. Alas, of course, it never hatched. Burying it in the backyard garden, I realized (with tears) that because the egg had fallen outside its protective nest and grown cold, it couldn’t become what it was meant to be. In my child’s heart, I understood that God already knew all about this poor little baby robin’s egg, and I received an unexpected blessing of comfort… with my own sadness taking flight.

Let us rejoice and be thankful for the opportunity and great blessing of taking our children to church. The House of God is a Loving Nest for us and our little ones. It’s a place of rest, a place of tender care… a place to nestle our souls within the Holy Sacraments. Therefore, let us rise, take wing, and soar to the Holy Communion of our Lord God and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young – a place near your altar, Lord Almighty, my King and my God. ~ Psalm 84:3

Beside them the birds of the heavens dwell; they sing among the branches. ~ Psalm 104:12

…but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.~ Isaiah 40:31

Behold the fowls of the air: for they do not sow or reap or gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. ~ St. Matthew 6:26

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. ~ St. Matthew 10:29

My Onion Skin Dye for Pascha Eggs

Tip! Save your onion skins during Great Lent!

This natural dye yields a rich vibrant brick-red colour, and has become a special family tradition to do during Holy Week.

You’ll Need:

– 2 dozen white eggs (save the cartons for later storage)
– 1 package of cheesecloth
– 24 to 36 (small size) elastic bands (extras may be needed in case of breakage)
– 10 to 12 cups of dry yellow onion skins
– one bunch of parsley (and if available, pansies or small edible flower heads, and clover leaves, small 2 inch frond-ends of ferns etc.)
– 1/2 cup white vinegar

In a very large pot, boil the onion skins in 2 – 4 litres of water, for 30 – 40 minutes. Remove pot from heat. Strain out the skins and discard them. Add the vinegar to the strained dye and stir well.

(While waiting for the skins to boil, take the cheesecloth and cut 24- 6 X 6 inch squares.)

Using the first dozen eggs, place a sprig of something floral, etc. pressing it ‘pretty-side’ flat down upon the egg. Wrap cheesecloth square tightly around egg, keeping the sprig taut against egg.This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is eggtails.jpeg

Pull cheesecloth tighter, leaving a small “pony-tail”. Tie ponytail tightly with elastic band. Set aside on a platter to prevent “rolling-off-the-table-tragedies”! When one dozen eggs are completed thusly, lower them gently into the dye and simmer for 20 minutes over heat, so only a bubble breaks the surface occasionally. This prevents the eggs from becoming tough.  

While waiting for the first dozen to boil, work on preparing the next dozen with cheesecloth and flowers. When the first dozen have simmered 20 minutes, remove from dye with slotted spoon and immerse for about 3 minutes in a large bowl of cold water.

Add the second dozen prepared eggs gently into the hot dye, and simmer them for 20 minutes. Remove the first batch of cooled eggs from the water and carefully remove the cheesecloth and sprig of parsley or flower, and admire your creations!

Keep them on a platter so to avoid casualties.
Buff them lightly with a “polish” of small amount of olive oil on a paper towel, and place eggs back directly into their cartons for storage and REFRIGERATE!.
Repeat procedure with the remaining dozen eggs.

It’s easy to save dry onion skins for the next year each time you cook.

Place them into a large plastic produce bag.

Store the skins in a cool, dry place!

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