Inside the Holy Cross Church in Warsaw was a table with baskets and eggs guarded by a priest. There was also a basket with money. I assumed people could donate some money and get an easter egg in return. After all, we donated some money and got holy water at another church. So I handed some coins and was about to get an egg when the priest started praying.
I felt shy then to pick up an egg, since every one was praying. But luckily I hesitated because the moment the prayer was over, the priest blessed the baskets and then the people took the baskets with eggs and left.
So what were these baskets with breads and eggs all about? A lady answered: “We want the priest to bless them. When we get home, we eat them.”
There were also small bottles filled with “holy water” for sale. A young man explained: “We sprinkle it on our food. For blessing. And we hope for good health.”
“You sprinkle the water while cooking the food?” I asked.
“No, when the food is spread on the table, ready to eat,” he answered.
In the Philippines, we have holy water – for driving away restless ghosts, according to my mom.
We saw catholics kneeling in front of the altar, kissing icons and crucifixes.
Confessional boxes were busy, stoo. I felt nostalgic so I went to confession: “Bless me father for I have sinned. My last confession was surely over 20 years ago.”
I left the confessional box and went straight to a pew. But it’s been such a long time ago that I prayed these prayers that I…hardly remembered the words…