Święconka Part I

Święconka is, to me, the last remnant of my Polish cultural heritage. A literal translation into English is hard to come by as it means consecration or blessing but encompasses the whole ritual and meal of Easter Brunch. The brunch, a combination of breakfast and lunch, is celebrated and served after (Roman Catholic) church services that in turn celebrates the resurrection of our lord, Jesus Christ.

If you were to ask me as a child, what my favorite meal of the year was I would always say “schwinnsoonka” (my own pronunciation); not because it’s a holy meal, but because, well, just see the menu.

Polish is not my native tongue and quite frankly ties my brain in a knot, what with it’s strange alphabet, pronunciation, diacriticals and grammar. In the Polish Language W is pronounced as a V. To add to the confusion Ę (upper case Ę or lower case ę – is an e with an Ogonek, literally: “a little tail” in Polish), but ę is pronounced as an N except at the end of a word where it reverts to a short e as in pet.

In doing some research of this holiday ritual I was confounded by what at first appeared to be a spelling controversy between święcone and święconka, as some people used only one term or the other. Between puzzling over an old Polish Grammar and searching the Internet I have concluded that Święconka (shvin-tson-ka) is a verb and święcone (shvin-tson-eh) is a plural noun. The essential difference being: Święconka means “the act of consecration” while święcone means “those things which have been consecrated”.

Święcone (shvin tson eh)

Ś = soft sh sound w = as English

Vi = as i in machine

ę = Nasal, almost like EN in TEN, but, e as in pet when it is the final letter of a word.

c = as English TS (even when it begins a word)

o = as in English

n = as in English

e = as in pet

Święconka (shvin tson ka)

Ś = soft sh sound

w = as English

Vi = as i in machine

ę = Nasal, almost like EN in TEN, but, e as in pet when it is the final letter of a word.

c = as English TS (even when it begins a word)

o = as in English

n = as in English

k = as in English

a = ä as in father

Święcone Easter Brunch Menu: (A Symbolic Break Fast)

All items are prepared beforehand and carried in a basket to the church on the day before Easter Sunday (Holy Saturday) for the Święconka blessing by the parish priest and served cold after Easter Services.

The Blessing Bread (A round loaf marked with a cross; usually whole wheat.)

Pork Shoulder Roast (cut in chunks; boiled 45 minutes with bay leaf, salt & pepper.)

Kielbasa (Polish Sausage boiled 45 minutes.)

Rye Bread (Sliced)

Ham (Sliced, baked or boiled.)

Hard Boiled Eggs (Peeled)

Hard Boiled Eggs/symbolically colored red (dyed in the shell) and other colors.

Pascal Lamb (The Sacrificial Lamb):

Butter Lamb (molded or hand carved: made of pure butter and decorated with a white, bifurcated banner marked with a royal purple cross hung from the crossbar of the now empty cross) or as alternatives: A cake, sugar, or plaster lamb for a centerpiece.

Symbolic Horseradish (The Bitter Herb)

Symbolic Salt (& Pepper)

A Symbolic Sweet: banana nut or poppy seed bread or other.

(for ease of keeping and transport to and from the church)

Symbolic Red Wine (Optional)

Milk & Coffee

Święconka Święcone

Advertisements

About The Twentieth Man

Age 66
This entry was posted in The Kingdom of Heaven, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s