“Toc, toc, toc.” Wiping my hands on my apron, I wondered who would visit so close to lunchtime. And hoping lunch wouldn’t burn… “Buon giorno,” I greeted the unexpected visitor hesitantly. “Can I help you?” I didn’t really know what to say or do. I’d never been visited by a priest before!
“Well, I’m here for the blessing,” he informed me.
“The blessing?” I asked stupidly. (Surely looking as stupid as I felt.) I hadn’t the faintest clue what he was talking about!
“Yes, I’m here to bless your house,” he said.
It was my first Italian Easter, and I had no notion of the Easter house blessing.
“But, my house is already blessed!” I assured him. His turn to look, and surely feel, foolish! “Already blessed?”
“Yes, I’m God’s child, and his blessing is always on my house!”
Silence, as we stared at each other, dumbfounded. Then, “Um, you’re not Catholic, are you?”
He was gracious and polite, even offering to come in and prayer over our house anyway. I asked if he would come back sometime when my husband was home. But he never returned, and we’ve never again had a priest come to our door. We would have welcomed the opportunity to talk with him.
Over lunch, I recounted how surprised he seemed over hearing that our house was already blessed. “He probably wondered if some other priest had invaded his parish,” Mario surmised.
I don’t think that priest was dressed like the one above (performing a wedding). His visit surprised me too much to take note. But perhaps the Catholic priests only dress that way for mass. I don’t know!
But for the most part, I found that Easter in Italy is a lot like the American holiday.
People go to church.
A big dinner, often with lamb. And of course pasta. Lots of pasta. But then, when isn’t pasta part of the day here?
Kids color hard-boiled eggs.
And cooks even insert boiled eggs (still in the shell), into the traditional easter bread!
But two things definitely took me by surprise. The house blessing, and the chocolate!
No chocolate bunnies or chickens. But that’s OK, because the Easter eggs more than make up for it! Big (sometimes huge) hollow eggs that contain prizes! Wow, we never had those as kids! I’m not sure which kids like the most: the prize or the chocolate!
But you must pay attention in choosing. Boy’s eggs have cars or sports related items. While a girl’s might contain Peppa Pig or Hello Kitty. We have Easter eggs for adults too. Holding things like ties or costume jewelry. But me? I’d rather wait for the pasta, lamb, and wine! And tiramisù, and coffee, and…
But we’ll mostly be thanking the Lord that, because of Easter, our house is already blessed! Will you?
What’s your favorite part of Easter?
[Images of flowers & chocolate egg ©TheScorziellos]