BY FR. THEOPHAN MACKEY
St. Job of Pochaiv Orthodox Church
Saint Job of Pochaiv Orthodox Christian Church will host Blini Breakfast on Saturday, Feb. 25. Traditional blini, a type of thin pancake, will be served in the traditional style with smoked salmon, herring, butter, and sour cream. Vegetable caviar, eggs, cheese, and a variety of berry preserves will be available as well.
Blini are traditionally served in Slavic households during the week before the beginning of the Lenten Fast. The thin crepe-like pancakes are eaten together with fish, sour cream and butter in order to consume all these foods before the beginning of Great Lent.
These foods, that is, fish and dairy products, along with meat are not eaten during the forty-day Great Fast period preceding Easter, or Pascha, as it is called among Orthodox Christians. The practice of fasting, or abstaining from certain foods, dates to Judaism. The practice was recorded in Biblical times, Christ having fasted in the desert for forty days.
“Lent” comes from the ancient English word for Spring – that time of natural rebirth which corresponds to the process of inner spiritual regeneration which every Christian should strive to experience in his or her preparation for celebrating the feast of Christ’s Resurrection.
The practice of “fasting, together with prayer, almsgiving, and the preparation that the additional services during Lent provide is the true readying for the great feast of the Resurrection of Our Lord,” explains Fr. Theophan.
The service rite of Mutual Forgiveness will be celebrated immediately following Divine Liturgy. On this last day before Great Lent, this rite of Mutual Forgiveness offers preparation for entering into the season of Great Lent through the spirit of forgiveness and repentance.
“Everyone asks pardon and forgiveness of each other in the church community,” offers Elizabeth Bezzerides, a member of Saint Job Orthodox Church. “It is more than just a tradition, it is an opportunity for beginning the season of Lent with an opportunity for reconciliation with our brothers and sisters whom we may have offended. We rejoice that the Church in her wisdom gives us this yearly chance for undertaking a common cure together, for if we were left on our own, we would probably never make the effort by ourselves.”
The Blini Breakfast will be held at the church located at 1319 Trinity Drive (next to Natural Grocers) on Saturday, Feb. 25 with seatings at 9:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Reservations may be made by calling (505) 412-6031; There is a suggested donation of $12 for adults, and $6 for children 6-12 years old. Additional information is also available by calling (505) 660-9113.