>Dying Eggs on Holy Thursday & Welcome, Olivia Kate Autrey!

>Today is Holy Thursday. Urania taught me to dye eggs on Holy Thursday. This is our first Holy Week without her—she’s my friend who died in October—so all of us at St. John Orthodox Church here in Memphis are missing her greatly.

I was thrilled when her daughter Julia emailed me from New York and asked if she could come over on Holy Thursday to dye eggs together. But first, a few links for those who want to read more about this tradition:

Here’s a blog post about why Orthodox Christians dye eggs red for Easter.

Link to dying eggs with onion skins is here. I might try that next year!
More information about traditions about Easter eggs is here.
One story about Mary Magdalen and the red eggs is here.
And another one here .

Okay, here’s Julia reading her mother’s instructions.

First we put the eggs in lukewarm water for about 20 minutes. This lets air bubbles out and prevents cracking. After 20 minutes, you pour this water out and start with fresh water for the dying process. I’ve done it both ways, and truly, fewer eggs crack this way. (Today we only cracked 3 out of 48 eggs!)

While the eggs are soaking, you mix Rit dye, “Scarlet” red, with a small amount of water and then pour it through a coffee filter into a container.

Your pour this dye mixture into the pot with the fresh water and bring it to a boil. Boil for about 12 minutes, then remove the eggs to paper towels to dry.

Once they are cool enough to handle, “polish” them with olive oil and put them in the refrigerator until Pascha night.

In some Greek Orthodox Churches, the priest gives out these eggs to the parishioners at the end of the service. At our church, most parishioners include some eggs in their baskets of food they bring for the Paschal feast.

The tradition is for two people to each hold an egg and “crack” them together… the one whose eggs does not crack wins. More about this game is here.

We’ve had a rainy Holy Thursday here in Memphis, but it’s turned out beautiful at the end of the day.

These clematis on our gate are in full bloom, as are these beautiful azaleas.

My peonies still haven’t bloomed, but I’m hoping for some blossoms by Sunday. Signs of spring are increasing as we move towards Pascha.

Watch for another post on Saturday afternoon… Julia and I will be making the traditional Greek lamb soup together. Yum!

Breaking News! Congratulations to my Goddaughter, Stacy Autrey, in Nashville… who gave birth to Olivia Kate this afternoon! 7 lbs 4 oz. We can’t wait to meet her!

Here’s a picture Stacy and Jared just sent to my cell phone. Isn’t she beautiful! Aunt Susan loves you, Olivia Kate!

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