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Get ready to eat! Saint Dimitri Orthodox Church will host blini breakfast

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By Special to the Monitor

Saint Dimitri Orthodox Church will host its 10th Annual Blini Breakfast on Feb. 14, following the service of Divine Liturgy. Russian blini, a type of thin pancake, will be served in the traditional style with smoked salmon, herring and sour cream. Vegetable caviar, eggs 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 type of foods before the beginning of Great Lent.

Fish and dairy products along with meat are not eaten during the 40-day Lenten or “Great” Fast period preceding Easter or Pascha, as it is called among Orthodox Christians. The practice of fasting, or abstaining from certain foods, is an ancient one, dating to Judaism. The practice was recorded in Biblical times when Christ having fasted in the desert for 40 days.

“Lent” comes from the ancient English word for spring – that time of natural rebirth, which corresponds to the process of inner spiritual regeneration. The Church has always regarded this as an opportunity in which every Christian should strive to participate 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,” said Fr. John Hennies, priest of Saint Dimitri Orthodox Church.    

The service rite of Mutual Forgiveness will be celebrated immediately following Divine Liturgy on Sunday, which is also called “Forgiveness Sunday.” 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,” Elizabeth Bezzerides, a member of Saint Dimitri Orthodox Church, said.  “It is more than just a tradition, it is an opportunity for starting Lent, in reconciliation with our brothers and sisters whom we may have offended. We are grateful that the Church in her wisdom with all the preparation during Great Lent 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 2270 - 39th Street (near the corner of Diamond Drive and 38th Streets) from noon-2:30 p.m. 

Call 661-7466 to make an advance registration. Advance registration may be done through Feb. 11. Advance tickets cost $8 while tickets purchased at the door will be $10. Children 6-12 years old will be admitted for $3. There is no charge for children younger than 6 years old. Additional information is available by calling 660-9113.