L  ife in Russia and Ukraine has never been easy. As in other parts of the world, people have seen oppression, terror, civil war, invasions, famine and historic events that caused millions to suffer and perish.
And yet, we have always found the strength to continue and raise our families the best we were able to under often harsh and demanding circumstances.
A great source to find that strength has always been our faith in God and the Church; whether it be Russian Orthodox or Ukrainian Catholic.
The services, the special traditions and rituals around major life events such as Baptism, Marriage and the passing of our loved ones give shape and form to our lives, helps us to cope and brings enjoyment to major holidyays of the year such as Easter and Christmas.

Lord's corner in a Home

A traditional "Lord's Corner" as it is in my house (for more information go to the Crafts page).Vladimir the Great 

Vladimir the Great, who is credited with the Christianization of the Kievan Rus, which was later to become Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus. After being baptized himself in the year 988, Vladimir is said to have his family and the entire population of Kiev baptized in the Dnieper river; and all Pagan Idols were destroyed. Thus, Orthodox Christianity was established in the East. This event became to be known as the Baptism of Kiev.Plaques on Church wall

Commemorative Plaques on the wall of St.Barbaras Cathedral in Edmonton Interior of St.Barbaras Cathedral, Edmonton

- and here the beautiful interior of the church

Here is the link to this Parish Community:  St.Barbaras Russian Orthodox Cathedral This link will also take you to the other Parishes and provide you with more information about the Russian Orthodox Church in CanadaEaster baskets being blessed                                                          

After the Easter Service, Father Sergey blesses  baskets of traditional food in the basement of St.Barbaras                                                                         

To connect with the Ukrainian Catholic community, check out these links:

St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Parish

St. Basil the Great Ukrainian Catholic Parish

Edmonton Eparchy

Perhaps the most important holiday in our year is Easter when we celebrate the Rising from the Dead of Jesus Christ.
On this occasion, we bring to the church our Easter Basket, which comprises of traditional foods such as Paska, a special bread baked for the occasion, and Babka, which is the sweet version of that item. Most baskets also contain butter, and meats and sausages, since Lent is now over and we may eat meat again. No basket is complete without Pisanka, the elaborately decorated hard boiled eggs.    Easter Basket

A beautiful traditional Easter Basket or Koshyk

Decorated Butter in Jar                     Decorated Eggs

To decorate the butter, cloves or peppercorns can be used to create shapes, or it can be molded as in the picture above. On the right is a selection of Pisanka. It takes great patience to decorated eggs this way, but the design varieties are endless

Easter Baskets awaiting the Blessing                                            Easter Baskets in front of Icon

Easter Baskets of food awaiting their Blessing

   Village Silhouette