February 24, 2015
With Great Lent quickly approaching the Church is preparing not only to guide the living to repentance, but also to offer up prayers on behalf of those who have departed, an essential mark of Orthodox piety and worship. Saturday February 21/March 5 marks the first Soul Saturday, followed by the second, third, and fourth Saturdays of the Great Fast.
An essential element of our prayers for the departed is the offering of boiled wheat, or koliva, on their behalves. In this video Presvytera Vassi Haros teaches us how to prepare koliva with an emphasis on prayer:
For a small memorial service, like Saturday of the Souls or a family memorial, you will need the following ingredients: 2 c whole wheat (uncooked), 1 c chopped walnuts, 1 c blanched / slivered almonds, 1/2 c raisins, 1/2 c golden raisins, 1/4 c Italian (flat) parsley, 1 c whole sesame seeds, 1 t cinnamon, 1 t pumpkin spice, 1 t honey, 2 c powdered sugar, Jordan Almonds.
For a Memorial Service your portions will look more like: 5 lbs whole wheat (cooked in 2 large pots) 4 c chopped walnuts, 4 c blanched / slivered almonds, 2 c raisins, 2 c golden raisins, 1 c Italian (flat) parsley, 4 c whole sesame seeds, 2 T cinnamon, 1 T pumpkin spice, 1 T honey, 2 lbs powdered sugar, 1 lb Jordan Almonds.