St. Matthew Orthodox Christian Church
Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese
Torrance, CA

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Koliva Recipe

Koliva – Memorial Wheatberries

2  cups wheat berries

3/4 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

3/4 cup blanched almonds, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup sesame seeds

1/2 cup golden raisins

1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

1 cups fine ground bread crumbs (unsalted)

1/2 Tbsp. ground cinnamon

1 cup powdered sugar


  1. Place the wheat berries in a medium pot and fill with tap water. Allow the wheat berries to soak overnight.
  2. Drain wheat berries, place them back in the pot and cover with water. Turn the heat to medium and once aboil, simmer for approx. an hour until tender (taste one).
  3. Transfer to a strainer and then spread out on a tablecloth covered countertop. Allow about 12 hours to dry.
  4. Place the wheatberries in a large bowl and add the walnuts, almonds, sesame seeds, raisins, pomegranate and 1/4 of the bread crumbs and cinnamon,  stir to combine.
  5. Transfer to a bowl or a tray of your choice for presentation. Cut off a sheet of parchment or wax paper and place on top to press down and compact the mixture. Form a mound or flat surface, according to your tastes.
  6. Top the surface with remaining breadcrumbs and once again place parchment paper on top and press down to smooth out.
  7. Now top with powdered sugar layer, place parchment on and press down to smooth out.
  8. Decorate with dried fruit, nuts or silver candies (sold at Greek bakeries). A cross should be included in your design. This step can be done the night before the memorial or the morning of. Do not cover or place in a fridge.
  9. To serve at church, purchase small cups, paper bags or zip lock bags along with plastic spoons to give out in memory of your departed loved one.

NOTE: Got a pressure cooker or Insta-pot? Place the wheatberries in your pressure cooker/insta-pot with 3 to 1 water to wheatberries ratio. Seal according to mfgr’s instructions. Once seal has formed (pressure cooker begins to whistle), cook for 35 mins. Safely release steam, place cooked wheatberries in a colander to drain and cool.

Today's Commemorations
3rd Thursday after Pascha, Michael the Confessor, Bishop of Synnada, Mary the Myrrhbearer & wife of Cleopas
Today's Scripture Readings
In those days, an angel of the Lord said to Philip, "Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza." This is a desert road. And he rose and went. And behold, an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a minister of the Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, in charge of all her treasure, had come to Jerusalem to worship and was returning; seated in his chariot, he was reading the prophet Isaiah. And the Spirit said to Philip, "Go up and join this chariot." So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and asked, "Do you understand what you are reading?" And he said, "How can I, unless some one guides me?" And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. Now the passage of the scripture which he was reading was this: "As a sheep led to the slaughter or a lamb before its shearer is dumb, so he opens not his mouth. In his humiliation justice was denied him. Who can describe his generation? For his life is taken up from the earth." And the eunuch said to Philip, "About whom, pray, does the prophet say this, about himself or about some one else?" Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this scripture he told him the good news of Jesus. And as they went along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, "See, here is water! What is to prevent my being baptized?" And Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart, you may." And he replied, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught up Philip; and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing.
JOHN 6:40-44
The Lord said to the Jews who believed in him: "This is the will of my Father, that every one who sees the Son and believes in him should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day." The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, "I am the bread which came down from heaven." They said, "Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, 'I have come down from heaven'?" Jesus answered them, "Do not murmur among yourselves. No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day."
Today's Thought

β€œIn order to fulfill the commandments of Christ, you must know them. They are expounded in the Gospels. Read the Holy Gospels, penetrate its spirit, make it the rule of your life, act in accord with the teachings of the Gospels. This is the one light in our life.” – St. Nikon of Optina