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.

40th Anniversary Banquet
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Today's Commemorations
2nd Sunday of Luke, The Holy Protection of the Theotokos, Ananias, Apostle of the 70, Romanos the Melodist, John Koukouzelis the Psalti
Today's Scripture Readings
Brethren, you are the temple of the living God; as God said, "I will live in them and move among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore come out from them, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch nothing unclean; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty. Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, and make holiness perfect in the fear of God.
LUKE 6:31-36
The Lord said, "As you wish that men would do to you, do so to them. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the selfish. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful."
Today's Thought

The mind is the rudder of both the will and the heart. If the mind is permanently directed toward God, then it will eagerly meditate day and night on the Law of God, and will not walk in the counsel of the ungodly. (Psalm 1:1) – St. Nicholai of Zica