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
Christina the Great Martyr of Tyre, Athenagorus the Apologist, Boris and Gleb, the Passion-bearers, Kapiton, Himenaos and Hermogenes, the Martyrs, Theophilos the New Martyr of Zakynthos
Today's Scripture Readings
Brethren, welcome one another, as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. For I tell you that Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God's truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written, "Therefore I will praise thee among the Gentiles, and sing to thy name" and again it is said, "Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people" and again, "Praise the Lord, all Gentiles, and let all the peoples praise him" and further Isaiah says, "The root of Jesse shall come, he who rises to rule the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles hope." May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. I myself am satisfied about you, my brethren, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and able to instruct one another. But on some points I have written to you very boldly by way of reminder, because of the grace given me by God to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
MATTHEW 12:38-45
At that time, the scribes and Pharisees came to Jesus saying, "Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you." But he answered them, "An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign; but no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale, so will the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh will arise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here. The queen of the South will arise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here. When the unclean spirit has gone out of a man, he passes through waterless places seeking rest, but he finds none. Then he says, 'I will return to my house from which I came.' And when he comes he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he goes and brings with him seven other spirits more evil than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first. So shall it be also with this evil generation.
Today's Thought