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

Log in | Create Account
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
Basil the Confessor, Jonah the Righteous Martyr of Lerios, Kyranna the New Martyr of Thessaloniki
Today's Scripture Readings
Beloved, this is now the second letter that I have written to you, and in both of them I have aroused your sincere mind by way of reminder; that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles. First of all you must understand this, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own passions and saying, "Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things have continued as they were from the beginning of creation." They deliberately ignore this fact, that by the word of God heavens existed long ago, and an earth formed out of water and by means of water, through which the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist have been stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow about his promise as some count slowness, but is forbearing toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and the works that are upon it will be burned up. Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of persons ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be kindled and dissolved, and the elements will melt with fire! But according to his promise we wait for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, since you wait for these, be zealous to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. And count the forbearance of our Lord as salvation. So also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, speaking of this as he does in all his letters. There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, beware lest you be carried away with the error of lawless men and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
MARK 13:24-31
The Lord said to his disciples, "In those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven. From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know he is near, at the very gates. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away before all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away."
Today's Thought

No one is so patient and so merciful as God, but even He does not forgive those who do not repent. - Metropolitan Kallistos Ware