My father has been remembered at a 9-day memorial service. As is traditional in a Greek Orthodox Memorial Service, there is some preparation required. My sister baked the Artos Bread and I prepared the Kolliva, that special Greek recipe prepared for honouring our loved ones, and these were all blessed and served at a short family service at the cemetery.
Greek Kolliva are especially prepared for honouring those who have passed, symbolizing the circle of death and rebirth.
Boiled clean wheat, raisins, currants, walnuts, almonds, pomegranate, parsley, cinnamon and cloves are mixed together and then covered with ground toasted sesame seeds and topped with a layer of loose icing sugar.The kolliva, that represent the promise of eternal life, are then decorated with the initials of the deceased and other motifs.
There is something quite reverent in preparing the Artos bread, the Prosfero Bread (to take to Church), and the Kolliva, and my family have honoured my mother over the last 7 years in this way, and now we are honouring our father. Memory Eternal.
Explanation of traditions together with recipes can be found on pages 172-179 of Greek Life. You too can learn step-by-step how to honour your loved ones, be it for the 40 day, 3 month 6 month, 9 month or 12 month memorials.
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