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Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

(John 12:24)

Koliva is the boiled wheat that is blessed during a Memorial/Panahida service.  Here is one recipe.

  • 3 lb shelled whole grain wheat
  • 1 lb nuts, chopped (walnuts or pecans)
  • 3 cups golden raisins
  • 1 bag powdered sugar (2lb)
  • 1 cup honey
  • Jordan Almonds

Wash wheat until water runs clear then drain. 

Bring a large pot of water to a full boil and salt lightly. Add the wheat berries, reduce the heat to a fast simmer and cook until the wheat berries are tender but still chewy, about 1 hour. Drain the wheat berries, rinse under cold running water to stop the cooking and drain again, shaking the strainer to remove as much water as possible.

Lay a kitchen towel in the bottom of a jellyroll pan and distribute the wheat berries evenly across it. Lay another kitchen towel on top and set aside to let the wheat berries dry thoroughly, at least 2 hours to overnight. (The dish can be prepared to this point up to 48 hours in advance; when the wheat berries are dry, refrigerate them in a tightly sealed plastic bag.)

In a bowl, mix wheat, nuts, raisins and honey. Place mixture on platter in a mound. Press powdered sugar over until covered. Decorate with almonds.  Place a candle in the middle.


St. Justin Martyr Orthodox Church
12460 Old St. Augustine Rd
Jacksonville, FL 32258
(904) 880-7671