The significance of Kolivo explained

The blessing of the Kolivo at Saint Elisabeth Convent

March 22, 2022

In the Russian Orthodox Church, the second and third Saturdays of the Great Lent are dedicated to the commemoration of the dead. Its essential attribute is the ritual meal named Kolivo. It is prepared from boiled wheat with honey, crushed nuts and dried fruit. Kolivo is offered to family, friends and other members of the church attending the memorial services. It symbolises the resurrection of Christ and our hope of rising to eternal life.

As Christ has said, ‘Unless a wheat grain falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (John 12:24). Out of a grain of wheat placed in the ground, a new plant will grow. We, too, once buried in the ground, will rise from the dead in our time.

In the Eastern Orthodox Tradition Kolivo is blessed at memorial services and funerals. Here is a video of the blessing of the Kolivo at Saint Elisabeth Convent in the first week of the Great Lent.

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