Greetings in Christ!
I have often wondered about the origin of the koliva, or memorial "dish" made of boiled wheat, pomegranate, nuts, Jordan almonds, etc. It is a very common sight at my parish, as we have memorial services almost every Sunday (and especially at the services of the Saturday of Souls). It seems to be an established part of Greek Orthodox culture, and great care is given in its preparation. In fact, I have often noted that, on a given Sunday, more parishioners will partake of the koliva than of the Holy Eucharist!
The little I have seen about it points in two different directions:
1) The ingredients of the koliva are representative of life, resurrection, or rebirth; thus koliva serves as a reminder of the eschaton.
2) The koliva is an "import" from pre-Christian pagan culture that Hellenic peoples simply did not relinquish upon their entrance into Christendom.
I would love to see some explanation of the offering of koliva at the memorial service; Why is it used? Is it a pagan "import"? What are the analogues (if any) in other Orthodox cultures?
P.S - I do hope that I have posted this in the proper section...
Edited by Paul C, 15 February 2015 - 06:02 AM.