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Culture > Religion > Forty-day memorial service after death.

Culture > Religion

submitted by George Poulos on 15.05.2004

Forty-day memorial service after death.

(pages 144-5)

Forty-day memorial service after death. - Mourning 40 days

....It is traditional for the family to sit in the front row of the church before the icon of Christ during the service. The family provides a wheat dish called kollyva, a symbolic custom based on [Biblical scripture]:

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
The Christian message of everlasting life and hope is symbolically represented by the white mound of kollyva on a tray bearing a cross and the deceased's initials in Greek. The tray rests on a small table with candles in front of the church ikonostasion during the memorial service. After church the family shares the kollyva with the rest of the congregation.... [Recipe provided on page 149]

From, A Guide to Greek Traditions and Customs in America. Second Edition. by Marilyn Rouvelas. 2002.
411 pages, hardbound, notes, illustrations, and bibliography.

ISBN #09638051-1-8 US$30 retail.
May 2002

For information contact:

Nea Attiki Press, P. O. Box 34008, Bethesda, MD 20827.

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