Thursday, May 25, 2006

Memory Eternal


Today is the 2nd anniversary of the repose of my brother, Douglas.
My niece Alexis, his daughter, has been here at my home for 3 weeks visiting from Minnesota. I told her that we Orthodox have a very special way of remembering the departed and I wanted to share that with her. So this evening, I did my best to make Koliva with Alexis. We did have to improvise because I FORGOT to buy wheat berries in time to cook. So I used whole oat groats which cook up to be quite fat and chewy. I rinsed them well after cooking and added the rest of the ingredients. Mounded it all on a plate and covered it with powered sugar. I was very pleasantly surprised to taste what could really pass as Koliva! And Alexis will never know the difference.
We gathered around the icon corner and said a prayer and sang memory eternal. It was really quite beautiful. No, Douglas wasn't Orthodox but I really wanted share this beautiful tradition with his beautiful daughter. And really I don't even know if there is something that says this is only for the orthodox.

Memory Eternal!


PS.. the picture was taken AFTER we'd eaten most of it and realized Alexis hadn't taken a picture. So we hurried and mounded what we could and added more powered sugar to take the picture. The first mound was much bigger and nicer looking.

7 comments:

grammafaithie said...
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Meg said...

I hope she found it to be of comfort, and I hope you did too. (I am sure you did.) May his memory be eternal, Sophia.

Anonymous said...

What a great aunt you are. Alexis is truly blessed.

May Douglas' memory be eternal.

Love,
Liz

sara said...

what a great thing to share. may his memory be eternal.

Mimi said...

May his Memory be Eternal. I'm so glad you were able to share this with Alexis!

papa herman said...

Memory Eternal!

I think this was a wonderful gift that you shared with your niece. Blessings to you all!

Margi said...

I was raised in the Russian tradition and we were always told that re kolyva, "it's the sweet stuff that matters" ;-) Also, for as long as I've been in the MP, I've never been told not to put non-Orthodox names down for commemoration though I suspect some Orthodox churches do disapprove. But... CS Lewis (okay, not Orthodox) said in one of this wireless broadcasts just after WWII that God has "all eternity to hear the one second prayer of a pilot whose plane has just been shot down in flames" or something like that. Your brother may not have died Orthodox but only God knows how he will be resurrected :-)