Prosforo and Koliva
There are many ways people can serve the church. We know that through Stewardship, people otfer of their time, talent and treasure. It takes a combination of all these areas to truly exemplify true Chri stian stewardship as a demonstration of our love for Jesus Christ. There is a special ministry in the church which utilizes both time and talent by preparing Prosforo and Koliva for the Divine services.
Prosforo is leavened bread that i s an offering to the Church. This bread is used for the preparation of Holy Communion and represents the Body of Christ. The stamp (sfrayitha) that is pressed into the dough before it is baked contains many important symbols including portions dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and the Angels, Prophets, Apostles and Saints of the Church. The most important part of this is the center - often referred to as the Lamb of God - which reads IC XC NI KA (Jesus Christ Conquers). It is customary that people who donate the Prosforo will provide names of the living and deceased members of their family whom they would like remembered in prayer during the Proskomidi (Preparation) prior to the Divine Liturgy.
Koliva - the boiled wheat which is offered for memorial services - symbolizes everlasting life and hope for the family of the bereaved. It is used to commemorate loved ones who have passed away as well as Saints of the Church. Memorial Services are held on Sundays following the Divine Liturgy, and also on designated days called Saturday of Souls. The Koliva is presented on a tray covered in white powdered sugar and often the initials of the deceased are placed on top as a remembrance. The Koliva is distributed to the congregation at the conclusion of the Memorial Service with the wheat demonstrating the circle of life.
The preparation of Prosforo and Koliva are essential services to the Church. The volunteerism and prayerful service of our stewards symbolize their faith and love for Jesus Christ. When we offer of ourselves, we offer back to Him the gifts He gave us, and this is truly a gift of humility and charity.