As we have done in the past, we will again make available Christmas Oplatki that we invite families to take home and share at the table of their Christmas Eve dinner. This is a tradition observed by many Polish, Slovak and Central European families. The custom can be traced back in Poland to the 10th century and continues to be observed in many homes today.
Each oplatek (“Oh-PWAHT-tek” is the singular; oplatki – “Oh-PWAHT-key” – is the plural) is a rectangular wafer of unleavened bread. Often the wafers are stamped with Christmas images. In one interpretation of the tradition, at the family Christmas Eve dinner, the father of the household takes the oplatek and offers a prayer of blessing. He breaks off a piece, and passes it to his wife, who then offers her prayer of blessing, takes a piece of the oplatek, and passes it to the children. They, in turn, do the same, until the entire oplatek is shared by the family. (The wafers are usually white, but often one pink oplatek was brought to the table and after the meal shared with the farm animals – because, after all, they are part of the family, too!)
They are available today in the Sacristy. $5.00 per pack.