The weekend of December 17-18, Oplatki wafers in an envelope that explains the tradition, will be distributed to each household as worshipers leave Mass.
In Poland and in many other Eastern European countries, the Oplatki ceremony takes place just before the Christmas Eve meal. An individual breaks off a piece of the wafer and passes it to another person with a blessing of what they desire for them for the coming year– good health and happiness, for instance. The ritual is complete once everyone at the table receives part of the wafer and a blessing.
This tradition originated in the Middle Ages when bread was hard to come by, and sharing the wafer was considered a caring exchange. Oplatki expresses unconditional love for those with whom we share the wafer. It reminds us of the Eucharistic meal that we share as one family in Christ and through which we receive Christ’s love. We invite all parishioners to share this beautiful ceremony at their Christmas table with those they love.