We just got a shipment of Christmas wafers in for the Christmas season. You should go ahead and order now because we always run out in December.
What is Oplatki?
Oplatki or Christmas Wafers – a wonderful Christmas tradition from eastern Europe!
The word Bethlehem means “House of Bread.” The breaking of the bread is a sign of charity, unity, and friendship. Religious family traditions and customs bring the truths of Faith into the home. One of these beautiful Christmas customs is the Christmas Wafer. A Wafer bearing a simple design commemorative of Christ's birth is broken by the head of the family and distributed to each member. With a simple prayer for God's grace and the welfare of the present and absent members of the family, the head family member breaks the Wafer and distributes it, a piece to each one at the table. While doing so each member of the family is kissed and is wished a joyful feast. The other family members then greet one another in the same way.
The spiritual lesson in this age old custom is unity of the family – the main pillar of society. The bond of unity is the Christ-like charity that should exist amongst the members of the family. The father of the family is the link in the unbroken chain of One Body, One Bread, One Christ, and One Church. The family joins him in this eternal procession no matter where they are. For there is a universal longing by men to be always with one another, with God.
All this brings to mind clearly our charity for one another, to seek salvation together. Family customs remind us that we seek and obtain salvation with the help of others at all times.
These Christmas wafers, and the home ritual surrounding their use, originated in Poland and are called Oplatki or Oplatek there. Oplatki are also popular in Slovakia, Lithuania, Ukraine and some other parts of Catholic Eastern Europe.
The wafers, which are 5 1/2in. x 2 3/4in. are sold in sets of 20, each one in a decorative envelope. Each set of Oplatki comes with a pamphlet which explains the beautiful tradition.