Can you throw extras of these out or eat them without the traditional ritual? Would it be disrespectful to do so? Thanks!
Throwing them away is not a problem. They aren’t blessed.
The only recommendation I would have is that because they tend to have images of Christ & the saints, to break them up first. Don’t take that too far either. If you have any hesitation I would say to simply choose your 2nd option and eat them. No problem. No issue.
I used to break them up and give them to my grandchildren as practice for receiving First Communion. They are so similar in taste and texture to the hosts we use.
Isn’t this an Eastern rite issue?
I know it as a Polish tradition.
Not really, since their use is not part of the liturgy of any rite but rather part of a religious custom stemming from Eastern European, primarily Polish I believe, families.
I vividly remember first encountering oplatki many years ago when having Christmas dinner with the family of the wonderful girl I was courting. The family was of 100% Slovak descent and 100% Latin rite. The puzzled look on my face at this unfamiliar ritual was probably akin to that of a Baptist at a communion service. Fortunately daughter and family eventually accepted this “heathen” as suitable husband material.
They are used in Poland, Lithuania and Slovakia during Wigilia, or the Christmas Eve Vigil. Packets are sold by donation at a Polish Catholic Church. At the start of the Wigilia meal, pieces are broken off until everyone has one and consumes it. We have received opłatki in the mail from a relative in Poland.
That’s one thing everyone needs to know when courting someone whose parents are from “the old country” or who are not, but follow certain religious customs unique to their home country. For Polish people, the blessing of baskets containing certain combinations of food is also common. This occurs on Holy Saturday before Easter.
Don’t forget the lamb cake that appears on the Easter dinner table too.
The ones we got blessed on Holy Saturday.
The butter lamb?
No, an actual cake. There is a mold you can buy to make it. It is decorated with white icing, coconut, jelly beans cut up and used for eyes and nose and mouth.
That’s right, along with the pigs feet and sauerkraut! :D:D:D
I may remember seeing it but we never used one.
And painted eggs and everything else that would fit in those Easter baskets.
You described that lamb cake perfectly.
Thank you for this thread! I had not heard of them until I saw them advertised on an internet site before Christmas a couple of years ago.
Now I know where they are from and a little of their tradition.