Four Oplatki With Vilija Scene
Three White, One Pink Oplatki Wafers$2.49
This package come with four embossed Oplatki wafers in an envelope depicting the original Vilija celebration. The one of the Oplatki can be seen below the picture of the envelope.
Christmas wafers have been part of the Slovak Christmas Eve supper, Vilija, as long as most people can remember.
The tradition recalls that God sent manna to His people as they sojourned in the desert. It also recalls that Jesus said that He was "the bread of life," and that He left us His Body and Blood under the appearances of bread and wine in the Eucharist.
Christmas wafers are called Oplatki and this name indicates their purpose and origin.
Blessed bread, associated with Mass and yet distinct from the Eucharist, has been used as a sacramental in both the Eastern and Western Christian traditions.
In the East, the use of blessed bread developed into the practice of antidoron. Some of the bread prepared for Mass (prosphorae-offerings) was not consecrated, spiritual communion. This practice still continues in the Byzantine Rite, but usually, only on major feasts.
In the Latin Rite, the bread and wine offered at Mass are referred to as oblata (offerings). What the Byzantine call prosphorae, the Latins call oblata. It is from the Latin Oblata that our Slovak word oblatky is derived.
Slovaks are fortunate in preserving this custom at Christmas, as an aid to a worthy reception of Holy Communion as well as a family spiritual communion on this most joyous of feasts!