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Re: [SLOVAK-ROOTS] Oplatki (SP?) Christmas bread

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  • Eleanor M Kephart
    I remember the Xmas eve supper at my grandmothers home, where the bread was passed out and served with honey after the blessings and I was only a child I am
    Message 1 of 7 , Jul 29, 2000
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      I remember the Xmas eve supper at my grandmothers home, where the bread
      was passed out and served with honey after the blessings and I was only a
      child I am now 65, my grandmother was from Austria,Hungry which today is
      known as Slovakia, It a blessed piece and we couldnot waste it. if it
      dropped on the floor,I remember my grandmother would pick it up and eat
      it, oh for such memories.

      On Sat, 29 Jul 2000 14:46:23 -0000 m.azar@... writes:
      > Seeking information on Oplatki (Spelling?), the flat bread my dad
      > used in our ceremonial dinners on Christmas Eve.
      >
      > I am new to your group, tracing my grandparents, Adam and Eva Gabris
      >
      > who moved to the U.S. in 1899 with their children; my father was
      > their young son John Stephen Gabris. Also seeking names Strba,
      > Panric, Berger and information on the town of Cadca, Czechoslovakia
      > (as mentioned in an earlier enrtry from member Debbie O'Connor, my
      > great-niece). I am sixty years old, digging up memories but finding
      > more questions at every turn.
      >
      > Our family ended in up in St. Louis, Missouri, where they were
      > members of Holy Trinity Slovak Church, Roman Catholic. We recently
      > visited St. John Nepomuk Church in St. Louis where records are kept
      > from Holy Trinity.
      >
      > While there, we were able to actually get some of the bread which is
      >
      > available from Watra Church Goods, Chicago, Il. I think the name of
      >
      > the bread is Oplatki.
      >
      > This is a flat, white, unleavened bread, exactly the type used for
      > Communion Host, but shaped in a 3" x 6" rectangle, with embossed
      > scenes of the nativity story. It comes in a 5" x 8" envelope
      > printed
      > with a picture of an old country family celebrating their Christmas
      > gathering dressed in lovely costumes. (The costumes look Polish.)
      >
      > Can anyone tell me the story and meaning of this custom? No one
      > seems
      > to know what or why. How did it originate? Was it a tradition from
      > the old country? (So far, no luck in finding this on any website.)
      >
      > My dad used to make a special, prayerful, solemn ceremony of passing
      >
      > this bread out to us children on Christmas Eve. It was served with
      > honey. With the passage of time and separating circumstances, the
      > meaning is lost to me.
      >
      > Does anyone know how I can research this ceremony? Thank you for
      > any
      > help on the Oplatki question. I am as interested in the customs and
      >
      > life circumstances of our ancestors as I am tracking the vital
      > statistics. I have a feeling wherever there is a larger Roman
      > Catholic Czech/Slovak community of descendants, this bread and the
      > ceremony is known and used--but not found here in Atlanta, GA.
      >
      > If anyone has information on the name Gabris, please contact me or
      > Debbie O'Connor. We are tracing the Gabris path through the U.S.
      > from
      > New York, to Louisiana, to St. Louis, at the same time trying to
      > obtain records from the old country. Sincere thanks, Maryann Gabris
      > Azar
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >

      >
      >
      >

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    • Gregory J. Kopchak
      Go to http://oplatki.homepage.com for Slovak Oplatki. Orders will be taken starting in August for Christmas 2000. I just got the information for the Saint John
      Message 2 of 7 , Jul 29, 2000
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        Go to http://oplatki.homepage.com for Slovak Oplatki.

        Orders will be taken starting in August for Christmas 2000.

        I just got the information for the Saint John Nepomuk festival yesterday and
        it will be on line later this weekend.

        Saint John was the Mother church of all Eastern European churches in Saint
        Louis. All of the Eastern European Catholic Churches of the Byzantine,
        Roman, and Ukrainian Rite had their start at Saint John's.

        If you have Saint Louis roots, the History of Saint John Nepomuk book is a
        must as it lists quite a few families and early records in it. It also has a
        brief history of all Saint Louis Eastern European ehnic churches in it.


        Greg Kopchak
        http://www.iarelative.com




        -----Original Message-----
        From: m.azar@... [mailto:m.azar@...]
        Sent: Saturday, July 29, 2000 9:46 AM
        To: SLOVAK-ROOTS@egroups.com
        Subject: [SLOVAK-ROOTS] Oplatki (SP?) Christmas bread


        Seeking information on Oplatki (Spelling?), the flat bread my dad
        used in our ceremonial dinners on Christmas Eve.

        I am new to your group, tracing my grandparents, Adam and Eva Gabris
        who moved to the U.S. in 1899 with their children; my father was
        their young son John Stephen Gabris. Also seeking names Strba,
        Panric, Berger and information on the town of Cadca, Czechoslovakia
        (as mentioned in an earlier enrtry from member Debbie O'Connor, my
        great-niece). I am sixty years old, digging up memories but finding
        more questions at every turn.

        Our family ended in up in St. Louis, Missouri, where they were
        members of Holy Trinity Slovak Church, Roman Catholic. We recently
        visited St. John Nepomuk Church in St. Louis where records are kept
        from Holy Trinity.

        While there, we were able to actually get some of the bread which is
        available from Watra Church Goods, Chicago, Il. I think the name of
        the bread is Oplatki.

        This is a flat, white, unleavened bread, exactly the type used for
        Communion Host, but shaped in a 3" x 6" rectangle, with embossed
        scenes of the nativity story. It comes in a 5" x 8" envelope printed
        with a picture of an old country family celebrating their Christmas
        gathering dressed in lovely costumes. (The costumes look Polish.)

        Can anyone tell me the story and meaning of this custom? No one seems
        to know what or why. How did it originate? Was it a tradition from
        the old country? (So far, no luck in finding this on any website.)

        My dad used to make a special, prayerful, solemn ceremony of passing
        this bread out to us children on Christmas Eve. It was served with
        honey. With the passage of time and separating circumstances, the
        meaning is lost to me.

        Does anyone know how I can research this ceremony? Thank you for any
        help on the Oplatki question. I am as interested in the customs and
        life circumstances of our ancestors as I am tracking the vital
        statistics. I have a feeling wherever there is a larger Roman
        Catholic Czech/Slovak community of descendants, this bread and the
        ceremony is known and used--but not found here in Atlanta, GA.

        If anyone has information on the name Gabris, please contact me or
        Debbie O'Connor. We are tracing the Gabris path through the U.S. from
        New York, to Louisiana, to St. Louis, at the same time trying to
        obtain records from the old country. Sincere thanks, Maryann Gabris
        Azar
      • Mapetras5@aol.com
        We make, Stollen, or fruited Christmas bread. Sweet butter dough, dried apricots, almonds, cherries, raisins, and figs sometimes. I soak the fruit in rum and
        Message 3 of 7 , Jul 29, 2000
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          We make, Stollen, or fruited Christmas bread. Sweet butter dough, dried
          apricots, almonds, cherries, raisins, and figs sometimes. I soak the fruit
          in rum and it is gone before the morning is over.

          I don't remember a ceremony.

          Kathie in TX
        • Mapetras5@aol.com
          Nothing like Gan-Gan s Christmas bread!
          Message 4 of 7 , Jul 29, 2000
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            Nothing like Gan-Gan's Christmas bread!
          • Mapetras5@aol.com
            In a message dated 7/29/00 11:49:51 AM Central Daylight Time, ekephart1@juno.com writes:
            Message 5 of 7 , Jul 29, 2000
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              In a message dated 7/29/00 11:49:51 AM Central Daylight Time,
              ekephart1@... writes:

              << I remember the Xmas eve supper at my grandmothers home, where the bread
              was passed out and served with honey after the blessings and I was only a
              child I am now 65, my grandmother was from Austria,Hungry which today is
              known as Slovakia, It a blessed piece and we couldnot waste it. if it
              dropped on the floor,I remember my grandmother would pick it up and eat
              it, oh for such memories.
              >>

              We always had a catfish fry and lots of potatoes and vegetables from the
              garden. The men would use a 50 Gallon drum in the yard and we women, then I
              was a little girl would bake in the house.

              Kathie in TX
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