The Vasilopita Collection

A 1,600 year-old Tradition we Must Preserve for our Youth

THE TRADITION - One of the more beautiful and inspirational traditions of the Greek Orthodox Church is the annual family celebration of the Vasilopita. This original event which happened in Cappadocia of Caesarea in the last half of the fourth century, is very much alive in our Orthodox homes each year.

The Greek word Vasilopita is directly translated as “Sweet Bread of Basil”. When the Vasilopita is prepared, a coin is baked into the ingredients. Sweet flavoring is added to the bread which symbolizes the sweetness and joy of life everlasting. It also symbolizes the hope that the New Year will be filled with the sweetness of life, liberty, health, and happiness for all who participate in the Vasilopita Observance.

When the observance begins, usually on New Years Day, the bread is traditionally cut by the senior member of the family, and the individual who receives the portion of the Pita which contains the coin is considered Blessed for the New Year.

Each portion of the Vasilopita are distributed as follows: The first portion is cut in remembrance of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The second is for the Holy Mother of our Lord, The Virgin Mary. The third is for St. Basil the Great, the other portions are cut for the members of the family beginning with the eldest. Portions may also be cut for the Church, the house, the traveler, the visitor and the poor.

 

Greek Orthodox Holy Week and Easter Books

In the late 50's, Father George Papadeas saw the need for a companion book to The Beautiful Orthodox Holy Week and Pascha Services. Father George embarked on the mission of creating this book for the burgeoning Greek-American Orthodox Communities. In 1963, after many years of intense analysis and compilation, Fr. George successfully completed the very first Greek Orthodox Holy Week and Easter Book with a New English Translation.first Greek Orthodox Holy Week and Easter Book with a New English Translation

Father George later created Patmos Press to distribute his new religious book. Then as now, “Holy Week Easter” became known as the Gold Standard companion book for Orthodox Holy Week Services. In 2006, Holy Week Easter was revised and updated.

In 1968, Father George compiled "The Divine Liturgy of St. John The Chrysostom". With this book, The Greek American Faithful were introduced to an easy to follow book that helps the Parishioner appreciate The Beauty of The Liturgy and helps them to participate more readily. This book has also become a widely used Standard found in the pews of Orthodox Churches worldwide.

In addition to "The Akathist Hymn" and "Why did She Cry" by Father George, Patmos Press will be bringing you more Orthodoxy in the future. Such as the Tradition of The vasilopita Coin, including it's history as well as our Favorite vasilopita Recipe.

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HISTORY OF ST. PAUL'S CATHEDRAL

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“Therefore brethren stand fast and hold the traditions which ye have been taught whether by word or our epistle.” - Thessalonians 2:15