How interesting ! this tradition is also found in Ethiopia, the boiled wheat/ Nifro in amharic/ is served when people return from Funerals, the tradition is you wash your hand after coming from the funeral, there will be people waiting for you with water pitchers for that, and as you enter the tent full of mourners you are served with the boiled wheat , sometimes that will be mixed with other cereals , but the main one or the larger portion will still be the wheat, and after you eat that and a cup of coffee, you will say a prayer you say' nefs yimarilin, mengeste semayat yawarsilin'/' may the Lord have mercy on the soul, and may He allow her to enter the Heavenly Kingdom.' you say this and as you leave from the house, you say it again to the family with an addition of' egziabher yatsenachihu' / may God comfort you'. now back to the meaning of the wheat as we understand it, it has to do with death and Resurrection, as orthonorm's reference indicates the same biblical reference is used with our case also.
the wheat is also served each time a monk or a nun becomes a monastic, the funeral service is held, and the same boiled wheat is served.
Also on Holy Thursday night, the wheat is cooked to the point it becomes really really soft, and is called ' gulban' as a memorial of what our Lord is about to do , His death and resurrection.
there is another time the wheat is served that is different, and that is in memorial of the birth of the Theotokos, the first of each month in Ethiopian calendar, but the yearly major feast on May 9 / Ginbot 1 in Ethiopian calendar. for the same reason as above.i.e. John 12:24 and 1Corinthians 15:42-44, this memorial is a celebration for the whole neighborhood, people gather together on a nearby field or an agreedupon house and they bring the wheat, and bread, etc according to their capacity and celebrate from evening into the night.
I thought it might be of interest to some as it was very interesting to me to hear this custom practiced elsewhere by orthodox Christians.
Selam to you all