This is an outline for a catechetical talk here: http://www.orthodox.net/catechism/orthopraxis_2010+offering-prosphora+proskimidia,service-of-preparation.mp3
What is prosphora?
· The bread used for the liturgy.
o Pure wheat flour, water, yeast, salt ONLY.
o ALWAYS leavened. – to celebrate the Resurrection
o ALWAYS two layers to symbolize the dual nature of Christ.
o Stamped on the top.
o Baked by the faithful as an offering.
§ The process of baking should be discussed another time.
Styles of Prosphora
§ Greek “Byzantine” style
L to R: Byzantine style stamp, Byzantine style prosphora.
· One large loaf
· Stamp in the form of a cross, in 5 parts.
o Three stamps IC XC NIKA ("Jesus Christ conquers")
o Top: commemorate the living
o Center – the Lamb, only part that will become the body of Christ
o Bottom – for the dead
o Left: Triangular area:Theotokos
o Right: 9 small triangular pieces the nine ranks of commemorations
6. Monastics and all righteous.
7. Unmercenary healers
8. Saints of the day and patron of the temple
9. Saint whose liturgy we celebrate (St John Chrysostom or St Basil)
§ Russian Style
L to R – Russian style stamp, 2 Russian style prosphora
· Five separate loaves. – recalling Feeding of the 5000 (with 5 loaves and 2 fish)
· Usually the Theotokos loaf has a special stamp.
· Sometimes the loaf for the 9 ranks has a special stamp.
§ Prosphora for individual offering
· Stamp of IC XC NIKA or sometimes a Saint or the Theotokos.
How is prosphora used?
When is prosphora used?
Diskos prepared for liturgy.
* The Lamb and particles placed on the diskos.
* The large triangle to the left of the Lamb is the particle for the Theotokos
* To the right of the Lamb are the particles for the nine ranks (saints)
* Below the Lamb are the particles commemorating the living and the departed.
Important pastoral notes.
· “The priest prays for the people and with the people but not instead of the people.”
o This means you should be present to offer your prosphora!
Locally at St Nicholas
Service of the Proskimidea http://www.orthodox.net/services/proskomede.html (also in PDF and DOC formats)
Priest Seraphim Holland 2010 St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas
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