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Moderated Forums => Faith Issues => Topic started by: sprtslvr1973 on May 13, 2010, 07:33:24 AM

Title: Holy Bread
Post by: sprtslvr1973 on May 13, 2010, 07:33:24 AM
Note: I posted this on Beliefnet as well

A couple of weeks ago I was eating lunch at Quizno's with a classmate from the Republic of Georgia. When he saw the person making the sandwich throw the heel of the loaf away he discretely mentioned that in his country they would never do this. It was no surprise that he revealed that he was an Orthodox Christian and we had the chance to discuss this briefly. He informed me that in Georgia all bread is considered the Body of Christ. I have to say that I was taken aback a bit. I had never heard this in the 6 plus years I have been attending Orthodox Christian churches.

     Is this simply a cultural quirk or is this something I had missed? I guess this is tied to the question at what time the bread and wine become the Body and Blood.

     Can anyone shed some light on this?

     Thanks,

      Ian
Title: Re: Holy Bread
Post by: Rosehip on May 13, 2010, 09:18:40 AM
Interesting. I've never heard this either, but maybe he meant that all bread is sacred, and not to be merely thrown away? I thought bread was viewed as sacred/life-giving in many cultures, but I could be wrong.
Title: Re: Holy Bread
Post by: pensateomnia on May 13, 2010, 09:31:50 AM
Interesting. I've never heard this either, but maybe he meant that all bread is sacred, and not to be merely thrown away? I thought bread was viewed as sacred/life-giving in many cultures, but I could be wrong.

Indeed. Even in ancient cultures, way before Christianity. It's either sacred or, at least, one of the symbols of human civilization -- along with wine, actually. In the Odyssey, the production of bread and wine are the two most important signs that an area is hospitable, fears the gods, will respect the divine laws of philoxenia, etc.
Title: Re: Holy Bread
Post by: Shanghaiski on May 13, 2010, 11:59:08 AM
Theologically, our Georgian friend was a bit confused, and probably did not mean it literally. In Middle Eastern cultures, bread is very important. In a way, all bread is sort of a type of Christ's Body, like trees are a kind of natural type of the Cross. I mean "type" very loosely here. But, anyway, in those cultures, to throw away bread is like a crime. In Iraq, if someone drops a piece of bread from the table by accident, he picks it up, kisses it, and puts it back on the table.
Title: Re: Holy Bread
Post by: mike on May 13, 2010, 03:05:01 PM
In Iraq, if someone drops a piece of bread from the table by accident, he picks it up, kisses it, and puts it back on the table.

Same in Poland. Or at least it used to be like that.
Title: Re: Holy Bread
Post by: deusveritasest on May 13, 2010, 03:14:20 PM
I think people should be more opposed to wasting food in general, not just bread.
Title: Re: Holy Bread
Post by: stashko on May 13, 2010, 05:07:14 PM
Same in Serbia Bread is Sacred if dropped, we pick it up and kiss it...
Because it's made from wheat,,,if one look's at a wheat grain it looks like it has a face.
maybe it's the face of God..... ;D
Wheat is used to make the Holy Communion Bread....Love these respectful Traditions... :laugh:
Title: Re: Holy Bread
Post by: Schultz on May 13, 2010, 05:11:16 PM
I think people should be more opposed to wasting food in general, not just bread.

I think this is the crux of it.  We Americans (myself included, may God forgive me) waste food like there's not a hungry person in the world, let alone right down the street. 
Title: Re: Holy Bread
Post by: LBK on May 13, 2010, 07:48:26 PM
In Iraq, if someone drops a piece of bread from the table by accident, he picks it up, kisses it, and puts it back on the table.

Same in Poland. Or at least it used to be like that.

The same for Greeks, Russians, Ukrainians and Romanians. And if bread goes moldy, it is put out for birds or other critters to consume, never thrown in the trash. But most know the difference between ordinary bread and the Body of Christ.
Title: Re: Holy Bread
Post by: Rosehip on May 15, 2010, 04:15:26 PM
I was reading a website about Lithuanian paganism (Lithuania was one of the very last countries to convert to Christianity, so they retained the pagan ways the longest), and found this old pagan prayer:

Quote
That I may love and respect Bread. If a crumb should accidentally fall, I will lift it, kiss it and apologize. If we all respect bread, there will be no starvation or hardship

www.romuva.lt/engl/
Title: Re: Holy Bread
Post by: mike on May 16, 2010, 09:29:50 AM
I was reading a website about Lithuanian paganism (Lithuania was one of the very last countries to convert to Christianity, so they retained the pagan ways the longest), and found this old pagan prayer:

Quote
That I may love and respect Bread. If a crumb should accidentally fall, I will lift it, kiss it and apologize. If we all respect bread, there will be no starvation or hardship
www.romuva.lt/engl/

Actually Lithuania was one of the last countries to convert officially. Vast majority of the citizens (about 85%) had been Orthodox.