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Author Topic: Lifting of the Bread of the Panagia  (Read 4129 times) Average Rating: 0
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Lenexa
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« on: July 26, 2010, 06:15:57 PM »

Until recently I had never heard of the Bread of the Panagia.
About a month ago I acquired the book A Son of the Church a book of Orthodox instruction to an adult convert to Russian Orthodoxy written in the 17th Century. It has been a favorite read of the Old Believers as the instruction is according to the Russian Old Rite. There is a short story in the back of the book about the bread of the Panagia which I will include below as I have never seen it on the internet anywhere else in English. I hope that you take it to heart. This service can be an honorable tradition in the home of laity. I performed this service when my infant so was very sick a few weeks ago and his fever broke, thanks be to the Holy Trinity and the Mother of God! At the link below you will find more information about what the service of the Lifting of the Panagia is, where it comes from, how it is served in monasteries/churches, etc.
http://www.prosphora.org/page41.html

A Wonderful Story About the Elevation of the Bread of the Most Holy Mother of God.

A certain man told this story: It happened that a certain Jew was once traveling with some Italians. It so happened that when evening had come, he took a rest from his journey.  Night fell, and they all went to sleep. The Jew went off a little way from the others, found himself a place to rest, and he also fell asleep. Late at night, while they were all sleeping, there suddenly came clouds, thunder and lightning, most exceedingly fierce and frightful. The Italians cried out in great fear: Lord have Mercy! The Jew watched as heavy rain streamed down like a river, and lightning reached from the sky right to the ground. When this happened, it hit those Italians and burned them up, and they died. When the Jew saw this, he despaired of his own life. On account of his great need he decided in his mind to do something, and he got up. As it happened, he had no bread. And so, he took a little stone, weighing about three ekragia, and he lifted it up with both hands, and said: Great is the name – and he himself continued – of the Holy Trinity. Then he said: Most Holy Theotokos, help me, and he made the sign of the Cross, holding both hands together, as is the custom among Orthodox Christians, who elevate a small portion of bread in the name of the most holy Mother of God, whenever someone wishes to do this. While the Jew was doing this, he saw lightning overhead, which coursed about him on the ground all around, and no sooner than you could speak it scorched the very dust of the earth. Yet the Jew remained unharmed. The Jew elevated the rock not once, but many times, repeating the same words: Great is the name, etc. As he did so, the lightning stopped, and so did the thunder and the rain. When daybreak came, the Jew saw that the Italians had been burnt up by the heat of the lightning and were dead. He went to the nearest town and began to shout: Great is the faith of the Greeks and of all Orthodox Christians! He went to the chief Church of that town, and made his confession to the bishop, telling him all these things. He was baptized, along with his whole household. People asked him, How did you think of elevating the rock in the name of the most holy Mother of God? He replied: It once happened that I was sailing in a ship with some Christians. A deadly storm came up at sea, so that we were about to perish. Those Christians then elevated the bread and performed the rite of the Panagia, according to their custom, and the storm died down, and we were saved. I saw and heard all that they did, and remembered it. Indeed, I even asked them mockingly, What if some day you were on a journey and could not find some bread? What would you do in such circumstances? They answered me by saying: In case of necessity, if bread is not to be found, some grains of cereal from porridge are suitable, or from vegetables. If even this cannot be had, then a little stone could be used. Let a man only take it with firm faith, lift it up and glorify the Holy Trinity and the name of the most holy Theotokos, and then hold this rock on his neck for help: afterwards, let him cast it into the sea or into some deep river. Wretch that I was, when I heard this, I made fun of them, because I had not yet seen the light. Now, when I was in involuntary distress, I tested God and the most holy Theotokos, the Mother of the Light. From the miracle that happened to me, unworthy as I am, I understood that the Christian faith of the Orthodox is great and true. To our God be glory, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.
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Vzldrb
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« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2010, 09:35:43 PM »

Just awesome, thank you!
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Lenexa
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« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2010, 09:33:38 PM »

Just awesome, thank you!
I'm glad I could pass on knowledge and make you happy! The story I copied out from A Son of the Church really surprised me because I had never heard of anything like it in all my previous reading and discussions with other Orthodox.
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Lenexa
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« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2011, 01:29:43 PM »

I wanted to add to that I recall that St.Symeon of Thessalonike comments on this service in his Treatise on Prayer
While I am not home at this time I hope that I can quote the section from this book that deals with this service soon.
This book seems to be hard to find now, I was able to get a copy for the Erie Old-Rite (Edinovery) Church bookstore online about two years ago though I'm not sure if they still have any copies left. It is unfortunate because this Treatise on Prayer is so exceptional for gaining understanding and insight into the liturgical services of the Church and priceless to a historian in that it describes liturgical rites once practiced in and around Constantinople when it was seat the East-Roman (Byzantine) Empire.
Get a copy if you can or order it through your library!
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« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2011, 11:23:26 PM »

Hmm. I've never heard of this before.

However, after reading this here, I did some research and found more information about the Lifting of the Bread of the Panagia in the form of this article.

It talks about the monastic practice of the Lifting of the Bread of the Panagia, it's origins and how many of its elements have now been included in the Eucharistic celebration of the Liturgy, particularly at the Proskomede and in the Anaphora. It includes excerpts from the Horologion of Holy Transfiguation (HOCNA - Brookline, MA) and Holy Trinity (ROCOR - Jordanville, NY) Monasteries as well as the book Divine Prayers and Services from Seraphim Nassar.
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« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2011, 11:40:39 PM »

I've seen it done before meal, in the refectory of a monastery.
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Lenexa
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« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2011, 01:08:00 AM »

Hmm. I've never heard of this before.

However, after reading this here, I did some research and found more information about the Lifting of the Bread of the Panagia in the form of this article.

I posted this same article in my original post? I guess inquiring minds think alike  Wink

Please forgive me all for forgetting to post the commentary of St.Symeon of Thessalonike on this sooner.
Plumb forgot about it!

Chapter 65 The Holy Bread of the Panagia, Which is Elevated.

Since we have completed this discourse we will mention some small points concerning the holy bread of the Panagia which is elevated, and finally we will expound the matters relating to our end, so as to end our discourse with matters of our end. The bread elevated with the invocation of our Most Holy Lady was appointed to be raised at the end of the monastic meal, for the sanctification of the monks and as a seal on the food they have eaten - but also especially in honor of the Mother of God, who brought forth for us the Heavenly Bread which lives and continues forever nourishing our souls. It is also elevated for our assistance at any other time whenever somebody has need, and in the Holy Liturgy it is often elevated on behalf of supplicants, although customarily it is performed by many priests desiring to invoke and praise the All Praised One, particularly when the Mysteries of her Son and our God are offered, so that we may receive greater assistance through her. It is elevated in the Holy Liturgy where it is customary to commemorate, e.g., at "Especially Remembering our Most Holy Lady . . . " and in all our need and danger invoke here as the most sure helper and protector. Through the elevation of this bread we obtain great assistance, as we have often seen in practice and learnt from many other reliable persons. For it is not merely the words said at the elevation of the bread, but the invocation and supplication of our one God in Trinity, and the invocation of our Most Holy Bogoroditsa and the request for assistance, including the mystery of our faith, the confession, the hope of salvation. Therefore, at the monastic table, first, thanks is given (for how could this be blessed without word and order - the table of the servants of the Word of God being that of the only Pure, Holy, and Living Bread, who created and creates everything by His Word, as the Living Wisdom of the One God) and the "Our Father," the prayer for our daily bread. When this has been completed, the tripartite loaf is taken out on behalf of all, symbolizing the Trinity and its unity in every way: the Trinity by its corners and sections, the unity by the one raised center.  Thus, if you turn this loaf, it has three corners and the center ends in a point. By Apostolic Tradition handed down orally by the Fathers from the beginning, by custom we daily offer this section of the loaf to the one God in Trinity in the name of the Theotokos. For she gave birth in the flesh to one Person of the Trinity, since she is Truly Theotokos and is hymned as such. For She brought to us the Living Manna and is the Mother of the Divine Chalice!
-St.Symeon of Thessalonike Treatise on Prayer

There are two more chapters dealing with the Bread of the Panagia which I will add next time.
Prayers for your safety and salvation!
Oh, Virgin Mother of God! Rejoice Mary Full of Grace the Lord in with Thee! Blessed art though amongst women and Blessed in the Fruit of thy womb for thou hast borne Christ the Redeemer the Salvation of our souls!
Oh Most Holy Bogoroditsa Save Us!
« Last Edit: November 15, 2011, 01:08:49 AM by Lenexa » Logged
Benjamin the Red
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« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2011, 07:05:59 AM »

Hmm. I've never heard of this before.

However, after reading this here, I did some research and found more information about the Lifting of the Bread of the Panagia in the form of this article.

I posted this same article in my original post? I guess inquiring minds think alike  Wink

Lol. Whoops! Sorry about that. I read the OP, but my eyes just skimmed right over that hyperlink for some reason!
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« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2011, 10:14:55 AM »

IIRC the Nasser Prayer Book has a section on this.
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« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2012, 07:38:27 AM »

It has been done at every monastery I've visited on Mount Athos and in Cyprus, and all the Horologia I have include prayers for the elevation of the Panagia.
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« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2012, 05:43:37 AM »

The Lifting of the Panagia is a wonderful prayer to include in the home during the Fast of the Mother of God.
We place the Panagia (a triangular piece of prosforo) with a lit candle at the head of the table during the evening meal. After the meal, we all stand for the Lifting of the Panagia. With us, the honour of leading the Lifting of the Panagia usually goes to the youngest adult (which, of course, is never me!).

We begin by bowing together to each other to ask forgiveness then the Leader begins:

Leader: Glory be to the Father......Lord have mercy (x3)
The Leader then lifts the Panagia and says loudly:
Leader: Great is the Name
Response: Of the Holy Trinity!
Leader: All-Holy Theotokos help us!
Leader: Great is the Name
Response: Of the Holy Trinity!
Leader: All-Holy Theotokos help us!
Leader: Great is the Name
Response: Of the Holy Trinity!
Leader: All-Holy Theotokos help us!  By her holy prayers, o Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! All we the generations call thee blessed, O Virgin Theotokos, for in thee, the Uncontainable One, Christ our God, was pleased to be contained. Blessed are we also who have thee as protection, for day and night dost thou intercede for us, and the sceptres of the kingdom are strengthened by thine entreaties, wherefore, with hymns we cry to thee: Rejoice, O Full of Grace, the Lord is with thee.

The Leader then offers the Panagia to each person at the table, and we each break a piece off with the three fingers with which we cross ourselves while everyone sings "It is truly meet to call the blessed..."



« Last Edit: July 31, 2012, 05:45:02 AM by ozgeorge » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2012, 05:50:00 AM »

In this video of prayers at the end of Trapeza in a convent in the US, the Lifting of the Panagia begins at 00:35:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itfRUunOpc4
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