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Author Topic: prosphora time!!!!!  (Read 3695 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: May 27, 2011, 08:00:24 PM »

And these rules do not apply to all pious Orthodox men, particularly if they want to take communion on that Sunday?  Or is Romania one of the "commune only four times a year and sin as much as you want the rest of the year" countries?
 

As I was saying: Tuesdays and Thursdays only.

I think all of the Eastern European countries are "commune before Easter only" countries. There are even places, as Bulgaria for example, where many, if not most people haven't heard of such a thing as confession. Not to mention Communion. Romanians are actually the better ones, most people have heard of confession, have done it at least once in their life time, many do it once a year. And yes, only the very churchy ones commune four times a year. Every Sunday is unheard of. Unless you're a priest. And then can't touch the wife unless it's Tuesday or Thursday. Cheesy


I'm sorry. This is completely wrong, unless it is before the 9th hour, since Tuesdays and Thursdays are eves of fasting days. Monday nights only.

Yup, you're right, you gotta keep an eye on the watch.

But then Romanians don't use monastic hours that much. So it's midnight to midnight. In this case Monday night is no go. But Tuesdays and Thursdays yes.
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« Reply #46 on: May 27, 2011, 08:21:14 PM »

I thought that it was OK to be frisky after sundown on Monday since the day starts and sundown and it is then Tuesday.  Same with after sundown on Wednesday. 

And these rules do not apply to all pious Orthodox men, particularly if they want to take communion on that Sunday?  Or is Romania one of the "commune only four times a year and sin as much as you want the rest of the year" countries?
 

As I was saying: Tuesdays and Thursdays only.

I think all of the Eastern European countries are "commune before Easter only" countries. There are even places, as Bulgaria for example, where many, if not most people haven't heard of such a thing as confession. Not to mention Communion. Romanians are actually the better ones, most people have heard of confession, have done it at least once in their life time, many do it once a year. And yes, only the very churchy ones commune four times a year. Every Sunday is unheard of. Unless you're a priest. And then can't touch the wife unless it's Tuesday or Thursday. Cheesy


I'm sorry. This is completely wrong, unless it is before the 9th hour, since Tuesdays and Thursdays are eves of fasting days. Monday nights only.

Yup, you're right, you gotta keep an eye on the watch.

But then Romanians don't use monastic hours that much. So it's midnight to midnight. In this case Monday night is no go. But Tuesdays and Thursdays yes.
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« Reply #47 on: May 27, 2011, 08:29:43 PM »

Having strict requirements to who can or can't make prosphora.  All of these regulations seem a bit western, too me...The Greek priest said that Orthodox in Eastern Europe, mainly the Romanians, have a far too western understanding.

Forgive me, dear Trevor, but this is one of those things that drives me insane. It's like saying--
Western=lots of strict rules
Eastern=a few guidelines or good ideas

This is so far from both present reality and our archetypes and stereotypes of Eastern and Western. There are plenty of rules in the Orthodox Church, and they existed long before there was a notion of the "West," whatever that is, as the definition seems to change with the occasion.

Again, sorry. It just gets my goat. And, not being either Greek or Romanian, I do not have many to spare. (It's true--in America goats are very rare.)

no forgiveness necessary  Wink .  I am learning more on this thread than on may others here on OC.net!
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« Reply #48 on: May 30, 2011, 07:52:00 PM »

If it's left in the parish hall during coffee hour, it's the extra is never eaten. Or people let their kids get at it and they throw bits all over the place (it's a never ending battle on this one).

It's not that we can't eat it, it's that when we have, there are lots left over, all cut up. Easier to just put the extra loaves from a batch into the freezer for a situation when someone can't bake.


Why can't you eat them?  I know a lot of pious people, particularly Russians, who take a prosphora home and eat parts of it as part of their morning or evening prayers (or both).  They also drink Holy Water, too.  I have not had a priest that had a problem with either.  I often bake an extra small prosphora and give it to the priest to remove a particle for a special prayer, either for the living or the dead.  What else am I supposed to do with it when he gives it back to me with a triangle cut out of it?  Eat it, of course.  The antidoron has Holy Water in it, too (if you make it that way).  People eat that.  In fact, I have had two priests that brought unused antidoron to the fellowship hall after the service so people could eat it and so that it would not have to be disposed of otherwise.

I wonder about the practicalities of the "no freeze" rule...

If you're baking the large Greek-style loaves, it's less of an issue. Maybe you get two loaves from a batch, and both are used on a particular Sunday (the second loaf for antidoron?).

But with the Russian-style small loaves, I get 12 loaves from one batch. Five are used in proskomedie. Couple more for extra antidoron. So where does that leave the unused five loaves from a particular Sunday? They've got holy water in them - can't just "eat" them. They go into the freezer, just in case.

I've baked both the large Greek loaves in the past at a non-OCA parish, and now the Russian ones.

I'm an early middle-aged never married woman. The parishes I have knowledge of locally have all sorts of people bake the prosphora.
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« Reply #49 on: May 30, 2011, 08:53:42 PM »

I get a kick out the irony that abounds among us Orthodox. I agree here with Punch regarding the unused portions of the prosfora. It seems funny that everyone has heard of this or that supposedly inviolable rule about this or that and when and how and who is supposed to bake this or do that. We love to criticize the Romans for being excessively legalistic and rule bound, but boy, oh boy, we do have our 'rules.' Not the ones that really count of course, but the rules! Is outrage, as they say.

Trevor, congratulations! Enjoy the moment and maintain your joy in the Faith.
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« Reply #50 on: May 30, 2011, 10:40:33 PM »

well.....it's been a very interesting and humbling experience, to say the least.  I have gone through about three batches.  the first looked like giant upside-down mushrooms.  I rolled the dough thinner, and made them more uniform.  I also had to learn to be very liberal with my flour.  those looked like someone stepped on them.  tonight, I was ready to call Matushka and ask her to bake them, when I tried one last time.  This time, I didn't make the dough too thin, baked them for a shorter time at a cooler temperature, and they were almost perfect.  The only improvement I have to make is, when putting water on the bottoms to glue them together, I need to water all sides of it, not just random spots.  That way, when it rises in the oven, the top rises more evenly. 

My last batch was perfect, and I'll make more tomorrow. 

I'm neither a widow nor Romanian, but I'd say I did pretty well  Wink
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« Reply #51 on: May 30, 2011, 10:44:47 PM »

well.....it's been a very interesting and humbling experience, to say the least.  I have gone through about three batches.  the first looked like giant upside-down mushrooms.  I rolled the dough thinner, and made them more uniform.  I also had to learn to be very liberal with my flour.  those looked like someone stepped on them.  tonight, I was ready to call Matushka and ask her to bake them, when I tried one last time.  This time, I didn't make the dough too thin, baked them for a shorter time at a cooler temperature, and they were almost perfect.  The only improvement I have to make is, when putting water on the bottoms to glue them together, I need to water all sides of it, not just random spots.  That way, when it rises in the oven, the top rises more evenly. 

My last batch was perfect, and I'll make more tomorrow. 

I'm neither a widow nor Romanian, but I'd say I did pretty well  Wink

Third time was the charm, apparently. Just curious, how many loaves did you get out of your successful batch? I'm assuming you're making the small Russian loaves, not the big Greek ones.
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« Reply #52 on: May 30, 2011, 10:49:07 PM »

well.....it's been a very interesting and humbling experience, to say the least.  I have gone through about three batches.  the first looked like giant upside-down mushrooms.  I rolled the dough thinner, and made them more uniform.  I also had to learn to be very liberal with my flour.  those looked like someone stepped on them.  tonight, I was ready to call Matushka and ask her to bake them, when I tried one last time.  This time, I didn't make the dough too thin, baked them for a shorter time at a cooler temperature, and they were almost perfect.  The only improvement I have to make is, when putting water on the bottoms to glue them together, I need to water all sides of it, not just random spots.  That way, when it rises in the oven, the top rises more evenly. 

My last batch was perfect, and I'll make more tomorrow. 

I'm neither a widow nor Romanian, but I'd say I did pretty well  Wink

Third time was the charm, apparently. Just curious, how many loaves did you get out of your successful batch? I'm assuming you're making the small Russian loaves, not the big Greek ones.

Well...I got 18 small loaves, and 2 lambs (the big ones used for Holy Communion).  I also still have about 1/4 of the ball of dough, which I'll use to make extra tomorrow. 

What I really think made the biggest difference is, after getting everything set-up on the counter, grabbing my prayer book from my icon corner and saying the trisagion prayers.  I did that this last time on a whim, and I truly believe it helped.  How can we, after all, do anything correctly without first asking for the mercy and guidance of God?
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« Reply #53 on: May 30, 2011, 11:05:20 PM »

well.....it's been a very interesting and humbling experience, to say the least.  I have gone through about three batches.  the first looked like giant upside-down mushrooms.  I rolled the dough thinner, and made them more uniform.  I also had to learn to be very liberal with my flour.  those looked like someone stepped on them.  tonight, I was ready to call Matushka and ask her to bake them, when I tried one last time.  This time, I didn't make the dough too thin, baked them for a shorter time at a cooler temperature, and they were almost perfect.  The only improvement I have to make is, when putting water on the bottoms to glue them together, I need to water all sides of it, not just random spots.  That way, when it rises in the oven, the top rises more evenly. 

My last batch was perfect, and I'll make more tomorrow. 

I'm neither a widow nor Romanian, but I'd say I did pretty well  Wink

Third time was the charm, apparently. Just curious, how many loaves did you get out of your successful batch? I'm assuming you're making the small Russian loaves, not the big Greek ones.

Well...I got 18 small loaves, and 2 lambs (the big ones used for Holy Communion).  I also still have about 1/4 of the ball of dough, which I'll use to make extra tomorrow. 

What I really think made the biggest difference is, after getting everything set-up on the counter, grabbing my prayer book from my icon corner and saying the trisagion prayers.  I did that this last time on a whim, and I truly believe it helped.  How can we, after all, do anything correctly without first asking for the mercy and guidance of God?

I'm going to have to clarify. The ones the Russians (OCA too) use for Liturgy (for Communion) ARE small, compared with the big Greek loaves. So that's why I always say "small Russian ones." The ones my priest has us bake are 4" in diameter for the bottom (just the size of an empty 28 oz can I use as a cutter). The tops are about 3.25" in diameter. The Lamb is taken out of one of the five loaves at Proskomedie, all of which are the same size.

The ones we use for the commemorative loaves (that people send up with a list of names and a small particle is removed) are much, much smaller. Someone in our parish calls them "baby prosphora."
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« Reply #54 on: May 30, 2011, 11:08:35 PM »

well.....it's been a very interesting and humbling experience, to say the least.  I have gone through about three batches.  the first looked like giant upside-down mushrooms.  I rolled the dough thinner, and made them more uniform.  I also had to learn to be very liberal with my flour.  those looked like someone stepped on them.  tonight, I was ready to call Matushka and ask her to bake them, when I tried one last time.  This time, I didn't make the dough too thin, baked them for a shorter time at a cooler temperature, and they were almost perfect.  The only improvement I have to make is, when putting water on the bottoms to glue them together, I need to water all sides of it, not just random spots.  That way, when it rises in the oven, the top rises more evenly. 

My last batch was perfect, and I'll make more tomorrow. 

I'm neither a widow nor Romanian, but I'd say I did pretty well  Wink

Third time was the charm, apparently. Just curious, how many loaves did you get out of your successful batch? I'm assuming you're making the small Russian loaves, not the big Greek ones.

Well...I got 18 small loaves, and 2 lambs (the big ones used for Holy Communion).  I also still have about 1/4 of the ball of dough, which I'll use to make extra tomorrow. 

What I really think made the biggest difference is, after getting everything set-up on the counter, grabbing my prayer book from my icon corner and saying the trisagion prayers.  I did that this last time on a whim, and I truly believe it helped.  How can we, after all, do anything correctly without first asking for the mercy and guidance of God?

I'm going to have to clarify. The ones the Russians (OCA too) use for Liturgy (for Communion) ARE small, compared with the big Greek loaves. So that's why I always say "small Russian ones." The ones my priest has us bake are 4" in diameter for the bottom (just the size of an empty 28 oz can I use as a cutter). The tops are about 3.25" in diameter. The Lamb is taken out of one of the five loaves at Proskomedie, all of which are the same size.

The ones we use for the commemorative loaves (that people send up with a list of names and a small particle is removed) are much, much smaller. Someone in our parish calls them "baby prosphora."

Hm...that's an interesting difference.  at my Church, four of the proskomedie loafs are "baby prosphora", and the only large one is used as the lamb.
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« Reply #55 on: June 02, 2011, 12:25:25 AM »

Why can't you eat them?  I know a lot of pious people, particularly Russians, who take a prosphora home and eat parts of it as part of their morning or evening prayers (or both).  They also drink Holy Water, too.  I have not had a priest that had a problem with either.  I often bake an extra small prosphora and give it to the priest to remove a particle for a special prayer, either for the living or the dead.  What else am I supposed to do with it when he gives it back to me with a triangle cut out of it?  Eat it, of course.  The antidoron has Holy Water in it, too (if you make it that way).  People eat that.  In fact, I have had two priests that brought unused antidoron to the fellowship hall after the service so people could eat it and so that it would not have to be disposed of otherwise.

I wonder about the practicalities of the "no freeze" rule...

If you're baking the large Greek-style loaves, it's less of an issue. Maybe you get two loaves from a batch, and both are used on a particular Sunday (the second loaf for antidoron?).

But with the Russian-style small loaves, I get 12 loaves from one batch. Five are used in proskomedie. Couple more for extra antidoron. So where does that leave the unused five loaves from a particular Sunday? They've got holy water in them - can't just "eat" them. They go into the freezer, just in case.

I've baked both the large Greek loaves in the past at a non-OCA parish, and now the Russian ones.

I'm an early middle-aged never married woman. The parishes I have knowledge of locally have all sorts of people bake the prosphora.
As an alter boy, I am always given left over prosphora, and very often extras are taken out into the community center after church.
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« Reply #56 on: June 02, 2011, 08:25:25 AM »

Why can't you eat them?  I know a lot of pious people, particularly Russians, who take a prosphora home and eat parts of it as part of their morning or evening prayers (or both).  They also drink Holy Water, too.  I have not had a priest that had a problem with either.  I often bake an extra small prosphora and give it to the priest to remove a particle for a special prayer, either for the living or the dead.  What else am I supposed to do with it when he gives it back to me with a triangle cut out of it?  Eat it, of course.  The antidoron has Holy Water in it, too (if you make it that way).  People eat that.  In fact, I have had two priests that brought unused antidoron to the fellowship hall after the service so people could eat it and so that it would not have to be disposed of otherwise.

I wonder about the practicalities of the "no freeze" rule...

If you're baking the large Greek-style loaves, it's less of an issue. Maybe you get two loaves from a batch, and both are used on a particular Sunday (the second loaf for antidoron?).

But with the Russian-style small loaves, I get 12 loaves from one batch. Five are used in proskomedie. Couple more for extra antidoron. So where does that leave the unused five loaves from a particular Sunday? They've got holy water in them - can't just "eat" them. They go into the freezer, just in case.

I've baked both the large Greek loaves in the past at a non-OCA parish, and now the Russian ones.

I'm an early middle-aged never married woman. The parishes I have knowledge of locally have all sorts of people bake the prosphora.
As an alter boy, I am always given left over prosphora, and very often extras are taken out into the community center after church.

I forgot to note that my mom, the wife of the priest ( Pani-Matka, same as Matushka, Presvetera etc...) baked all of the prosphora used by my father, but not the annointing/antidora breads which were baked by the long time sexton's wife and later by her daughters. Differs from parish to parish.
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« Reply #57 on: June 02, 2011, 09:55:12 PM »

well.....it's been a very interesting and humbling experience, to say the least.  I have gone through about three batches.  the first looked like giant upside-down mushrooms.  I rolled the dough thinner, and made them more uniform.  I also had to learn to be very liberal with my flour.  those looked like someone stepped on them.  tonight, I was ready to call Matushka and ask her to bake them, when I tried one last time.  This time, I didn't make the dough too thin, baked them for a shorter time at a cooler temperature, and they were almost perfect.  The only improvement I have to make is, when putting water on the bottoms to glue them together, I need to water all sides of it, not just random spots.  That way, when it rises in the oven, the top rises more evenly.  

My last batch was perfect, and I'll make more tomorrow.  

I'm neither a widow nor Romanian, but I'd say I did pretty well  Wink

I've been grinding and making my own bread for nearly 20 years.  Three years ago I started helping with the prosphora making at our parish and I agree that it is one of the most humbling experiences.  I've had more trouble getting my prosphora turning out nice than any other bread before.  I like to think of it as a little bit like us: imperfect.  I'm not sure I'd attempt making prosphora without help if I hadn't been a bread maker before.  Bread making is an art-form and no two loaves turn out the same.  So, my hat is off to you for trying this alone.  For the record, I'm middle aged and married to a non-Orthodox.  Our  OCA parish makes the big Greek style prosphoras and I've never known of anyone at the parish using holy water in the bread.  

www.prosphora.org is a nice place to learn about prosphora making - including some of the questions you had about prayers and icons.
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« Reply #58 on: June 24, 2011, 05:02:53 PM »

Quote
you gotta love the Greeks (who's Orthodoxy is much older that that of Romania, btw. they would know about this, of all people.)
do you have any idea when our ancestors received the Christian faith? I mean the Latin speaking population of the Balkans/Illiricum?

Oh, if I may add: in fact the Romanians' acestors became Christians as they became Latin speaking. We're speaking beginning year 106 at the latest. Yeah, can't get much older Christians than that. Cheesy
We in Antioch and Alexandria can and do.
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« Reply #59 on: June 24, 2011, 05:09:57 PM »

Because sex is the only and gravest sin.

Well, not necessarily, but a sin that taints both your body and your soul, against which St. Paul spoke particularly strong against, remember, your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, therefore any sin that man does outside his body is not as bad as the one he does with his body...
he was talking about fornication.  Not sex.
But in the old days, , so sex was seen, and so it still is in much of Eastern European Orthodoxy, even sex within marriage -- as making you somehow unfit for the direct service of God.

That's odd, as they would submit to the Vatican and say the filioque, but they refused to give up their married priests in the New World. The Vatican's loss, Orthodoxy's gain.  Let's see a repeat in Italy, now that the Italian bishops have told the head of "the Romanian Church in Union with Rome" to keep his married priests out of Italy.  Odd, they didn't tell the Latin bishop in Romania to send his celibate priests away.

<Shrug> And that is why baking of prosophora was reserved to old widows.
If sex was such a disqualification, only unmarried old women should bake it.
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« Reply #60 on: June 24, 2011, 05:17:58 PM »

Quite strange practice... Freezing prosphora? The bread that will become the body of Christ?

Obviously, I don't know too much about EO practice but in the Coptic Church, the rites are strict concerning the bread being baked fresh the morning of the liturgy. The "Orban" as we call it, must be warm when offered to the priest, symbolizing the passion of our savior. I believe that the EO church most likely has the same tradition concerning this, but has allowed for more flexibility recently.
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« Reply #61 on: June 24, 2011, 05:23:29 PM »

Never heard of freezing it either. That's a barbarous practice. The old and right custom is to have it fresh, baked on the eve of the day it's supposed to be used on.
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« Reply #62 on: June 25, 2011, 02:23:23 AM »

Dearest brother Tikhon/Trevor,

When I saw this in this "new threads" list I just had to read it!  God bless you --- and congratulations on being asked to do this holy work.  I was once invited to make the prosphora and after watching Babushka Elena do it, I practically ran from the house screaming "unclean!" (meaning, me, myself!)
I am not worthy to do such a thing and was shocked that anyone would ask ME!!??!?!?!?!?.  I have not dared to do it and I am Orthodox many years.  I am not really an "old widow" but in my present parish (Serbian) they don't seem to care.  They will ask anyone who seems willing.  In my present parish the priest's wife does it and that is good enough for me.  Popadija is perfect person to do it.  Very holy woman.  I'm just an incense maker and would mess it up.  No doubt I would get charcoal on it, or it would somehow get messed up.  I would probably add too much water, or whatever...it would probably resemble a brick if I did it.  (I can't even cook a decent meal!?!>!>!) 

I wish you well and many prayers on this holy work....God bless you and keep you!
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