Author Topic: Prosphora Piercing  (Read 1239 times)

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Offline Peacemaker

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Prosphora Piercing
« on: January 28, 2013, 05:44:32 PM »
Note: Please move if need be, we use prosphora in the Liturgy so I thought this was the place.

I've started to make prosphora for our Church and I was interested to find some information of the meaning and different ways in which you pierce the seal. The way I was taught (Greek loaf) pierce the top, bottom and both sized for the Father Son and Holy Spirit. Then the four corners of the lamb for Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, then around the outside 8 more for the other apostles.

That to me seems like a lot of holes. Granted, Greek loafs are rather big and they are only one loaf. I've seen Russian loafs that have 5 holes and all of which are near the lamb. Top, bottom, left, right and center. What are the 5 holes in Russian prosphora representing?

Thank you for any insight
« Last Edit: January 28, 2013, 05:48:37 PM by Peacemaker »

Offline arimethea

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Re: Prosphora Piercing
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2013, 06:12:50 PM »
You pierce the loaves to remove air pockets. I tend to use a skewer, and poke where ever their is an intersection in the seal since having an air bubble under the seal is a disaster.

Having a prayer rule for this is nice, but there is no one universal rule.
Joseph

Offline Peacemaker

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Re: Prosphora Piercing
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2013, 06:17:40 PM »
You pierce the loaves to remove air pockets. I tend to use a skewer, and poke where ever their is an intersection in the seal since having an air bubble under the seal is a disaster.

Having a prayer rule for this is nice, but there is no one universal rule.

I understand  :), I'm trying to find the symbolism behind the five holes and why they are placed where they are in Russian prosphora.

Offline vamrat

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Re: Prosphora Piercing
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2013, 06:23:14 PM »
I tend to place the strategically to let out the most air and use a fork with one of the tines bent down. 

None of my loaves have been used in a liturgy yet, so just practice.  IDK, what prayers are to be used when making the holes or what symbolism there is.  I don't see anything in my prayer book.  I'd probably just use the morning prayers since they are pretty standard.
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Offline sheenj

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Re: Prosphora Piercing
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2013, 06:23:31 PM »
You pierce the loaves to remove air pockets. I tend to use a skewer, and poke where ever their is an intersection in the seal since having an air bubble under the seal is a disaster.

Having a prayer rule for this is nice, but there is no one universal rule.

I understand  :), I'm trying to find the symbolism behind the five holes and why they are placed where they are in Russian prosphora.

Hazarding a guess, I would say it's to make the sign of the cross.

Offline augustin717

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Re: Prosphora Piercing
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2013, 06:27:47 PM »
As I am wont to say, to the great displeasure of some, this is a job for old widowed women.
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Offline choy

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Re: Prosphora Piercing
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2013, 06:50:50 PM »
I tend to place the strategically to let out the most air and use a fork with one of the tines bent down. 

None of my loaves have been used in a liturgy yet, so just practice.  IDK, what prayers are to be used when making the holes or what symbolism there is.  I don't see anything in my prayer book.  I'd probably just use the morning prayers since they are pretty standard.

Fr. George (from prosphora.org) said that if you are the type who prays when they do something, then pray when making prosphora.  If not, don't force it.  For me I just say a short prayer that the prosphoras would come out nice, worthy to be offered on the altar.

As for the 5 holes, a friend commented about the 5 wounds of Christ (the wounds he retained after the Resurrection).  But for me it depends on the size of the prosphora I will make.  The bigger, the more holes I will poke.

Offline hecma925

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Re: Prosphora Piercing
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2016, 03:15:29 PM »
I use a straightened-out paper clip.
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Offline Alxandra

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Re: Prosphora Piercing
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2016, 03:25:08 PM »
In our church we also pierce for the Father Son and Holy Spirit, then the four corners, and around the outside :)
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Offline LBK

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Re: Prosphora Piercing
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2016, 06:36:07 PM »
I'm trying to find the symbolism behind the five holes and why they are placed where they are in Russian prosphora.

Russian prosphori do not necessarily have five piercings. In my experience, four is the norm (at each arm of the cross in the stamp), whether for the small loaves or the slightly larger altar loaves. The large Greek-style loaves have multiple piercings, usually corresponding to points within and around the stamp.

« Last Edit: November 22, 2016, 06:36:30 PM by LBK »
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Offline hecma925

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Re: Prosphora Piercing
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2016, 02:27:14 AM »
I typically do 5 with Russian style, since my loaves are not smaller than 2 inches in diameter.  The really small commemoration loaves, I don't even pierce them.  With the single Greek loaf, I end up doing about 15-20, depending on how large it is.
Happy shall he be, that shall take and dash thy little ones against the rock. Alleluia.

Once Christ has filled the Cross, it can never be empty again.

"But God doesn't need your cookies!  Arrive on time!"