Friday, November 21, 2008

Holy Bread!

I told the receptionist I wouldn't be in until lunchtime today.
I told my boss the same thing.
"Why!?" they questioned.
Because I'm making Holy Bread :)
We are having a Divine Liturgy on the feast of St. Nicholas this year (in the Holy Trinity Chapel at 129 Lake Street--come if you're in the area!), and Kate (Fr. DePaulo's wife) and I made the phosphora for the Eucharist. She came over this morning with the seal and we made the bread in my mixer.  
It really was a fun experience. It gave us a chance to talk a bit, with no interruptions or distractions, because the bread had to knead for 20 minutes (!) and then rise for an hour. We talked about all sorts of things, not forgetting childbirth, dating and marriage, family, birth order (she's the youngest, I'm the second youngest (but I am the shortest!)), and general house-wife type things :) 
We decided to make only a half recipe (one loaf) and we even divided the dough into two smaller loaves--we don't know how many people will come to the Liturgy. But it turned out well (despite a small mushrooming). 
I really like the idea of the laity making the Bread used in Liturgy. It harkens back to the days when parishes were smaller and communities were closer. I want to belong to a parish where the parishoners bring the Holy Gifts to present to the Lord. I want to raise our children in an environment where God is in all things at all times. 
My domestic church book says of phosphora: 
"While mixing, kneading, and waiting for the bread to rise or bake, family members can pray for the intentions they wish to commemorate during the Liturgy. In some parishes, the priest sings these names aloud during the Great Entrance [when the priest and servers and deacon process around the church with the Holy Gifts], so when you bring the Bread to church, include a list of the intentions you wish commemorated." 
What a beautiful way to pray for those you love! Remembering them while making the Bread that will become the Body of Christ, the Body which stregthens us on our journey to heaven... 
And just so you all know, mine list would be quite long :) 
------- Paul VI said: 
"The Eucharistic mystery stands at the heart and center of the liturgy since it is the fount of life by which we are cleansed and strengthened to live not for ourselves but for God and to be united in love among ourselves."
And what do we do at the Eucharist but bring the small everything that we have--we poor, fallen creatures, loved unconditionally by a benevolent Lord--to have it transformed into something awe-some? Bread becomes the Body of Christ, wine His Blood. What can we become, if we let Him transform us? 
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1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness!!! How I would LOVE to make the Holy Bread!! Oh my goodness. Seriously, that is way cool. Our church is pretty small, I'm going to ask the priest who bakes the bread. Maybe I can have a turn :)