St. Tikhon Orthodox Christian Mission
Serving Parker, Colorado and surrounding areas
Divine Liturgy Begins at Home!

...with the baking of communion breads. Here are some photos of small prosphora (pros = forward, phora = bring/brought) that the faithful offer up to God. The faithful write down the names of people living or dead on a piece of paper or a small prayer-list book. The names and a prosphora loaf are taken into the altar where the priest says intercessory prayers for those specified. The ones pictures are about 2 inches in diameter.

The prosphora used for communion of the faithful are much larger, and the quantity per Divine Liturgy varies. In the Greek and Arabic traditions, a single large, round loaf stamped with a large seal (5" and larger seals are common). In the Slavic tradition, five medium-sized loaves are used. The ingredients are the same always: white, unbleached flour (in early Christianity, the most expensive flour by far); water; yeast and in some local traditions, salt. No oils!

There are various spellings for prosphora, and of course various names based on language. The term in Arabic is orban, sometimes seen as urban or kurban. An excellent starting place to learn more, including recipes and how-to's, is www.prosphora.org

 

Prosphora dough, after it is risen once, is rolled and cut into circles, two per loaf shown here in the Slavic tradition. One is stamped with a seal. On this Russian-style seal, the seal forms the letters IC XC, Jesus Christ's first and last initials in the Greek alphabet, and NIKA, Greek for "victory".

The prosphora are assembled, one stamped circle stop a plain one. Each prosphora is pierced with a skewer or toothpick 5 times, representing the 5 wounds Christ received during his Passion, placed on an ungreased baking sheet or pan, and baked.

Baked, fresh prosphora is cooled to room temperature and ready to be offered! With the convenience of modern refrigeration, they can be packaged and frozen for use for as long as a month or thereabouts, then thawed when needed.

Because of the solemn use for which it is being made--a personal offering to God as part of a prayer request or as the people's sacrificial offering for communion in Divine Liturgy--prosphora is not to be made or treated lightly or casually. Those who bake prosphora receive a blessing from the parish priest. They keep the tools for prosphora baking in a special place; they are set apart for a holy purpose. The baker should proceed in quietness, and be present with this task and this one alone, for the moment.

And oftentimes when prosphora baking is hurried or unfocused, the results are 'coincidentally' not good: sagging breads, indistinct stamp impression, unrisen or very uneven rising, uncooked in the middle, etc. I have baked many and I have learned this the hard way!!! Prosphora baking for a parish is a humbling and also a very prayerful and joyful service.

Finally: after the prosphora have been offered and the priest has prayed for those on the prayer list during the Divine Liturgy, the prosphora are returned to the faithful. The faithful should partake of the now-blessed bread with great piety, taking care that a single crumb does not all astray, and that it is consumed with fasting, not treated as an ordinary food. Some Orthodox Christians keep a number of small particles of prosphora at home and partake of it after their morning prayers, “instead of Holy Communion” throughout the week. In this way, the whole week is sanctified and we continue to participate in the previously-celebrated Liturgy.

This is an example of a Slavic-tradition prosphora, a larger loaf used for communion (photo courtesy of www.classicalChristianity.com)

Here is an example of a Coptic communion bread, orban

-Thank you to one of our parish prosphora bakers, for this submission to the website

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Upcoming Services
Sunday, December 15th
9:10 am Hours
9:30 am Divine Liturgy
PARISH COUNCIL
Tuesday, December 17th
6:30 pm Women's Bible Study
Wednesday, December 18th
6:00 pm Small Compline & Saints of the Day
Friday, December 20th
6:00 pm Choir Rehearsal
Saturday, December 21st
5:30 pm Great Vespers


News Updates
- 12/14/19

Weekly Bulletin: December 15, 2019


- 12/07/19

Weekly Bulletin: December 8, 2019




Announcements
Charity of the Month - December - 12/07/19

December: please join St. Tikhon Mission in supporting Holy Apostles Orthodox Christian Church, a parish in Oklahoma.  More info in our newsletter.  Collections are held every Sunday.

The total for the November charity, Winter Shelter Network, was $780. Thank you to everyone in the parish community for your support!


Women's Bible Study News - 11/30/19

The Tuesday evening Bible Study group will start a new book in December


- 11/09/19

The Nativity Fast begins Friday, November 15


Grocery Cards

Register your Soopercard to Support St. Tikhon Mission


Website Updates

The December 2019 parish calendar is posted

11/30/2019: NEW PAGE! Music from Our Choir

11/30/2019: Updates to page with 1905 news article, St. Tikhon in Colorado

11/2/2019: A new event added to the Photo Gallery



Our Location
19035 Plaza Drive, Parker Colorado 80134

St. Tikhon Orthodox Christian Mission
Mailing Address
St. Tikhon Orthodox Christian Mission
19035 Plaza Drive
Parker, Colorado 80134


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