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Inside the Domestic Church Part 11: Offering Our Table to the Lord

Because we are constantly in the presence of God, in the domestic church we try to open our entire lives to an awareness of this presence. We recognize God as the provider of our food and source of life, especially at meal times. The following foods are instrumental in our Church:

Bread: there are several occasions in which bread is blessed and distributed. One such occasion would be as part of Vespers on major feasts in the form of artoklasia. Additionally, those loaves not used as part of the Liturgy itself are distributed as antidoron (“instead of gifts) after the service. Some places also blessed bread as part of memorial services for the dead.

Cereal: A special meal of wheat, nuts, and candies is used as part of memorial services and on certain saint days.

Cheese, eggs, meat: These foods are blessed on Pascha as a part of the festive nature of the day.

Figs: In some churches, figs are used as part of the artoklasia on Great Saturday.

Grapes: Grapes are blessed on the Feast of the Transfiguration as a sign of transformation.

Herbs: Many churches bless herbs as part of their celebration of the Feast of the Dormition

Water: Water is blessed on the Feast of Theophany, and is drunk as well as used for blessing

Wine: blessed as part of artklasia

Zlaybe and Awwaymat: these pastries are associated with the feast of Theophany, and some traditions consider them to be representative of John the Forerunner.

The feats of the Church form a non-verbal type of prayer in which we glorify the one or even in whose honor we celebrate. In the domestic church, we can incorporate special foods to celebrate moments in the life of the Church. Children especially can enjoy these times when foods which may be rarely offered are used at the table. Preparing the food can be a fun activity for the whole family to participate in.

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