A new System for our Prosfora Practice
As our parish has grown, there have been occasions when people who have purchased prosfora have not received them. In order to remedy this situation, we have instituted a new system for handling prosfora:
Before each Divine Liturgy, the Service of the Proskomedie is celebrated by the priest. The people send their lists of names of the people who they want commemorated, living and departed, to the altar. The lists need to be sent in before the Liturgy, or even during the Evening Vigil, so that the priest can complete the Proskomedie before the Liturgy begins. If you are a regular attendee at the Liturgy, it is best to use a commemoration book instead of individual pieces of paper. You can write all your names in the book, the living at the front, the reposed at the back of the book.
Who can be commemorated
The names on the lists must be Orthodox Christians. This does not mean that we don’t pray for our non-Orthodox loved ones. It only means that they are not commemorated at the Divine Liturgy, when, at the end of the service, the particles of the prosfora which have been cut out by the priest, are put into the chalice. In this way, these people participate in the great Mystery of the Holy Eucharist, the Body and Blood of Christ. Only baptized Orthodox Christians may receive the Holy Mysteries.
The cost of one prosfora is $1.00. You may pay for your prosfora each Sunday, or by subscription, paying for a month, or even a year, at a time. If you choose to subscribe, please work out the details with Mariya Petrenko, our treasurer. Prosfora purchases are tax deductible. If you want to buy your prosfora each time you come to church, please put your check or cash in the appropriate basket, and fill out the info sheet as to what you have purchased. Then put your prosfora into the prosfora basket, which goes to the altar, along with your book or papers, and include your name and the number of prosfora which you are purchasing (see below.)
How to do it
If you are sending a commemoration book to the altar, please write your name in the book, and include a piece of paper with the number of prosfora you are requesting. If you are sending a commemoration sheet or sheets to the altar, write your name on each sheet, and the number of prosfora you are reqesting. For example, you may have one sheet for the living and one for the departed, and you may be requesting one prosfora for each sheet. Please arrive before the beginning of the Divine Liturgy in order to send your commemorations to the altar. No commemorations will be accepted after the Cherubic Hymn begins.
How you will get your prosfora
The priest and altar servers will commemorate and read the names at the altar, then put your book or papers into a baggie along with your requested prosfora. The bag, with the prosfora and lists, will be sent back to the candlestand for pickup. We are asking that the adults and parents be the only ones to pick up the prosfora, and that you not allow the little children to do this.
Prosfora bread is holy
The bread is holy, and the crumbs are holy. We ask that you not allow the crumbs to be spread all over the church. If you see crumbs on the floor, pick them up and they can be put in the garden outside the church. Please teach our children to do this too.
Baking the Prosfora
We have volunteers who bake the prosfora; if you would like to volunteer to do that, speak with our head sister, Sherry (Helen) Solodkova.
Information about subscription costs
Prosfora subscriptions are only for Sundays. For other Divine Liturgies, please purchase your prosfora for each Liturgy. The cost of a yearly subscription to one prosfora is $52 ($1 per Sunday for 52 Sundays.) If you buy two prosfora, it’s $104, etc.
The cost of a monthly subscription to one prosfora is either $4 or $5, depending on the number of Sundays. If you buy two prosfora a week, it will be $8 or $10, etc.
Also, if you cannot afford to purchase prosfora we can make arrangements for you to receive one per week. Please let Mariya or matushka Deborah know if that is the case.