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Loaves for the Feast of Saint Catherine

A few days before the feast of Saint Catherine, a special batch of bread is prepared, and left to rise for the first time. A priest then blesses the bread, and it is formed into small round loaves. Each of these is stamped with a seal depicting Saint Catherine.

The wooden seal depicting Saint Catherine, carved in reverse. She holds the cross and the palm of victory

The loaves are left to rise for a second time

The oven where the loaves are baked

The oven was fired with wood and brush in earlier times, but now a gas flame supplies the heat

The loaves are inserted into the oven with a long wooden paddle

When they are ready, they are removed and taken to the adjoining room to cool

The loaves with the stamp depicting Saint Catherine

The finished loaves, ready to be taken to the church, where they are distributed to the pilgrims at the end of the service on the feast of Saint Catherine

A lamp is kept lit before an icon of the Virgin Mary of the Burning Bush

The censer used in blessing the bread

Old trays formerly used when the loaves were rising for the second time. These are carved from thick boards of cedar

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