Special Loaf

In monasteries, at the end of meals on feast days, there is a special service in which a loaf is blessed and distributed to those present. At Sinai, these loaves are stamped with a seal depicting the Virgin Mary of the Burning Bush, the Prophet Moses, and Saint Catherine.

3 comments to Special Loaf

  • Norman Hugh Redington

    It’s interesting that the image on the bread seems to be reversed. Isn’t that the opposite of typical prosphora seals?

    • Father Justin

      For the icon of the Virgin Mary of the Burning Bush, they carved the letters Μ Θ (Μήτηρ Θεοῦ, ‘Mother of God’). For the Prophet Moses, they carved the letter M. For Saint Catherine, they carved the letter K. This letter was carved front wise on the seal, and that is why it comes out backwards on the stamp. The other letters (M and Θ) are the same when reversed. It’s easy to get mixed up.

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