Are you familiar with the prayer for the blessing of the five loaves, or artoclasia in Greek? You would have seen the service done at the end of Vespers on a major feast day or a parish name day. As a sign of thanksgiving, the five loaves of sweet bread are brought to the church with a small bottle of wine and olive oil. It is usually brought by a family celebrating the feast day or name day, or when a prayer has been answered.
The priest reads:
O Lord Jesus Christ our God, who blessed the five loaves in the wilderness and with them fed the five thousand: Do you, the same Lord, bless these loaves, the wheat, the wine and the olive oil, and multiply them in this city, country and parish, in the homes of those who have brought these gifts, and in all your world; and sanctify all your faithful servants who partake of them.
For it is you, O Christ our God, who bless and sanctify all things, and to you we ascribe glory, together with your beginningless Father and your all-holy and good and life-giving Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages.
During the service, we sing a lovely hymn to the Mother of God. It’s called Theotokos Parthene, (Virgin), Full of Grace; more commonly known as Hail Mary. Here is a video featuring EIKONA’s recording of the lovely hymn.
Posted by the Orthodox Christian Network. You can find the Orthodox Christian Network on Google+