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.


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    OCN Team is comprised of these gifted authors, teachers, thinkers, priests, parents, young adults and human beings at the Orthodox Christian Network.

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    Eikona is three sisters who love to chant. Presvytera Stacey Dorrance, Presvytera Marika Brown, and Chrysanthy Therianos started their ministry over 28 years ago, at the urging of their husbands and in answer to the question, “What are you doing to use your talents for the Church?” Born and raised in Denver, Colorado, they grew up in the community of the Assumption Greek Orthodox Cathedral. They were raised in a loving, musical home where church attendance was not optional, but rather, an extension of their parents’ love for music and the church. Each sister has four children, many married and starting families of their own. Their mission is to bring beautiful English Byzantine Chant to the world. Their love of liturgical worship and desire to grow in their own faith inspires them to continue their music ministry. Presvytera Stacey is both the co-chanter and assistant choir director in her parish of St. Catherine’s, in Greenwood Village, Colorado. She is also Chair of the Byzantine Music Education Committee of the National Forum as well as a Chant teacher specializing in helping parishes form Byzantine Choirs across the country (and even in Australia), via Zoom. Presvytera Marika is head chanter at her parish of Sts. Peter and Paul in Boulder, Colorado, as well as a host to many of their parish ministries. Chrysanthy is the choir director at the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Theotokos in Denver, Colorado, as well as a chanter. She is the President of the Metropolis Music Ministry, a composer of music, and an Ace Bowler!


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OCN Team is comprised of these gifted authors, teachers, thinkers, priests, parents, young adults and human beings at the Orthodox Christian Network.

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