לחם! בקרב עדות ודתות בארץ - הלחם בטקסי מחזור החיים  
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The Church distinguishes between consecrated bread, distributed
during Mass to worshipers, and eulogia (literally "blessing") bread.
In the past, all the churches would distribute eulogia bread to the
entire public at the end of the ceremony.

 

 

This custom has been preserved in the Orthodox Church, where, at the beginning of most Eucharist ceremonies, five large eulogia breads are displayed. The ceremony ends with the distribution of a portion of these breads to all those present as a sign of prosperity, fertility, and health, and in remembrance of the miracle performed by Jesus when he multiplied the five loaves into morsels that eased the hunger of five thousand men. In the Greek Orthodox Church, twelve feasts stand out, commemorating important events in the lives of Jesus, Mary, and the saints. On these feasts, it is customary to mark eulogia breads with a stamp expressing the motif of that day. Eulogia breads are baked in the church bakeries, and often also in the homes of congregation members, who bring them to church as an offering. After the priest has blessed the breads, they are brought home and preserved as amulets or charms.


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