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Proskomedia

563 bytes added, 16:03, October 28, 2014
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[[Image:Discos Chalice.jpg|left|thumb|150px|The Chalice with the Diskos and Star]]
The bread and wine are prepared for the liturgy on the Prothesis. The [[chalice]] and a round plate on a stand called the diskos or paten that holds the bread are kept on this table. These vessels are normally decorated with iconographic engravings, Christian symbols, and the sign of the cross. The top of each loaf is impressed with a seal bearing the sign of the cross.
 
The Greeks usually use one large loaf for the Liturgy of Preparation, with a large round seal on it inscribed not only with the square seal (from which the Lamb will be taken), but also markings indicating where the portions for the Theotokos, the Ranks, the Living and Dead will be removed. Those churches which follow Slavic usage will typically use five small loaves, recalling the five loaves from which Christ fed the multitude (John 6:5-14). Normally all will be stamped with a small square seal, though special seals for the Theotokos are sometimes used.
Also on this table is a special liturgical knife, symbolically called the [[spear]], that is used for cutting the eucharistic bread ([[prosphora]]) and a liturgical [[spoon]] for administering holy communion to the people. There are also special covers for the chalice and diskos and a cruciform piece of metal called the [[asterisk]] or star that holds the cover over the eucharistic bread on the diskos. A sponge and cloths for drying the chalice after the liturgy are also usually kept here. The Prothesis is decorated in a manner similar to that of the altar table. Above the Prothesis may be found various [[icon]]s, often one of Christ praying in Gethsemene: "Let this cup pass..."
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