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Prosphora seal sanctifies bread and make it part of Holy Liturgy

Photo: archive

Bread is an extremely important element in Bulgarian traditional culture. That is why there are a number of rituals and sacraments associated with its preparation.

In order for the bread to acquire the status of a festive bread and become part of the Holy Liturgy, Bulgarians have used special seals called prosphora seals. Canonical prosphora seals, as well as seals with the images of different saints, used for certain religious holidays, are made by monks or people who are aware of religious symbolism. There are also home-made seals used for various types of ritual and festive homemade breads. In the past, prosphora seals were passed on by inheritance, usually to the eldest son and there were practices when seals were split between children in the family, because people believed that even a small piece of the seal had enormous power. However, the case is different for canonical seals used in temples and monasteries. There are no rich collections of seals in Bulgarian monasteries at present. You can learn why this is so in Radio Bulgaria’s article: Prosphora seals: Key element of church life and part of Bulgaria’s rich cultural heritage

Edited by: Desislava Semkovska

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