Prosphora From and For The People
On Monday the Pre-K and Kindergarten students made prosphora, the bread used for the Eucharist and the blessed bread. I overheard the following conversation:
“This isn’t bought in a store?” wondered one student.
“No” their friend responded, “The people make it”.
The people make it—what a wonderful observation!
We, the people, make the bread that God will make Himself. In a small way, everyone, even the smallest ones, can join in a creative activity which sustains the life-giving act of taking the Eucharist. The priest needs this bread in order to ask God to make it into the Body and Blood of Christ.
Importantly, no one is forced to make the prosphora. Like Bartleby the Scrivener, everyone could sit back and say “I would prefer not to”. The consequences of such universal abdication of responsibility would be terrible, but not impossible. Thus, the fact that people have not abdicated the responsibility is cause for great joy. There remain pious people who create out of love and not compulsion.
Part of maturity is freely taking on added responsibilities out of love. We do things not because we have to, but because we want to aid in something’s flourishing. As we grow, we accrue more and more responsibilities because we are more and more capable of acting on our loves.
The Pre-K students start by accepting small responsibilities like picking bugs off the plants in the garden. Eventually the oldest student accepts the responsibility of hoeing the garden. Each works in proportion to their ability.
The things we make together, whether it be prosphora or the garden, do not just happen. As the kindergartner said, “the people make it”. And when the people participate in the creation of a good thing, God blesses it.