Liturgical Orthodox Recipes


Baking Prosforo…

Our parish is especially blessed in that we have a parishioner, Tina Vamvakias, who has patented a Prosforo pan which ensures a beautiful and perfect seal for The Proskomide Service. Making Prosforo has never been easier! One can focus on praying while baking instead of worrying if the seal will be visible.What a blessing, indeed!

“The Gifted Pan” may be purchased in our Church Bookstore in the ParishLifeCenter, or Tina Vamvakias may be contacted via her website, which is as follows:


If you are interested in baking Prosforo, please read the following article which details the Proskomide Service.

The Proskomide Service

(Preparation of the Offerings)

The Proskomide is the service of “bringing the offered Gifts.” It is performed at a small side-altar to the left of the Holy Altar behind the Icon Screen where the gifts are prepared. It is the place and the act of placing and preparing the gifts. The Priest does the Proskomide while the Morning Prayer service (the Orthros) is being sung by the chanters. Before the Priest begins the Proskomide, he makes his preparation, standing before the Royal doors in a long black robe and praying to God for forgiveness and strength to fulfill worthily his duties and obligations as celebrant of the Divine Liturgy. Then he enters the sanctuary and puts on each of his vestments. Now he begins the service in which the offerings of bread and wine are prepared for the Divine Liturgy. The service consists of visible things used by the Priest, actions by the Priest, and Prayers by the Priest. When we think of Christ’s birth, we think of the star over Bethlehem, the shepherds, the angels, His Holy Mother, and Joseph, His earthly father. All of these are symbolized in the Proskomide. The Priest takes a loaf of bread called Prosforon which means “offering”. This has been specially prepared and has a seal impressed on the top. The center square of the seal has the initials of Jesus Christ and the Greek verb NIKA, which means “is victorious”, and represents the Lord, the Lamb of God. It is this which will be consecrated as the Body of Christ. The large triangle to the left represents the Virgin Mary. The nine smaller triangles to the right represent the Orders of Angels, Prophets, Saints, and Martyrs. The lower part of the Cross is removed and particles are taken from it to represent the souls of the living and of those departed this life. The Priest takes the Spear (“Lonchi”) which represents the spear used by the Roman soldier who pierced the side of our Lord as He hung upon the Cross. With this the Priest cuts around the Lamb (the center square) and places it on the Diskos (a gold plate supported by a base). While piercing the left side with the Spear, he says, “One of the soldiers pierced His side and immediately blood and water came forth”. At the same time he pours wine and water into the Potirion (Cup). Then he cuts out the triangle representing the Virgin Mary as well as the nine smaller triangles representing the Heavenly Hosts. At this point he mentions the names of the living and departed, placing a particle on the Diskos for each one. Finally the Priest offers a prayer for himself, and places an additional particle there. Then he places over the Diskos the Asteriskos (Star). This object is formed of two strips of metal (either gold-plated or silver-plated), joined at the center and bent at the ends so that it will stand on the Diskos. The Asteriskos symbolizes the Star of Bethlehem. Now the symbolism is complete: the newly born Christ surrounded by His Holy Mother, the ranks of the heavenly Hosts, and the earthly visitors who were privileged to see the Christ child, while over Him hangs the Star of Bethlehem. As the Priest places the Star over the Lamb, he recites the words, “And the star came and stood over the place where the child was.” (Matt. 2:19). Then he censes the Gifts. The smoke from the incense symbolizes prayer. As the smoke rises to Heaven, so the Prayers of the Priest and the faithful rise to Heaven. Next the Priest takes two small covers (Veils) shaped like crosses, and places one over the Diskos and the other over the Potirion. Then he takes a large rectangular cover called the Aer and places this over the two together. Meanwhile he recites Psalm 92 praising the wonders of the universe. The covers represent the layers of the firmament. Aer means “air”, which in terms of our modern concept of the universe would be “space”. The Proskomide ends with the prayer of Benediction. The Gifts have been prepared and remain at the side altar until the proper time for their removal during the Liturgy of the Faithful.

The Gifted Pan- Prosforo Recipe

Kollyva Recipe:

Fr. Panayiotis has supplied a simple Kollyva recipe which can be used by any parishioner wanting to remember their loved ones who are in repose. Please see Fr. Panayiotis’ Kollyva Webpage”.

Many parishioners prefer to add pomegranate to their Kollyva recipe. Please review the attached recipe which details how to carefully add this ingredient. May your loved one’s memory be eternal!

Common Kollyva Ingredient List (Pomegranate Instructions)