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Leaven From Heaven?

Discussion in 'The Ancient Way - Eastern Orthodox' started by Pavel Mosko, May 21, 2019.

  1. Pavel Mosko

    Pavel Mosko Arch-Dude of the Apostolic

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    Hi there! Years ago, I was a member of a church that had it's apostolic succession from the Church of the East (Nestorian Church). I had learned of a curious idiosyncratic belief from the Assyrian Church known as "the Leaven from Heaven". There was a book written in the middle ages called the Margenetha (The Pearl in Syriac) which is a kind of book of doctrine, a kind of catechism etc. In that book, it mentions that the Seven Sacraments of the Assyrian Church and one of them is "the Leaven from Heaven". The Assyrians not only have Communion as a Sacrament like all of the other Churches, but they have a kind of tradition itself about the Communion bread (The leaven from heaven was actually listed as another sacrament).

    The tradition itself is a kind of an Apostolic Succession of the Communion bread. (When the bread is made, they pinch of a piece of it, and store it in a cool secure place, then use that piece when making a new loaf to add yeast etc.) And presumably this process has gone on, for ages to the times of the Early Church... (So much that it is an official teaching in the Assyrian Church).

    Anyway, I was curious if there was anything like this in the Eastern Orthodox Church? Officially or unofficially.

    (I sort of suspect some of the reason they have this as a Sacrament is also to pad out the list to make 7 items since that is the number of perfection and fits what the other Churches were doing naming 7 sacraments on their lists etc.) Interesting enough, marriage is not listed as a Sacrament by them (the reason being is the Church is suppose to recognize non-Christian marriages as per the NT, so they see that as an institution that the Church recognizes).
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2019
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  2. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    the closest I know to something like that is whenever new chrism is made (at least OCA), the old chrism is added to the new batch, and the new is mixed with the old.

    but nothing like that with communion.
     
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  3. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Servant of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    I was told recently of a sort of pious tradition (little t) among the Greeks of saving the leavening and putting it into the new loaf. I'm not sure if it's restricted only for bread for communion. And no one said anything about it going back to the Apostles. It's just what the women do?
     
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  4. Andrei D

    Andrei D Active Member

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    If you think about it, just the fact that we use ANY yeast has some of the same symbolism. Yeast is alive, related to all the yeast that came before, and you cannot make "new" yeast from nothing.
     
  5. -Sasha-

    -Sasha- Handmaid of God

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    Neat. I haven't heard of anything like that being done for communion loaves, but that's exactly what people do who bake sourdough bread. The reserved piece is the starter, and you use it to leaven the next loaf. The best bread comes from the oldest starters! Typically people will share the starter with other bakers, its not uncommon to find some people whose starter has been alive for a hundred or so years. I really like the idea of that having been done for the communion loaf!
     
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  6. -Sasha-

    -Sasha- Handmaid of God

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    You can sort of make your own, but not from nothing. All you need is some whole rye or whole wheat flour, water, and patience!
     
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  7. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Servant of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    And for the beasties to come in from somewhere ...
     
  8. -Sasha-

    -Sasha- Handmaid of God

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    From the whole grain flour!
     
  9. Pavel Mosko

    Pavel Mosko Arch-Dude of the Apostolic

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    I'm pretty sure the Coptic church does it's bread the same way (based on a foggy memory of talking to a church elder years ago), except there is no antiquity claims made, even though in places like Cairo and Alexandria you could actually have breads with an ancient pedigree in theory at least.
     
  10. nutroll

    nutroll Veteran

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    In the past, one couldn't just buy packages yeast in the store, so it seems that this would have been a common practice. And the making of prosphora is usually done in a prayerful, even ritual manner. So it's not surprising that some might build it up even more. That being said, every time I read the title of this thread it makes me think of the rumble in the jungle or the battle in Seattle...
     
  11. Yeshua HaDerekh

    Yeshua HaDerekh Men can dream of truth, but then cant live with it

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    Wonder if it comes from making Challah for Shabbat?

    "When you enter the land where I bring you, it shall be that when you eat of the bread of the land, you shall set aside a portion (Challah) for God. Of the first of your dough (Challah...a portion) you shall set aside a loaf as an offering; as the offering of the threshing-floor, so you shall set it aside. From the first of your dough (Challah...a portion) you shall give to God an offering throughout your generations."
     
  12. Michael Collum

    Michael Collum Everything began with a voice, use yours Supporter

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    This is interesting.

    I wonder if it has anything to do with

    Mt 13:33 Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.

    the hidden manna in revelation came to mind as well.

    I'll pray on it.
     
  13. Pavel Mosko

    Pavel Mosko Arch-Dude of the Apostolic

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    Yes I believe the name is lifted from that passage.
     
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