Orthodox Christianity 101


Patens, in Orthodox Christian liturgical practice, are small, shallow metal plates or dishes used to hold the bread or prosphora during the celebration of the Eucharist. Typically made of precious metals such as gold or silver, these vessels are adorned with intricate designs and often feature religious symbols or inscriptions. The paten plays a crucial role in the Divine Liturgy, as it serves as the receptacle for the bread that will be consecrated during the Eucharistic service, symbolizing the body of Christ. Before the consecration, the priest places a portion of the prosphora, or altar bread, onto the paten, which is then offered up during the prayers of the Anaphora. Following the consecration, the paten is used to hold the consecrated Lamb, or portion of the Eucharistic bread, which will be distributed to the faithful as Holy Communion. The use of a paten underscores the reverence and care with which the Eucharistic elements are handled in Orthodox worship, ensuring that the sacrament is treated with the utmost respect and devotion. Additionally, patens may be used to hold other sacred items during the liturgy, such as particles of the consecrated bread reserved for communion outside of the Divine Liturgy or during special services. Overall, the paten serves as a tangible symbol of the Church's belief in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist and plays a significant role in the celebration of the central sacrament of the Orthodox Christian faith.
Orthodox Church
Orthodox Christianity 101

Orthodox Christianity has such a deeply rooted history spanning over thousands of years. Every detail, practice, and term has been meticulously preserved and passed down through generations for a very specific purpose, embodying the richness of tradition that defines the Orthodox faith. This richness is mirrored in the language and terms we use, where each word carries profound theological, historical, and spiritual significance.

Delving into the glossary of Orthodox Christianity is more than an academic exercise; it is a spiritual journey into the heart of our faith. Through understanding these words, we forge a deeper connection with our religious heritage, appreciating the wisdom and devotion of those who came before us. Each term in this glossary opens a window to the vast expanse of Orthodoxy, offering insights into the doctrines, rituals, and spiritual practices that have sustained and nurtured believers across centuries.

As you explore this glossary, let each word be a step closer to the essence of the Orthodox Church and its teachings. This journey through our sacred vocabulary is not just about learning definitions; it's about deepening your connection with the Divine and illuminating the traditions that make Orthodoxy a treasure trove of spiritual wisdom.

More Terms
Orthodox Christian Church
History of Orthodox Christianity
Learn our history

Other Orthodox Terms

More Terms

Learning more about Orthodox Christianity? Subscribe and stay awhile.