As promised, here’s my review of The Heavenly Gift: The Art of Liturgical Bread-Making.
So, what is even in this book? I was curious myself as normally I just give people who want to bake prosphora a seal, printed PDF instructions, and a promise that I am not going to judge them if the end product isn’t “perfect.”
The parishioner who gets a loaner copy of this from the parish library is going to know a lot about prosphora when he is done. I finished the entire book in one sitting, but there are certainly parts worth using those bound bookmarks for, so you won’t go amiss buying a copy for your home.
Some of you are undoubtedly wondering, “My church isn’t Greek. What does this book have to do with me?” Well, if you are Antiochian or from any other tradition that uses a single, large loaf the entire thing is applicable. If you are in a Slavic parish, 95% of this book will be relevant. The 5% that isn’t relevant is easily translated to your use. Instead of making one loaf, you are making five smaller loaves. The seal is less complicated and often smaller. You give out antidoron at a different time. That’s about it. So, the short answer is: It has a lot to do with you. Read and find out.
Primary audiences to my thinking:
- People just interested in the topic.
- The priest who wants to hand a book to someone and jumpstart their baking.
- The ladies group who wants a book to discuss and a project to work on.
- The parish librarian / bookstore person.
- The person who thinks the antidoron is too hard and wants to give it to the church so that “someone” will get on fixing it. I kid. That person should get the book themselves, complain less, and try it themselves.