Distribution of the blessed artos
On Easter Sunday at the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, the priest blessed the leavened bread with the icon cover of the Resurrection, saying: “Grant that we who offer this bread shall taste of it may be partakers of Your heavenly blessings. By Your power root out from us all sickness and infirmity, granting health to all: For You are the Source of all blessings and the Giver of Health and we render glory to You, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and forever and ever. Amen.”
On Thomas Sunday during the Divine Liturgy the priest prays over the Artos to be distributed at the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy: “O Lord Jesus Christ, Our God, the Angelic Bread, the Bread of Life everlasting. He Who came down from Heaven, and have fed us on these festive days, with the spiritual food of Your divine benefits, for the sake of your three-day burial and saving resurrection, we humbly entreat You, as You have blessed the five loaves in the wilderness, so also bless this bread, that all who partake of it may be assured of bodily and spiritual health and blessing, through the bounties of Your love for mankind…” The Artos is then cut for distribution at the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy.
These prayers said over the Artos, both on Easter Sunday and Thomas Sunday, remind us that Jesus the Son of God is the Physician, Healer of soul and body. At the Prayer behind the Ambo, the priest prays aloud: “For all good giving and every perfect gift is
from above, coming down from You, the Father of Lights…” Let us render glory, thanks, and worship to God, the Most Blessed Trinity, now and forever.
Fr. George Worschak