The Breaking of Bread

by Jules-Benoît Doinel Translated from the French by Malgwyn Evans
The Perfect being assembled, the women’s heads covered by white veils and the men encircled with white sashes, kneeling to receive the blessing of their Lord’s son, the bishop.

Then they rise and the choir sings the canticle: Beati, vos AEones!

“Beati vos Eones Vera vita vividi; Vos Emanationes Pleromatis lucidi; Adeste visiones Stolis albis candidi.”

On a linen draped Table, The Gospel of John rests between two candles. The bishop, deacon and the deaconesse assistants stand upright in front of the table. after the canticle is completed, His Lordship recites the “Pater noster” (in Greek).

“Pater hêmôn ho en tois ouranois: Hagiasthêtô to onoma sou; Elthetô hê basileia sou; Genêthêtô to thelêma sou, Hôs en ouranôi kai epi gês; Ton arton hêmôn ton epiousion dos hêmin sêmeron; Kai aphes hêmin ta opheilêmata hêmôn, Hôs kai hêmeis aphêkamen tois opheiletais hêmôn; Kai mê eisenenkêis hêmas eis peirasmon, Alla hrusai hêmas apo tou ponêrou. Hoti sou estin hê basileia, Kai hê dynamis, kai hê doxa, Eis tous aiônas. Amên.”

The deacon presents the cup and the bread to the bishop. The Prelate, donned of the stole (from the grace of the officiating Patriarch, He is covered with the most august Pallium), The congregation responds “Amen.” The Bishop places his hands upon them, saying:

“Eon Jesus prisquam pateretur mystice, accepit panem et vinum in stancias et venerabiles manus suas, et, elevatis oculis in coelum, fregit (The Bishop breaks the bread), benedixit (The Bishop shapes the Tau on the bread and the cup) et dedit discipulis uais, dicens (All the world bows down): Accipite et manducate et bibit omnes!”

The deacon carrying the tray and the deaconess carrying the cup before His Lordship, stands at the head of the Perfect. The organist plays a religious slow march.

The bishop, taking the bread, elevates it above the assembly in saying:

“Calix meus inebrians quàm proeclaus is!- Calicem Salutaris accipiam and nomen Domini invocabo.”

He then rests the bread on the tray, kneels and adores.

Taking the bread, he breaks a fragment of the spiritual body of Jésus and the eats.

He drinks the cup of the blood, Pause.


He then approaches and stops before each Perfecti, offering the bread and the cup to each.




Returning to the altar, the bishop extends his hands saying: May the grace of the very holy Plérôma always be with you!

The remains of the consecrated hosts are burnt on a chaffing dish, because the pneumatic bodies of the Lord should not pass into profane existence.

After this, His lordship gives the Gnostic blessing and retires between the two assistants who carry the candles.


Copyright © 2000 Malgwyn Evans. Used by permission.

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