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Bethlehem (architecture)

Architectural term for oven used to bake bread for Communion

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* Published by Encyclopedia Press, 1913.


Bethlehem, an architectural term used in the Ethiopic Church for the oven or bakehouse for baking the Korban or Eucharistic bread. It is a usual attachment to Coptic churches and is generally situated somewhere within the enclosure of the church. It is shown in the plan of Mari Mina and the adjoining church of Mari Banai. The four walls of Dair Abu Makar enclose one principal and one or two smaller court-yards around which stand the cells of the monks, domestic buildings, such as the milkroom, the oven (Bethlehem), the refectory and the like.

THOMAS H. POOLE


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"Approaching, do not come with your palms stretched flat nor with fingers separated. But making your left hand a seat for your right, and hollowing your palm, receive the Body of Christ, responding Amen. And having with care hallowed your eyes by the touch of the Holy Body, take it, vigilant lest you drop any of it."
-- Cyril, Bishop of Jerusalem, Doctor of the Church, Saint; on the proper technique for receiving Holy Communion in the hand (circa A.D. 347).

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