For Eastern Orthodox: Unleavened Bread

Simple question:

Do EO use unleavened bread at all during the Liturgical Year?

Thanks for the info ahead of time.



No, to do so would be a denial of the resurrection. Unleavened bread was used in the Old Covenant, not the New, because now we have Jesus Christ, we are no longer living in darkness.

No we don’t.

Sorry, but no :slight_smile:

Didn’t the Church pre-schism allow both unleavened and leavened bread? :confused: And didn’t Jesus use unleavened bread for the very first communion, i.e., the last supper?

I think there is some debate on whether the Last Supper happened during Passover or not. It seems likely that we will never know. If it was during Passover then it would have been matzoth of course.

But it’s in scripture, how is it debatable?

Maybe ask the scripture scholars? They are not in agreement. But when people don’t agree that means it is debateable.

I am no bible scholar or theologian, I just read. Sorry :confused:

Yes, I read too, which is why I can’t understand anyone saying it’s debatable, i.e., the Last Supper happened during Passover (and Matthew refers to unleavened bread). :smiley:

The Synoptics say the Last Supper was the Passover meal. The Gospel According to St. John says it was the day before the lambs were slaughtered for the Passover meal. Either way, the Christian Passover is seen as a New Creation in Orthodoxy, and Unleavened bread a symbol of oppression and death, in contrast to the new practice of Leaven, which is life and resurrection.

Which is the earliest Church Father that believed this? Just asking. :slight_smile:


What, the symbolism of the unleavened bread or where St. John says the Mystical Supper took place on the evening before the slaughter of the lambs?

As to the first, I don’t know, but I think the entire early church used leavened bread. I might remember the Armenians not? I don’t recall. As to the second it’s in Scripture, I think. You might have to do math and see the days, I don’t remember if it says it explicitly.

This part: Either way, the Christian Passover is seen as a New Creation in Orthodoxy, and Unleavened bread a symbol of oppression and death

Thus, using unleavened bread should never ever be used because one’s salvation depends on it. Something like that. :o


That is not Orthodox thinking (we’re not minimalists or scholastics) and I don’t know. That is understood as the symbolism in Orthodoxy. Unleavened bread was the bread used by the slaves during their escape in the Old Covenant. The connection is obvious.

No, the entire church did not use leavened bread, there was both unleavened and leavened bread being used in the Church (the West used mainly unleavened bread, the East, mainly leavened bread).

P.S. Can you please provide your sources, i.e., church fathers declaring that unleavened bread should not be used, i.e., being that 3 gospels refer to unleavened bread, I don’t see how anyone can be disparaging of its use?

According to even EO writers, the Armenians’ use of unleavened bread predates the Chalcedonian schism (see Fr. John Erickson, dean of St. Vladimir’s, on this). I have never spoken to an Armenian face-to-face about this matter since I don’t care, but poking around online one idea I did find from an Armenian is that leaven apparently represents sin, so it is proper to use unleavened bread for the Eucharist as Christ had no sin. Take that as you will (it was presented by a layperson as one possible explanation).

But they are alone in this particularity, both within our communion and the ancient church as whole as far as I can tell (I have read on here from a Maronite poster that the Maronites once used both leavened and unleavened, but there was no explanation as to when or why).

Ok. So Im not scholar so can I ask you what do think St. Paul means in 1 cor 5 : 7 - Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. 8 Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

Would appreciate your input. :slight_smile:


John 18:28 - the Pharisees didn’t want to get defiled because they wanted to eat the Passover Meal.

If the Mystical (Last) Supper was not the New Covenant Passover Eucharistic Meal, but actually the Old Testament Passover Meal, then:

Why, during the passion/trial of Jesus, were the Pharisees worried about missing the Passover meal, if they’d already eaten it?

That I don’t know, but the writers of Divine Liturgy: Apostle James of the 1st century, St. Basil & St. John Chrysostom directed that leavened (not unleavened) bread be used for the celebration of the Eucharist.

The first time unleavened bread was ever used for the Eucharist was under Pope Leo IX in 1053 ad. This was one of the issues that was argued over (another straw on the back) that led to the schism.

Do you know why the Catholic Church made the change to Unleavened Bread? I’ve always wondered. I figure it must have been a very important reason since it was a change made to a thousand year old establish tradition that was upheld in all the Christian world.

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