Saint John the Baptist Church in Rochester NY inaugurated a special ministry of service in worship in which the girls and young women of the parish prepare for post-communion by cutting the antidoron (Ἀντίδωρον = unconsecrated church bread) and mixing wine with warm water for reception by the faithful.
“These handmaidens of the Lord prepare the bread and wine in sight of the parishioners, standing beside the Cross and Epitaphios/tomb of the Lord, in likeness of the Myrrh-bearing Women,” said Father Ken James Stavrevsky (parish rector).
Following the sermon, the deacons proceed from the sanctuary and present the loaves of bread to the handmaidens. The priest offers them a blessing for the preparation of the bread and wine for reception by the faithful following communion. In the sanctuary, the altar boys and young men continue in their duly appointed service assisting the priest and deacons throughout the Divine Liturgy.
At the Great Entrance, the handmaidens process carrying the bowls of prepared bread. Before the Eucharist is distributed, they prepare the wine mixed with warm water. They then serve these elements to those having received the Body and Blood of Christ in Holy Communion.