In churches or cathedrals that have a special room for making/preparing the sacramental bread, does this room have a special name?

Edit: I'm wondering because I saw a room in an Eastern Orthodox cathedral where the windows were clouded over, apparently because they cook the sacramental bread in there. I was wondering whether that kind of room has a special name, or is it okay to just call it a kitchen?


2 Answers 2


Is there a special name for the room where sacramental bread is made?

It is simply called a bakery room. The practice of having a separate bakery room for making hosts is common in both Orthodox and Catholic Churches. Hosts in the Catholic Church are generally made in Monasteries of female religious. I imagine the same holds true in Orthodox Churches.

The Bread of Heaven: Where Do Communion Hosts Come From?

Instructions for making Priest’s Hosts and Peoples’ Hosts for Western Rite Orthodox Liturgy.

I have personally seen these bakery rooms in male monasteries in the Catholic Church. It makes sense that they are not made in the kitchen areas, where regular meals have to be prepared for the community.

One or two large ovens would suffice for the work involved as well as several host cutting machines.

Small patches can be made in simple kitchens.

The Council of Milan, 1576, prescribes the making of hosts in monasteries and forbids it to laymen. A council of Cambrai in 1631 ordains that "in each city there shall be a person charged with making the altar-breads from the best and purest wheat and after the manner indicated to him. He must previously take an oath to discharge faithfully the duties of his office. He shall not be permitted to buy from others the bread to be used in the Holy Sacrifice." As early as the fourteenth century the making of hosts had become a business. The confraternity of the oblayers (host-makers) had a special ecclesiastical authorization to carry on that work.

Some prescriptions of the Oriental Churches are worthy of notice; moreover, some of them are still in use. The Constitutions ascribed to St. Cyril of Alexandria prescribe that the Eucharistic bread be baked in the church oven (Renaudot, "Liturg. orient. coll.", I, 189); among the Copts, Syrians, Jacobites, Melchites, Nestorians, and Armenians, the altar-breads must be baked on the very day of their consecration. In the "Canonical Collection" of Bar-Salibi there are prescriptions concerning the choice of wheat which differ but slightly from those of the West. In Ethiopia each church must have a special oven for the making of hosts. In Greece and Russia the altar-breads are prepared by priests, widows, the wives or daughters of priests, or the so-called calogerae, i.e. nuns, whereas, in Abyssinia, women are excluded. The Nestorians of Malabar, after kneading the flour with leaven, are accustomed to work in some of the leaven left from the preceding baking. They believe that this practice dates from the earliest Christian times and that it preserves the leaven brought to Syria by Saints Thomas and Thaddeus, for, according to another Nestorian tradition, the Apostles, prior to their separation celebrated the Liturgy in common and each carried away a portion of the bread then consecrated. - Host


The bread is not made in the little room next to the main church room. The sacramental bread is made elsewhere. Not much preparation is required, the only thing that needs to be done usually is to put the bread in special containers. For less formal churches that use regular bread there is even less done, just putting it on a plate and/or under a cloth. Roughly the same is true for the sacramental wine. It just needs to be put in a special container, either a jug or small glasses.

However the room you are thinking of does have a special name. It is called the vestry, because it is where the priests/ministers dress for the service. Even in churches where the ministers wear regular clothes the name of the room sticks in common usage.

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