"And on her lips were prayers of all sorts: for the rain, and the sun, and the moon, and the wheat - and the bread that was to come."
Last week, I ordered Jane G. Meyer's book, The Woman and the Wheat, and I have read it to my little ones each day since the box landed on my doorstep! This book tells the story of a woman who plants wheat, waits for it to grow, reaps it, grinds it into flour, bakes the flour into Prosphora (Communion Bread), and brings the bread to church, where it becomes the Body and Blood of Christ.
To say that this book is beautiful is an understatement. Meyer's prose is lyrical and the perfect explanation for little ones (and big ones alike) of the Mystery of Holy Communion. The story of the wheat and passing of the seasons captivates my children. They love the pages describing the church, the Liturgy, and Holy Communion! They connect to this book more than any other that I can think of... enjoying the words and illustrations that tell the story of 'church bread" and people receiving Holy Communion just like they do!
The artwork for this book was done by Ned Gannon. Through his illustrations, one can almost feel the grains dropping into the earth, hear the combine harvesting the wheat, smell the freshly baked bread in the oven, and hear the choir singing in the church. Gannon's paintings are alive with color and his attention to detail is amazing! His work is truly a feast for the eyes!
I recommend that The Woman and the Wheat and its companion book, The Man and the Vine, be part of every Orthodox Christian's library. Together, they offer an enchanting introduction to the most important sacrament in the Orthodox Church, Holy Communion.