The term “prothesis” refers both to a small room in a church where the elements of the Eucharist are prepared and stored and the rite of preparation. In Greek antiquity prothesis meant, among other things, the ceremonial lying in state of the dead inside the house. Later in Christian usage the term referred to the ceremony, also called proskomide, dating from the late eleventh century, in which the bread and wine are laid out for the celebration of the Eucharist.
It also meant the small room on the north side of the sanctuary (see pastophorium, above) in which the ceremony takes place and the table that is used. The Arabic term for the room is haykal al-taqdimah (Graf, 1954, p. 89).
- Descoeudres, G. Die Pastophorien im syro-byzantinischen Osten. Wiesbaden, 1983.
- Graf, G. Verzeichnis arabischer kirchlicher Termini, p. 89. Louvain, 1954.