Any young girl that performs a duty or function in the Orthodox Church
is called a handmaiden.
Handmaidens assist in the liturgical worship by presenting the offering
plate to the Priest for a blessing and receiving the blessed Holy bread (Prosphora) to
prepare it for distribution at the end of the Liturgy. They hold the red cloth during
communion for adults, children and babies to make sure that no communion is spilled or
splashed on clothing or dropped on the floor. They guide communicants to the proper
distance from the chalice, help parents with their children, make sure that lips are
dried, and any other guidance for the reception of Holy communion. At the end of the
liturgy they distribute electric candles and keep children orderly for the children's
blessing. On Holy Friday and Pascha they help in the distribution of the holy Lights
and walk ahead of the Altar servers carrying candles. They place flower petals on the
way during processions. The Handmaidens also ring the bells at the proper times during
all of the services.