"Professional, worshipful, neat, clean and sanitary," Greenlee says of the improved routine.
For centuries, Catholic laypeople received only bread during Communion. No one knows exactly when the practice became common—worshipers in the early church shared bread, wine, and often a whole meal. But as the sacramental elements took on greater significance within Catholicism (they are believed to actually become flesh and blood upon consecration), greater pains were taken to preserve and protect them. By the fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries, when Hussites agitated for Communion in both kinds, the Catholic church was entrenched in its insistence on bread alone. This position was set by the Council of Trent, in the sixteenth century, then mitigated by Vatican II in the 1960s. The documents of Vatican II allow for Communion in both kinds in certain circumstances (a person's first Communion after baptism, for example), but many churches have extended the practice much farther.
No one knows exactly when or why the Catholic church shifted to bread-only Communion. Worshipers in the early church shared bread, wine, and often a whole meal. But as the sacramental elements took on greater significance within Catholicism (they are believed to ...1
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