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The practice of "communion in both kinds" by the laity, that is, both the eating of the bread and drinking of the cup, seems to have been the typical practice in the early church. 1 Corinthians 11:28 reads:

Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. (ESV)

And the Didache implies the taking of both kinds by baptized Christians in 9.5:

And let none eat or drink of your Eucharist but such as have been baptized into the name of the Lord

But at some point along the way, it became normal for the laity to receive only the bread; so much so that the 15th-century Council of Constance "banned" the offering of the cup to the laity (so says Wikipedia).

That Wikipedia article associates the practice with the Middle Ages, and suggests that the transition may have begun in order to accommodate the celebration of the Eucharist away from the normal gathering place, such as in the home of a bedridden church member.

Here though I'm interested in when this became the normal, week-to-week practice in the local church. What is the first evidence that a church in Western Christendom was consistently offering only the bread to the laity?

  • Possible duplicate of Catholic Communion under One Kind – Matt Gutting Aug 30 '17 at 14:24
  • Which in turn is marked a duplicate of another - but my answer to this question gets closer, I think, to the information you want. – Matt Gutting Aug 30 '17 at 14:24
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    @MattGutting I saw these, but the difference is that I'm not asking about the biblical basis or the rationale for this practice, but its historical origin. There's nothing in those questions about when it started – I want to know if it can be traced to the 3rd century, the 10th century, or somewhere in between. – Nathaniel Aug 30 '17 at 14:26
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    The (local) Council of Lambeth (1281) restricted the chalice to the clergy, but allowed unconsecrated wine for the laity. newadvent.org/cathen/04175a.htm – bradimus Aug 30 '17 at 14:47
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    As a follow-up to @bradimus - specifically read "Since the twelfth century" under the History of disciplinary variations – Dan Aug 30 '17 at 16:40

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