Setting the Table for Holy Communion

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Holy Communion celebrates the Body and Blood of Christ.
Holy Communion celebrates the Body and Blood of Christ. (Image: Holy bread image by Gianluca Ciralli from Fotolia.com)

Preparing a table for the Eucharistic celebration -- known as credence -- is more than the accurate placement of sacred items on a table. Roman Catholics, Eastern-rite churches, the Anglican rite and some Protestant denominations regard the altar and associated objects with deep reverence. Since the Eucharist -- better known as Holy Communion -- represents the body and blood of Christ, the Communion table is set according to ancient traditions. Only properly prepared servers can set the credence.

Things You'll Need

  • Corporal
  • Chalice and paten
  • Ciborium
  • Purificator
  • Pall
  • Veil

Place every object on the credence according to your church's tradition. Prepare the table by following the Prayer of the Faithful.

Add the dishes for the wine and the Host. Add the chalice and the paten.

Place the corporal, which is a square white linen cloth, over the altar. Open the corporal by placing it on the altar, folded. Unfold the cloth to cover the altar. Lay the purificator, which is a strip of linen, across the chalice. Add the paten on top of the purificator.

Cover the paten and the Host with the pall, which is a starched square of linen. Drape the veil over the entire set of Eucharistic objects.

Tips & Warnings

  • Never shake open the corporal.

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