Setting the Table for Holy Communion

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Things You'll Need

  • Corporal

  • Chalice and paten

  • Ciborium

  • Purificator

  • Pall

  • Veil

Holy Communion celebrates the Body and Blood of Christ.

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.


Step 1

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

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Step 2

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

Step 3

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.

Step 4

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.


Never shake open the corporal.


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