Religion Past and Present

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(173 words)

[German Version]

In the Early Church, the Latin expression hostia (= the sacrificial animal chosen for slaughter), following Eph 5:2, referred only to the sacrifice of Christ, primarily to the bodily sacrifice and, consequently, to the consecrated eucharistic bread. Since the Carolingian era (Carolingians), it has been customary in the Latin church to use the term hostia (host) proleptically for bread destined for the celebration of the Eucharist (Lord's Supper), which since the 9th century has been unleavened and, for reverential reasons (fear of the loss of par…

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Kaczinski, Reiner, “Host”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 15 August 2022 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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