Religion Past and Present

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(148 words)

[German Version]

In Protestant liturgics, self-communion is the practice of having the celebrant distribute communion if no other minister is present. It was permitted by Luther and most other Reformers, albeit with reservations. In the 17th century it was largely prohibited. It was approved for Prussia in 1880 and has largely become customary since the mid-20th century. Today the emphasis on the character of the Eucharist as a community celebration and a gift means that distribution by another person (clerical or lay) is preferred to self-communion.

In the Catholic Church, the C…

Cite this page
Brüske, Gunda, “Self-communion”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 04 July 2022 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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