1549 BCP on Holy Communion

I am very grateful to an Australian correspondent who sent me this quotation from the 1549 Book of Common Prayer; the first edition to be produced by Cranmer. Concerning the distribution of Holy Communion, it says:
And although it bee redde in aunciente writers, that the people many yeares past received at the priestes handes the Sacrament of the body of Christ in theyr owne handes, and no commaundement of Christ to the contrary: Yet forasmuche as they many tymes conveyghed the same secretelye awaye, kept it with them, and diversly abused it to supersticion and wickednes: lest any suche thynge hereafter should be attempted, and that an uniformitie might be used, throughoute the whole Realme: it is thought convenient the people commonly receive the Sacrament of Christes body, in their mouthes, at the Priestes hande.
The history of the Book of Common Prayer illustrates in a fascinating way the changes of doctrine that took place in the Church of England from the reign of Henry VIII to that of Charles II. The various texts can be found at this Book of Common Prayer page. It also has a page on the Sarum Missal, giving the texts in Latin and English.

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