Queen Radegunde is mentioned for the reverence with which she attended to the preparation of the hosts intended to be consumed in her monastery of Poitiers and in many surrounding churches.Theodulph, Bishop of Orléans, commanded his priests either to make the altar-breads themselves or to have the young clerics do so in their presence.But these horrors were perpetrated only by a few degraded groups (Epiphanius, "Haer.", c. Less offensive were the Artotyrites and those who, like them, compounded a mixture of bread and cheese, or, after the fashion of the Barsanians, used a pinch of undiluted flour.All the Oriental communions, with the exception of the Armenians and Maronites, use leavened bread.We know how seriously the Greeks have considered the question of unleavened bread (see AZYMES).
Moreover, had he alluded to rye, he would have used the word secale .Out of respect for the sacrament, some of the faithful would not consent to having the bread made by bakers, and took charge of it themselves.Several ancient examples are cited, notably that of Candida, the wife of one of Valerian's generals, who "laboured all night kneading and moulding with her own hands the loaf of the oblation". Pachomius, religious are recommended to devote themselves to meditation while kneading the sacrificial loaf.The Calvinists use only common bread, although, when their sect was in its infancy, there was some indecision on this point.
At Geneva leavened bread was used exclusively for several years and Theodore Beza maintained that any kind of bread, no matter what its origin, was suitable for the Eucharist.Many facts go to show the prevalence and extent of this custom.