None of those who are in the order of laymen may distribute the Divine Mysteries to himself if a bishop, presbyter, or deacon be present. But whoso shall dare to do such a thing, as acting contrary to what has been determined shall be cut off for a week and thenceforth let him learn not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think.
Ancient Epitome of Canon LVIII.
A layman shall not communicate himself. Should he do so, let him be cut off for a week.
It is well known that in the first centuries it was customary that the Holy Eucharist should be taken back by the faithful to their houses; and that at home they received it at their own hands. It is evident that this was what was done by the Anchorites and monks who lived in the deserts, as may be seen proved by Cardinal Bona. (De Rebus Liturg., Lib. II., cap. xvij.). From this domestic communion it is easily seen how the abuse arose which is condemned in this canon.