Corporal (corporale, sc. relum), the linen cloth which is spread over the symbols after communion. It is so called from being originally intended to represent the sheet in which our Lord's body (corpus) was wrapped after death. It is of linen with reference to Lu 23:53. Originally it was so large as to cover the host and the wine, hence the name palla (εἰλητόν); but in the Middle Ages it received its present smaller size. It was retained by the English Reformers. Herzog, Real-Encyk. 3:153; Wetzer u. Welte, Kirch.- Lex. 2:881.