AZYMITES, a-zim'aits (Gk. azymitai, from a-privative and zyme, "leaven"): An epithet given by the Greek Church to the Latin Church from the eleventh century, because the latter uses unleavened bread in the Lord's Supper. Michael Caerularius, Patriarch of Constantinople (q.v.), in 1053 attacked the practise of the Western Church, declaring their Eucharist worthless because unleavened bread was lifeless and powerless. A hot contest ensued in which the Latins maintained that either leavened or unleavened bread could be used; they retaliated upon their opponents with the epithets fermentarii or fermentacei (from Lat. fermentum, "leaven") and prozymitai (from Gk. pro,"for," and zyme). The Council of Florence (1439) decreed that each Church must follow its own custom, and for the Latin Church to change would be grievous sin. See LORD'S SUPPER.
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