Jul 12, 2017

In the question of the Eucharist - what about those who are wheat intolerant?

Recently, the Congregation for Divine Worship at the Vatican reissued the requirements for the proper elements used in the Eucharist - bread and wine. For some reason, it seems this is necessary once again but especially in light of what has become not all that unusual, at least in small numbers, of those who are wheat intolerant.  What about those in need of low gluten or basically no gluten breads?  If the proper matter for the Eucharist is wheat bread, what about those folks? The wine that is used must be of pure grape wine, naturally fermented, without anything added to it such as fruit juice or additional sugar.

For example, did you know they put corn syrup in Manischewitz Kosher wine and sugar during the Passover season. It's soooo sweet but could not be used for the Eucharist, although purely grape, because of the additives.

I have about five folks that I know of who have identified this condition and we have provided a low gluten host for them. Before Mass begins they place the host in a pyx and it is offered at the Altar with the other breads.  One, however, is seriously sensitive so they cannot digest any gluten at all. Those with celiac disease are at somewhat of a disadvantage.  However, to receive from the chalice as has become common custom now in many parishes, is of course permissible and safe. We receive Christ present fully under the sign of either of the elements, bread and wine. All seems rather clean cut.

Yet, now and then I've heard, well once it becomes the Body and Blood of Christ it doesn't matter. The sacraments are not magic tricks, however.  It's not a "hocus pocus" now its Jesus!  The mystery of God's grace and the Holy Spirit make present to us in a way that we must go outside the reality we know to the realm of the spiritual - a different yet real truth and presence.

Just some thoughts here.  Below is a link to the article on the recently issued letter to Bishops.  I would suspect we're going to hear something as well in our local parishes.  The unity of the Church and faithfulness to tradition as Christ himself and Christian history has shown us is our unbroken line from the Apostles till now.

So, gone are the days of making our altar breads which I thought while not a bad idea for a small group, never seemed to turn out quite right.  Too gummy or heavy.  What about Matzoh? That might work but just breaking one creates a ton of crumbs and broken pieces.

At any rate take a look at the article.  It might be helpful if you feel wheat intolerant.