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Celiacs, Sacraments, and High Holy Days?

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NonnieMuss Jul 14, 2014 05:21 PM

This is probably an odd question, but how do true celiac sufferers deal with Catholic communion? Do you get a dispensation? Same question with Seder meals? I was raised Catholic, but have fallen out of the habit (hurr hurr) and for some reason this question occurred to me today. I assume (with absolutely no knowledge) that one can participate in a Seder meal without eating the bread, but it's kind of important in the Catholic mass. Weird question. Anybody know?

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  1. EM23 RE: NonnieMuss Jul 14, 2014 05:43 PM

    Last resort, a "spiritual communion"...learn something new everyday 'round here.
    http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worsh...

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    1. babette feasts RE: NonnieMuss Jul 14, 2014 05:47 PM

      You mean transubstantiation doesn't get rid of the gluten? Well shoot, that'll test your faith. ;)

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      1. re: babette feasts
        NonnieMuss RE: babette feasts Jul 14, 2014 05:49 PM

        Transubstantiation only works on calories.

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        1. re: NonnieMuss
          babette feasts RE: NonnieMuss Jul 14, 2014 06:00 PM

          :)

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        2. re: babette feasts
          c oliver RE: babette feasts Jul 14, 2014 06:24 PM

          OMG, I almost choked while snorting my martini:) Too hilarious funny. Well, for those of us who truly understand it.

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        3. s
          sandylc RE: NonnieMuss Jul 14, 2014 05:52 PM

          I'll be following this discussion to see if it takes off, but I'll be thrown off of CH if I comment - !

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          1. pinehurst RE: NonnieMuss Jul 14, 2014 05:56 PM

            My cousin, who is a daily Communicant and has celiac disease, takes a sip of the consecrated wine that is kept aside from the wheat wafer; the priest sweeps the Host crumbs into the chalice after Communion only. My understanding is that just as one can receive communion union without sipping wine, one can also do so without eating the host.

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            1. re: pinehurst
              Kris in Beijing RE: pinehurst Jul 14, 2014 06:06 PM

              The same as a teetotaller or diabetic, then?

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              1. re: Kris in Beijing
                pinehurst RE: Kris in Beijing Jul 14, 2014 06:10 PM

                Certainly the same as anyone in recovery, yes, Kris, for sure...or for kids. It can be either form (bread or wine) or both.

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                1. re: Kris in Beijing
                  r
                  rasputina RE: Kris in Beijing Jul 15, 2014 01:56 PM

                  Or the same as was the norm prior to Vatican II in the western church.

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              2. m
                magiesmom RE: NonnieMuss Jul 14, 2014 06:32 PM

                In Jewish practice one considers one's health.

                Passover is not a High Holy Day.

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                1. re: magiesmom
                  NonnieMuss RE: magiesmom Jul 14, 2014 06:53 PM

                  Nope. I was completely wrong on that.

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                2. Karl S RE: NonnieMuss Jul 15, 2014 04:43 AM

                  For Catholics, there is no such thing as a valid (technical term) communion bread wafer that is not made from wheat; it has to be made from wheat, nothing else (if it's made from something else, nothing the priest does with it will confect (another technical term) the sacrament). Very very low gluten wheaten bread wafers *are* permitted.* Catholics can also arrange to receive only from a chalice that has not had a bit of the bread wafer broken into it during the fraction (another technical term); the Catholic teaching for many centuries is that the fullness of the sacramental presence is contained under each species (another technical term) of bread and wine, so one can receive one or the other or both (for centuries, though, due to theological polemical controversies, the chalice was reserved to clergy).

                  A Catholic most certainly can attend Catholic Mass without receiving Communion. There is a canonical obligation to receive Communion at least once a year at Eastertide.

                  * E.g., http://altarbreadsbspa.com/altarbread...

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                  1. c
                    CanadaGirl RE: NonnieMuss Jul 15, 2014 05:13 AM

                    Our church offers special gf communion wafers. They are wrapped individually, blessed beside the regulars, and the priest reminds everyone as people are about to go to Communion to let him know if anyone needs them. So, someone is manufacturing them.

                    But, I do recall years ago when there were far fewer items for people with dietary restrictions that a member of our church used to just use a cracker. He gave it to the priest before Mass, and that was blessed.

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                    1. re: CanadaGirl
                      coney with everything RE: CanadaGirl Jul 15, 2014 05:50 AM

                      My dad's wife is celiac (well, according to her...she's self diagnosed and insane in so many ways, but whatever...) and they are super Catholic. The church does have gluten free wafers that they administer to her.

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                    2. CindyJ RE: NonnieMuss Jul 15, 2014 06:24 AM

                      No one who participates in a seder eats bread. Matzah, yes -- in fact, it's obligatory to eat matzah on the first night of Passover. But bread, no. We've had gluten-free matzah at our recent seders, in addition to the more traditional kind.

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                      1. re: CindyJ
                        NonnieMuss RE: CindyJ Jul 15, 2014 08:35 AM

                        Well, yes - I meant the unleavened bread.

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                      2. bagelman01 RE: NonnieMuss Jul 15, 2014 06:57 AM

                        nonnie...............

                        The Bs have a niece who has celiac disease. For Passover we buy and serve her Oat and/or Spelt matzo that is manufactured kosher for Passover under strict kosher supervision.

                        We also can get spelt matzo meal enabling us to make matzo balls for her.

                        Due to the low demand, the cost is very high, but no one said religious observance is cheap.

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                        1. b
                          beevod RE: NonnieMuss Jul 15, 2014 07:59 AM

                          Substitute Oreos.

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                          1. j
                            jpc8015 RE: NonnieMuss Jul 15, 2014 08:07 AM

                            If you are a regular communicant at a parish you can ask your priest to get some gluten free hosts for you; they are available.

                            Some hard core believers take the position that these hosts do not meet the standard for communion. So, you can always speak to your priest and only sip the wine. The wine alone contains the body, blood, and divinity of Christ. You only need a tiny sip.

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                            1. re: jpc8015
                              linguafood RE: jpc8015 Jul 15, 2014 08:15 AM

                              "The wine alone contains the body, blood, and divinity of Christ."

                              Really? I always thought that tasteless wafer was "the body". Why not throw it all together and make it a smoothie? GF, of course.

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                              1. re: linguafood
                                j
                                jpc8015 RE: linguafood Jul 15, 2014 08:20 AM

                                The "tasteless wafer" is also the complete body, blood, and divinity of Christ. You can receive the entire sacrament by only taking one or the other.

                                I have heard that in the Eastern Catholic churches they use yeast bread and put it in a bowl with the wine. The priest then spoons out a bit of wine soaked bread for you.

                                I've always wanted to go to a Byzantine Mass but have never had the opportunity.

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                                1. re: jpc8015
                                  linguafood RE: jpc8015 Jul 15, 2014 08:25 AM

                                  So it really is an either or thing, then? I guess the celiacs can stick to the crappy wine if it's a complete Jesus meal. No GF wafers necessary (?).

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                                  1. re: linguafood
                                    NonnieMuss RE: linguafood Jul 15, 2014 08:37 AM

                                    I guess they have to consider the vegetarians too, who wouldn't want to eat the body. And the recovering alcoholics who shouldn't have the wine. Very complicated.

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                                    1. re: NonnieMuss
                                      linguafood RE: NonnieMuss Jul 15, 2014 08:38 AM

                                      Yah, that's why I gave up on that BS decades ago '-D

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                                      1. re: NonnieMuss
                                        j
                                        jpc8015 RE: NonnieMuss Jul 15, 2014 08:54 AM

                                        I don't recall anybody at the Sermon on the Mount asking if the fish being provided was sustainably raised. I bet the gospel writers left that part out.

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                                        1. re: jpc8015
                                          linguafood RE: jpc8015 Jul 15, 2014 09:19 AM

                                          I doubt sustainability was an issue back then. Not that the gospel writers are a reliable source for anything, really.

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                                          1. re: linguafood
                                            j
                                            jpc8015 RE: linguafood Jul 15, 2014 09:43 AM

                                            The gospels are the most reliable documents written to that point in history.

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                                            1. re: jpc8015
                                              linguafood RE: jpc8015 Jul 15, 2014 09:47 AM

                                              Of course.

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                                              1. re: linguafood
                                                j
                                                jpc8015 RE: linguafood Jul 15, 2014 09:49 AM

                                                Doesn't that feel better?

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                                                1. re: jpc8015
                                                  linguafood RE: jpc8015 Jul 15, 2014 09:51 AM

                                                  Like xmas and pride week combined.

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                                                  1. re: linguafood
                                                    c oliver RE: linguafood Jul 15, 2014 09:57 AM

                                                    Truly laugh out loud, lingua!!!

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                                                    1. re: linguafood
                                                      j
                                                      jpc8015 RE: linguafood Jul 15, 2014 10:03 AM

                                                      What is xmas?

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                                                      1. re: jpc8015
                                                        NonnieMuss RE: jpc8015 Jul 15, 2014 01:38 PM

                                                        It's a common abbreviation for Christmas - is it possible that you've never heard it before? It's been around almost a thousand years.

                                                        Xmas: "Christmas," 1551, X'temmas, wherein the X is an abbreviation for Christ in Christmas, English letter X being identical in form (but not sound signification) to Greek chi, the first letter of Greek Christos "Christ" (see Christ). The earlier way to abbreviate the word in English was Xp- or Xr- (corresponding to the "Chr-" in Greek Χριστος), and the form Xres mæsse for "Christmas" appears in the "Anglo-Saxon Chronicle" (c.1100).

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                                                2. re: jpc8015
                                                  MVNYC RE: jpc8015 Jul 15, 2014 09:52 AM

                                                  As a history major books that feature talking animals and magic aren't really that reliable as far as history is concerned.

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                                                  1. re: MVNYC
                                                    j
                                                    jpc8015 RE: MVNYC Jul 15, 2014 09:54 AM

                                                    I am not aware of any talking animals in the New Testament.

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                                          2. re: linguafood
                                            j
                                            jpc8015 RE: linguafood Jul 15, 2014 08:46 AM

                                            Most people take both and those who only take one typically take the wafer. If you are going to only take wine you should discuss that with the priest beforehand so that they understand what is happening.

                                            The bottom line though is that if you take the body or the blood you have received the whole sacrament.

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                                      2. re: jpc8015
                                        Karl S RE: jpc8015 Jul 15, 2014 08:26 AM

                                        Actually, the Catholic church has decreed that gluten-free hosts are invalid matter. Period. It's not limited to hardcore believers. Very very low gluten hosts are OK, though. But actual gluten free hosts are useless (actually worse - a priest who is discovered to be pretending to confect a sacrament with gluten free hosts can be subjected to severe canonical discipline).

                                        http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worsh...

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                                        1. re: Karl S
                                          j
                                          jpc8015 RE: Karl S Jul 15, 2014 08:31 AM

                                          You're right. They must be made with wheat. But, there are wafers available that are so low in gluten that it doesn't matter...basically gluten free..

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                                          1. re: jpc8015
                                            pinehurst RE: jpc8015 Jul 15, 2014 08:33 AM

                                            Yes...or as upthread, the communicant can opt to simply have the wine.

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                                          2. re: Karl S
                                            c oliver RE: Karl S Jul 15, 2014 09:31 AM

                                            You're talking about "THE CHURCH" rather than what actually goes on at the parish level where real people make sensible loving decisions. The kind that, if there's a god, the She-God would make.

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                                            1. re: c oliver
                                              Karl S RE: c oliver Jul 15, 2014 10:20 AM

                                              I know where you are coming from, but ever since the Donatist controversy some 1600 years ago, the approach to defining sacramental validity has had subjective good (or, more importantly, bad) intentions largely drained from consideration; and, actually, considering the terrible effects of what amounted to a civil war in the church of North Africa over issues of sacramental validity in that era, the approach is not entirely devoid of being sensible or loving; it just has a much larger perspective in mind. Real pastors who even with the kindest of intentions deliberately use wheat-free hosts are begging for canonical lightning, that's all.

                                              Anyway, this is going rather far afield of the topic even for Not About Food. Nevertheless, I hope the mods allow this digression to remain for the record, because it's actually the subject of recurring interest on the part of an important subgroup of folks about an unusual issue of concern about a foodstuff.

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                                        2. Kajikit RE: NonnieMuss Jul 15, 2014 01:29 PM

                                          I don't know about Catholics, but most churches I've been to have gluten-free communion wafers available.

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                                          1. re: Kajikit
                                            j
                                            jpc8015 RE: Kajikit Jul 15, 2014 01:36 PM

                                            How can it be a church if it isn't Catholic? I'm confused.

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                                            1. re: jpc8015
                                              EM23 RE: jpc8015 Jul 15, 2014 01:38 PM

                                              Baptist, LDS, etc.

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                                          2. The Chowhound Team RE: NonnieMuss Jul 15, 2014 02:00 PM

                                            Folks, it seems like this is pretty much asked and answered and a lot of people are determined to bait each other about religion now, so we're locking it.

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