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Violinist

Communion? I'm A 7th Grader With No Idea What To Do.

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Today while I was at Church, I realized it was communion and I didn't know what to do. At my Church, we sit in chairs and when it comes time to have communion, we get up and walk to the communion people. Instead of wafers, though, we tear small pieces of bread off a loaf and then dip it in some wine.

My mom, who is also gluten-intolerent (though not as bad as me) decided to go ahead and have communion, but I decided against it because in my mind, every little bit of gluten can make it worse.

I am really confused on what to do so if anybody has any suggustions I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks in advance,

Violinist


Gluten Intolerent - April 29, 2008

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It would be helpful to know what religion you are as each Church has a different answer to this question.

It can be difficult in the beginning, but once you work something out, all this will become second-nature for you.


gluten-free 12/05

diagnosed with Lyme Disease 12/06

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It would be helpful to know what religion you are as each Church has a different answer to this question.

It can be difficult in the beginning, but once you work something out, all this will become second-nature for you.

Oh, sorry, I'm a Presbyterian .


Gluten Intolerent - April 29, 2008

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I would suggest talking to your pastor. In your Church perhaps it would be acceptable to bring your own rice bread. You will want to stay away from the wine because of the contamination from the bread.


gluten-free 12/05

diagnosed with Lyme Disease 12/06

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Well, for a non-denominational Christian, you probably have more options than for a Catholic Christian. :)

I would suggest talking to your pastor. In your Church perhaps it would be acceptable to bring your own rice bread. You will want to stay away from the wine because of the contamination from the bread.

Thank you so much for your help, (my mom says thanks, also).


Gluten Intolerent - April 29, 2008

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Our church has a sealed rubbermaid box with "GLUTEN FREE" written on the top, along with a warning to wash your hands before/after and all that stuff.

Inside the box:

a cut-glass butter dish with a lid, and a piece of modeling clay to stick the cups in so they don't topple

a pile of disposable communion cups

a box of Cokesbury gluten-free communion wafers (www.cokesbury.com)

(but you could put almost any gluten-free bread product)

The communion stewards (I helped the first few times) prepare my son/husband's communion elements first, and place the closed container at the side of the tray with the rest and it goes on the altar. When it's their turn, our pastor hands them the still-closed container. Or if we are doing it all together, someone brings it to them. With a closed, impermeable container, it doesn't matter what their gluten-free elements are near or who has touched them. After communion, their set is washed separately (by me, usually) and put away again.

Talk to your pastor. Catholic celiacs sometimes have trouble with the literal use of bread, but Protestants should have no theological obstacles! And if there's a common cup for dipping, they need only provide a second cup for you!

joanna (united methodist -- the disorganized organized religion!)


Mom/wife to celiacs dx 12/03 and 12/04

Success is never final and failure never fatal. It's courage that counts -George Tilton

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Hi Violinist. This is a tough one. I am Catholic and really struggled with this issue. Because of beliefs revolving around the sacrament that are central to our faith ( and not really necessary to discuss here) I was fearful that I would be committing a serious transgression by not receiving the host (communion wafer). I was told that I could ask our priest to bless a low gluten host for me. We go to a Cathedral and there are several priests and lay ministers in attendance and several mass times to choose from, so the logistics of making that happen would be great. Even if I provide the gluten free wafers (which I actually found at my local grocery store under the brand name EnerG!) the issue of cross contamination is there and as long as it is there I am not willing to risk it. And remember that there are alcoholics who cannot take the wine either. What do they do?

I was told by someone in my faith, (and my guess is that it would apply to you too), is that there is spiritual communion with Christ that has nothing to do with eating bread. It is perfectly fine to either sit quietly and say a small prayer to God that even if you cannot partake of the physical act, you aks to receive the blessings bestowed on those who are receiving communion at that time. Like your church, we also go forward to receive and it was sooooo hard for me to just sit in the pew while my family went forward so I started going forward with them. I step off to the side as they receive communion and silently make my appeal to God at that time. No one has a problem with it and I feel like I am not being left out of something so important to me.

I like the way ryebabyO's church handles it but if that would be too difficult, I am sure that if you spoke to your pastor, he would be more than happy to offer his blessing over you without your needing to partake of the bread and wine.

Good luck and God bless.

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Hi,

We are Methodist but the communion ceremony is the same. What we do is bring 2 pieces of gluten free bread (daughter and wife) in a ziploc and lay it on a tray at the alter. Our pastor had these thimble sized "portable communion" kits that have a foil tear off lid with a wafer inside the lid. We put one of these cups of juice beside the bread. When my wife and daughter get to the pastor he picks up the tray and puts it in front of them. My wife opens the juice and they each dip the bread into it.

It's worked great for us so far.

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joanna (united methodist -- the disorganized organized religion!)

I have no additional advice, but I laughed so hard when I read that as I am also Methodist!


Celiac blood testing negative July 2007

Confirmed diagnosis of wheat allergy by skin test Dec 2007

Gluten-lite since July 2007 (didn't know all the hidden sources of gluten)

Gluten-free since December 2007

Life Long Symptoms

Extreme fatigue--needing 10-12 hours of sleep and still woke up exhusted

Allergic to everything--allergies remained out of control despite shots and strict enviornmental controls in my home.

Severe "sinus" headaches

More Recent Symptoms

IBS symptoms

Severe stabbing stomach pains that started 6 months before diagnosis of wheat allergy.

In my heart I feel it is more than an allergy and that I am gluten intolerant. This is based on my how eerily my childhood maladies match most celiac's histories, and my more recent increase in the severity of my usual symptoms and new digestive symptoms that have already started to subside on the gluten-free diet.

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I am a Presbyterian too and I have have worked with two churches to provide an alternative option. Out church now has gluten free wafers in a separate plate and a separate cup to dip it on, or in my previous church the plate was passed and they had a separate plate for me. Just talk to your pastor and let them know the problem. Feel free to pm me if you have any more questions.

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Sorry--that's a tough one. Your options will depend on what kind of church you attend. At my church, I explained the problem to my pastor, and he immediately ordered rice wafers for me--and these get blessed while the wheat bread gets blessed, and the wine is served in tiny individual cups, so there's no contamination there. So now at commuion, they tear off bread for most folks, and announce that gluten free host is available for the gluten intolerant folks--I just whisper "rice wafer" to him when he gets to me, to remind him. This has worked out well so far.

I get the impression that most of the protestant denominations are OK doing the rice wafers, but you gotta talk to your pastor--he or she won't figure this out on his own for you. Catholics, on the other hand, have not (yet) accepted rice wafers as suitable for communion hosts, so if you're Catholic, read on:

My pastor also told me that you can take just the wine, and skip the bread altogether, and this is still considered the complete sacrament--so if your church can't or won't order you the rice wafers, if you can ask for a few tiny individual containers of the wine to be available, and you could take these instead of drinking from the common cup, which will definitely not be safe for you if people are dipping their bread in it.

When I'm traveling, I usually skip communion, unless they announce they have gluten-free host available.

Another option would be for you to decide to go up and just ask for a blessing instead of taking communion.

Whatever you decide, it's YOUR personal decision--The only option I hope you do NOT choose is to ever again take communion bread with gluten in it. I grew up Catholic, and I'm Lutheran now, so I get both the Catholic and Protestant perspectives of this--communion is supposed to be a gift from God--I don't think God would want us to take into our bodies something we KNOW will hurt us.

No matter what, I definitely recommend you talk to your priest/pastor about your situation, and make a plan together. Helping out is what they're there for.

good luck,

Susanna


Diagnosed in March 2006 by blood test and biopsy. Eleven year old son diagnosed in May 2006. Both gluten-free since diagnosis.

The Susanna (Flagstaff, AZ)

"I GOTTA have more cowbell!."

--The legendary Bruce Dickenson

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When I go to my own church, which is Lutheran, I have a stash of rice crackers cracked in half and those that prepare the communion table put one of my crackers up for the days communion. If I go to my Luthern church in the hometown that I was born in for a visit, they do the tear off the bread loaf thing, so I take it and don't eat it, I throw it to the birds after the service and just take the wine. I feel I get the same communion at each service. Recently I went to a Catholic service with my son/family and I went up and crossed my arms over my chest and received a blessing, worked for me. You just adapt.

Barbara

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Without creating a flame here, I just want to comment on how odd this is to even be an issue. I understand your concern (as it is very well founded), but I would have to believe that god would forgive you for not eating a cracker and wine if you cannot physically do it. Though the suggestions are very well thought out, I think the core of your answer comes from understanding that god won't shun you for refraining from this one little symbolic act. You can "make up for it" by just being a good person. If you actually understand what you are doing (it is meant to represent your acceptance to the faith and to Jesus himself), you don't need to act it out to have the same result. Though I am sure this will anger a few devouts out there, I believe that there has been some understanding lost in the process of trying to play things by the book (is that an unintended pun?).


A Good Friend can keep a secret. A Best Friend will help you bury the bodies.

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I am a Catholic and have received a gluten-free host since I received my the sacrament in 2nd grade. My mother talked to the priest at the church and technically there is nowhere in the Catholic Bible that says the communion host has to be made of a certain grain the only thing it says it that it is unleavened bread. I know this is still a hot topic within the Catholic community but when I do communion I take my own communion in a pyx. The priest blesses the pyx with the rest of the communion and then my mother gives it to me because she is one of the people who gives the bread and wine (I forgot the name). It worked out nicely in my parish but there are still some parishes who are unwilling to do it. Best of luck to you with this!

Katie

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I am a Catholic and have received a gluten-free host since I received my the sacrament in 2nd grade. My mother talked to the priest at the church and technically there is nowhere in the Catholic Bible that says the communion host has to be made of a certain grain the only thing it says it that it is unleavened bread. I know this is still a hot topic within the Catholic community but when I do communion I take my own communion in a pyx. The priest blesses the pyx with the rest of the communion and then my mother gives it to me because she is one of the people who gives the bread and wine (I forgot the name). It worked out nicely in my parish but there are still some parishes who are unwilling to do it. Best of luck to you with this!

Katie

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Without creating a flame here, I just want to comment on how odd this is to even be an issue. I understand your concern (as it is very well founded), but I would have to believe that god would forgive you for not eating a cracker and wine if you cannot physically do it. Though the suggestions are very well thought out, I think the core of your answer comes from understanding that god won't shun you for refraining from this one little symbolic act. You can "make up for it" by just being a good person. If you actually understand what you are doing (it is meant to represent your acceptance to the faith and to Jesus himself), you don't need to act it out to have the same result. Though I am sure this will anger a few devouts out there, I believe that there has been some understanding lost in the process of trying to play things by the book (is that an unintended pun?).

Discussing options/suggestions for Communion has a place here. Religious beliefs or non beliefs do not fare here very well as history can attest. It's best to stay on topic. ;)

http://catholickey.org/index.php3?gif=news...article_id=2858

Here is a pertinent link.


Lisa

Gluten Free - August 15, 2004

"Not all who wander are lost" - JRR Tolkien

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At my Episcopalian church, it took us a few weeks to figure it out, but this is what we did:

I have my own wafers (I bring gluten-free crackers from home)

I have my own chalice for the wine

Father blesses my gluten-free stuff at the same time as the gluten wafers and wine

When communion rolls around, I take the wafer from the plate instead of having the father give it to me with his gluteny hands and with my own chalice, the wine isn't a problem either.

Of course, this is in the Episcopalian church - we're pretty easygoing with everything. My friends call it my Rice Jesus and I still feel like a part of the church. :)

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I know this a fairly late thank you to everyone, but thank you! Our family talked to our pastor, and now they are doing an entirely gluten free communion for everyone! I am very excited about this! Thanks again

God bless, Kylie


Gluten Intolerent - April 29, 2008

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I know this a fairly late thank you to everyone, but thank you! Our family talked to our pastor, and now they are doing an entirely gluten free communion for everyone! I am very excited about this! Thanks again

God bless, Kylie

WOW! What a great solution! Who said one person couldn't make a difference? B)


Sandi ~ learning to live in a world obsessed and infested with wheat.

"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows" probably was not referring to us . . .

"For the love of money gluten is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs." (apologies to 1 Timothy 6:10 (NASB)

The person we most dislike is still a soul for whom Christ died. (David Jeremiah)

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Hi Violinist. This is a tough one. I am Catholic and really struggled with this issue. Because of beliefs revolving around the sacrament that are central to our faith ( and not really necessary to discuss here) I was fearful that I would be committing a serious transgression by not receiving the host (communion wafer). I was told that I could ask our priest to bless a low gluten host for me. We go to a Cathedral and there are several priests and lay ministers in attendance and several mass times to choose from, so the logistics of making that happen would be great. Even if I provide the gluten free wafers (which I actually found at my local grocery store under the brand name EnerG!) the issue of cross contamination is there and as long as it is there I am not willing to risk it. And remember that there are alcoholics who cannot take the wine either. What do they do?

I was told by someone in my faith, (and my guess is that it would apply to you too), is that there is spiritual communion with Christ that has nothing to do with eating bread. It is perfectly fine to either sit quietly and say a small prayer to God that even if you cannot partake of the physical act, you aks to receive the blessings bestowed on those who are receiving communion at that time. Like your church, we also go forward to receive and it was sooooo hard for me to just sit in the pew while my family went forward so I started going forward with them. I step off to the side as they receive communion and silently make my appeal to God at that time. No one has a problem with it and I feel like I am not being left out of something so important to me.

I like the way ryebabyO's church handles it but if that would be too difficult, I am sure that if you spoke to your pastor, he would be more than happy to offer his blessing over you without your needing to partake of the bread and wine.

Good luck and God bless.

At my church growing up my pastor said Erroneously that My faith in God would keep me from getting sick and many ministers might say that to you. I stopped taking communion because of the gluten but depending on the church I have taken the wafer and pretended to eat so as not to draw attention to myself or have quietly wiaved the wafer away when I reached the front. The looks from the other parishioners is often too much to handle consistently as it is seen as a personal failure not to participate in communion. It may be very hard for you at such a young ageas I do not attend services that often but the judgement on those who do not participate in communion is often harsh even at a funeral service!! I wish I had a more positive message for you.

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