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Gluten & Communion

2013-06-28 13:59:14.84221+00 by Dan Lyke 3 comments

Celiac Disease and Holy Communion: A Medical and Spiritual Dilemma, via Improbable Research: Official word: The body of Christ is not and cannot be gluten-free.

Wait, so the body of Christ, flesh, contains gluten? This sounds suspiciously like someone's made a vegan substitution. Must be the work of seitan.

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comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2013-06-28 15:22:00.899393+00 by: meuon

An incredibly detailed discourse on the topic. My first reaction is: The symbolic ritual cannibalism analogy must be wheat bread with gluten? WTF?!? I'm thinking Pork BBQ myself, "tastes like human" according to actual cannibals.

This is where "religion" breaks down for me. Symbolism, ritual and belief are powerful things for many people. If a priest can't slip some non-gluten crackers on the same plate as the others, bless them the same and deliver the with same good intentions and blessings as the others, they have forgotten that it is a symbolic ritual. The substance does NOT matter. The belief matters. The shared belief between the priest and the subject matters. Matter does not matter.

If your 'church' is tied, without possible exception, to such minute inane details, they are missing the bigger picture.

I've experienced communion in many churches, my favorite was passing around large loaves of bread that people "pinched" a bit from, and a shot of wine. It felt like sharing a snack with friends as well as the symbolic meaning. It felt like it joined the people together. The wafers and grape juice crowd seems sterile in comparison, and there is just something oddly sub-servient about kneeling in front of a priest on your knees.

#Comment Re: made: 2013-06-28 18:16:20.365481+00 by: Larry Burton

Our church has begun offering a gluten free option for communion just recently. That was an easy option to implement for Methodists because we look at communion as a symbolic ritual without any transubstantiation taking place. Of course we were probably the first denomination to substitute grape juice for the wine due to Wesleyan's opposition to strong drink. Thomas Bramwell Welch, a Wesleyan Methodist minister set about to find a way to store unfermented grape juice without it becoming wine in order to have communion outside of grape season. He created the process to Pasteurize the wine and in doing so invented Welch's Grape Juice.

#Comment Re: made: 2013-06-30 01:49:59.703716+00 by: meuon [edit history]

Nancy's first reaction: "So the Catholic Church's official bakery only makes non-gluten free crackers and they don't like competition?"