Giving the GIFT of Holy Communion with Gluten Consciences
Since the introduction of the newest liturgical vessel, The GIFT: Gluten Intolerant Faithful Thanksgiving, we have had an overwhelming positive response. There were also a few questions, which I hope to answer in this “From the Feed Bag.”
Can people diagnosed with Celiac Disease receive the special low-gluten host approved by the Catholic Church?
There is a difference between people who have a gluten intolerance or a wheat allergy, and celiac disease. The special hosts approved by the Catholic Church have the lowest possible amount of wheat in order to be valid for sacramental consecration. As the video shows, even people with celiac disease may be able to receive the host without any noticeable physical reactions. With the GIFT and approved special low gluten hosts, the Church has addressed the special considerations of those with celiac disease in the most pastorally and seriously approved way possible.
If the priest uses both hands for the “fraction rite” is there still a chance of “cross contamination” even if he uses his other hand to distribute the special approved hosts from the GIFT vessel?
The Church has the responsibility to be attentive to people with gluten conditions (allergies, intolerances, or diseases) while avoiding the temptation to be scrupulous and obtuse in regards to handling the sacred hosts. While the fraction rite (i.e., when the priest breaks the host) means that the priest uses both hands, the moisture from his hands alone provides enough “cleansing” to safely distribute the special low gluten host in a pastorally attentive way. Using the other hand (after wiping on the corporal) also helps to avoid fears of cross contamination.
Why can’t people with gluten conditions just use the chalice and receive the Precious Blood?
Drinking the Precious Blood from the chalice provides the communicant the full sign of Communion. However, many churches do not offer Communion under both Forms. Some also prefer not to receive the Sacred Blood for personal hygienic concerns, which is why some churches do not offer the Precious Blood during flu season. Some also have personal or other medical reasons for not receiving the consecrated wine, the Blood of Christ. This GIFT simply provides an easy way to give Communion without drawing more attention to the person with the special gluten concerns.
Is this a real concern for the church? Are we somehow making these “diets” a bigger deal?
Gluten conditions are medical conditions, which the Church takes very seriously. Creating the GIFT is a pastoral response to a biological problem that is unfortunately growing in numbers. It’s not the Church’s position to disregard or dismiss, but to be attentive to people who have special conditions. The GIFT provides a pastoral and sacred way to easily distribute Communion without calling too much attention to those persons, and without creating hassle for the priest or liturgists during this most sacred time at Mass.
Why is the GIFT more expensive than those pyxes that many people have?
When creating the GIFT, I made a prayerful and conscious decision to work with Alviti Creations, a reputable Catholic Family owned vessel-making company with experience for the past 40 years. They told me they do not make sacred vessels with cheap materials. It’s our shared philosophy that the GIFT ought to be a worthy vessel, keeping with the liturgical laws and sacred traditions of the Roman Catholic Faith. The Church believes that the consecrated hosts, even if they are low gluten, are the Body of Christ deserving more than cheap materials or an inferior plastic lined pyx. This is a sacred vessel because it holds the Most Sacred Gift. Working with Alviti Creations has been a blessed decision, and I’m proud to be their partner in this special project.
Where can I get the GIFT?
You can order your GIFT by contacting Alviti Creations, or by contacting your local liturgical distributor. It’s important to speak with your pastor and the pastoral / liturgical team about this good news for special Communion needs. This also provides a real opportunity for the entire parish to have a catechetical “refresher” on the spiritual and practical aspects of receiving Holy Communion, i.e., going to confession, showing the proper piety and posture for Communion, and also pastorally letting people know that special gluten concerns ought not prevent you from receiving Holy Communion.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT:
Please post your comments HERE, as these help our movement learn and grow.
Let us pray:
Father, thank You for the Gift of the Eucharist, and for sending Your spirit upon the Church with the idea for this new vessel. We pray for all who receive Communion, may they do so with hearts that are humble, joyful and most importantly hungry for Your saving Grace. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
WATCH: Fr. Leo on ‘The World Over with Raymond Arroyo’ on EWTN
Fr. Leo was a special guest on ‘The World Over with Raymond Arroyo’ on June 5, 2014. Fr. Leo speaks on Grace Before Meals and The GIFT Vessel in greater details.
Fr. Leo returns to FOX45 to share his new invention for those with a gluten intolerance who want to receive communion during Mass: The GIFT (Gluten Intolerant Faithful Thanksgiving). Watch him explain it further and share the news!
Fr. Leo talks with Michael Lavigne and Dom Bettinelli about the necessity of grace before meals, of feasting and fasting, and of understanding how God wants to satisfy our hungers even as He hungers for us.
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