Gluten-Free Communion

Depending on your religious preference, there are difference policies regarding the host and the adverse impact that a wheat containing host would have on a celiac's health. These posts from the Celiac List will give you some examples of how others handle this situation.

  • When the Staff of Life is Toxic
  • Sources for GF Wafers
  • Posts from the Celiac List
  • Wafer Recipe

    | Feedback to the Listowners, | Disclaimer, |Copyright (c) | Updated 28 August 2002 |
    | Return to the Basic Information page. | Return to the FAQ. | Return to the Celiac WWW page. |
    |Search the logfiles.|

    When the Staff of Life is Toxic

    Reprinted with permission of the Canada Lutheran and the author Rebecca Goyan. Published byt the Canada Lutheran in October 1999.

    Hi there! "The body of Christ, given for you," intones the pastor, as he tries to hand me a piece of bread. "Thanks, I'm allergic," is my reply.

    The pastor stops, momentarily stunned. He manages to mumble out a blessing and goes on to the next person. It's my fault, really. I didn't get to church early enough to flag down the visiting pastor and inform him of my communion habits.

    I am one of a growing number of people who cannot eat gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, oats, barley, and related grains. It also hides in additives such as modified food starch, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, and food colourings. Reactions to gluten vary from mild indigestion to anaphylactic shock. I am so sensitive that even a minute amount makes me violently ill.

    I am not alone. There are various reasons why someone would want to follow a gluten-free diet. People with celiac disease avoid gluten to prevent intestinal damage. There are people with gluten or wheat allergies or intolerances. People with conditions such as multiple sclerosis or autism sometimes find that a gluten-free diet improves their quality of life. Whatever the reason, adhering to a gluten-free diet presents some challenges for receiving communion. I can't eat the communion bread. Because I cannot consume even a trace amount, I am also unable to drink from the common cup.

    Depending on the community I am in, I either commune first, or I use individual cups. I carry a communion kit in my car - wrapped brown rice crackers that can be used by any church I visit. They must be wrapped to avoid contamination.

    In the bulletin at my home congregation, we announce that brown rice bread is available. Brown rice crackers are kept in a container on the altar so that more people from our community can fully participate in communion. The participants select their own piece to avoid contamination.

    I will follow this diet for the rest of my life. It's not the easiest path to take, but the support of my family, friends, and church community makes this path easier to tread.

    Rebecca Goyan, a member of Faith Lutheran and organist at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran, Calgary, Alberta

    Return to the Table of Contents

    Sources for GF Wafers

  • The Carmelite Monastery of the Holy Ghost, Helenske Road, Dumbarton G82 4AN UK
    They ask that members give in full their name and address and the name and address of the Church usually attended along with a donation to cover the cost of the wafers and postage. (Keep in mind that this is for the UK)

  • Cavanaugh Co, 610 Putham Pike, P. O.Box 953, Greenville, RI 02828, (800) 635-0568
    sold this part of the business UK Eiren Religious Supplies

  • Dumont Ltd., High Street, Lyminge, Folkstone, Kent CT18 8EL

  • Ener-G Foods, Inc., PO Box 84487, Seattle WA 98124-5787, (800) 331-5222 WWW.ener-g.com

  • UK Eiren Religious Supplies
    Concord House, Union Drive, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, IB73 5TE UK, 44-121-355-4241

  • Meyer Vogelpohl, 717 Race Street, Cincinnati OH 45202-4304 Tel: (800) 543-0264
    As of December 1999, they no longer offers the products

  • Monastery of Poor Clares Colettines, Mossley Hill, Liverpool L18 3ES UK
    They ask that members give in full their name and address and the name and address of the Church usually attended along with a donation to cover the cost of the wafers and postage. (Keep in mind that this is for the UK)

  • The Poor Clares Monastery of St. Joseph, Lawrence Street, York, YO1 3EB England
    As of December 1999, they no longer offers the products

  • St Jude Shop, Inc., 21 Brookline Blvd., Havertown,PA 19083. (215) 789-1300
    As of December 1999, they no longer offers the products

    Return to the Table of Contents

    Posts from the Celiac list


    In The Age Newspaper today 11/10/95, published in Melbourne Victoria, there is an item which I'm sure will be of interest to the list in light of the recent discussion on wafers in communion. I quote "The Vatican has provoked fury by issuing a decree banning men who suffer from an allergy to gluten from becoming priests. All communion wafers must contain gluten to be suitable for the celebration of the Eucharist, the Vatican has decreed. Gluten, the protein in wheat, triggers the debilitating coeliac disease. Coeliac disease can cause dramatic weight loss, vomiting and diarrhoea as the gluten irritates the small intestine. Lethargy and breathlessness are also symptons.)" (This has a note to say it is quoted from the English Guardian)


    After posting under this subject last week (11/10/95) I received a couple of private postings wanting more information. Luckily, via a non CD friend I have just received a copy of the English Guardian's International edition (15/10) newspaper, which is published weekly. The news item I referred to in my posting of 11th October was a precis of this article as it had appeared earlier in the Parent edition in the UK, and I would like to quote it in full as it not only elucidates my original posting but also mentions a famous Celiac, which was a question asked some time back on the list as to whether there are any famous Celiacs.

    WAFER ALLERGY BARS PRIESTS written by Madeleine Bunting

    "The Vatican has provoked fury by issuing a decree banning men who suffer from an allergy to gluten from becoming priests.

    The extraordinary ruling would in theory have prohibited one of the most prominent Catholic clerics of the postwar period from being ordained - the Archbishop of Liverpool, Derek Worlock, who suffers from the allergy known as coeliac disease.

    All communion wafers must contain gluten to be suitable for celebration of the Eucharist, the Vatican has decreed.

    Gluten, the protein in wheat, triggers the debilitating coeliac disease, which afflicts more than 50,000 people in the UK.

    'Given the centrality of the Eucharist in the life of the priest, candidates for the priesthood who are affected by the celiac (sic) disease.....may not be admitted to Holy Orders,' reads the letter from Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, one of the most powerful bodies in the Catholic church. The letter was sent to the presidents of episcopal conferences around the world during the summer.

    Monsignor Kieran Conry of the Catholic Media Office said the ban on coeliacs was unlikely to be applied, and dismissed it as 'simply the logic of the letter'."

    As I am not a catholic, I feel I should not make a comment save that it is nice to know we have an Archbishop among our midst even though it appears his tenure may be on shaky ground if the Vatican wants to get tough.


    Alternative suggestions and ways to handle this: substitute rice crackers, bread, biscuit, wafers, etc.

    If you can make these from scratch why not just cut out disks from the rice paper used in Asian spring rolls?


    A new edict was published in the _Committee on the Liturgy Newsletter_, Vol. XXXI, July/August 1995. It acknowledges the problem celiacs have with communion wafers, but still presents the position that only low-gluten bread is acceptable for communion. It is valid to consider oneself participating in full communion if you drink the wine; however the bread is sometimes dipped in the wine which would contaminate it for celiacs. Check with your own priest to see how best to handle communion.


    Last year (maybe the year before) the Catholic Church made a decision to reject candidates for priesthood who suffer from either alcoholism or celiac disease. The theory is that since alcoholics and celiacs cannot properly partake in the Eucharist, they could not possibly administer this sacrament as priests.

    Alcoholic priests ordained before the new rule are allowed to drink grape must instead of wine. As much as I am sure some priest somewhere must have celiac disease I cannot say what they would use for the host. If they follow church law then they probably suffer the wrath of gluten all too often.


    The Lutheran Church requires that the Sacrament be taken both with wine and bread.


    Hi. I am also an Episcopalian. I don't think that my minister is violating any church rules. He lets me bring a very small piece of GF bread every time I go and I wrap it in foil and put it on the plate.


    Well, I would not refuse such a gracious and loving offer [to let the priest's wife make gluten-free wafers for you from scratch] -- the couple clearly understands the importance of being able to partake in communion. If they want to give you such a gift of love as baking the host for you -- I encourage you to accept their gesture (and ask for a copy of the recipe for future reference!). My pastor (Methodist) is married to a Korean woman, and she always has rice cakes for me at communion. She also takes great pains to be sure there is something which I can eat anytime there is refreshments at the church. To her, it is a gesture of love, and I am as appreciative of the love behind the food as I am of the food and the host at communion time. If the body of Christ is to be held together by love, remember that sometimes we need to allow ourselves to be on the receiving end.


    This may seem silly to you, but for my 10-year-old son, we use a small piece of a plain rice cake for communion. It is placed in a small round container about the size of a quarter, called a pix. That way, it can't be accidentally given to someone else, or be touched by the other wafers on the platter. This has always worked fine for us. After all, what is a communion wafer but grain that is blessed during the celebration of the Eucharist?


    I don't know where to buy communion wafers, but I will tell you what I do in this instance. I too am an Episcopalian. Here at home, we take slices of rice bread, toast them, cut off the crusts, and cut them into quarter inch squares. Then we put them on a cookie sheet in the oven and bake them at 250 degrees for about 20 minutes, turning them on occasion to get all of the moisture out of them. If they aren't oven dried, they turn moldy green. Then we put them in a zip lock bag and keep them in the freezer. I remove four at a time, and put these in the smallest zip lock bag there is (I think it is called a snack bag), and I carry these in my purse. They are good for a month of Sundays, literally. Since they are well dried, they never turn green, even out of the freezer.

    Every Sunday morning, I put one on the patten at the back of the church, to be brought up with the communion wafers during the offertory. Everyone on the altar knows that that little square is mine, and usually the altar personnel inform a visiting priest who it is for. If that hasn't happened, when it is my turn at the communion rail, I put my finger on my rice bread, if I am being offered one of the usual wafers, or I say quietly "the rice bread". I always sit on the same side of the church, so that if there are two priests distributing the bread, my little "wafer" is in the hands of the correct priest. On the rare occasion when it ends up in the wrong hands, the priest walks over to the other person and retrieves it.

    When my purse's zip lock is empty, I put in four more, and that way, I don't have to remember every Sunday to bring my "wafer". If I attend communion during the week, usually the paten is not placed at the back of the church, so I then find the priest before the service and give her my "wafer" so it will be with the others. This system has worked well for me for years, and having your bread "wafer" on the same plate as the other wafers won't run into cross contamination, since they are quite firm and don't spread crumbs.


    As a member of the Anglican communion in Australia I too have the same problem. What I have done is to take a piece of a rice biscuit to be put on the paten and blessed along with the other wafers. You could give the priest a small container with rice cakes and then he/she could break off a piece for you each week. I have no trouble with cross contamination so you are fortunate to have someone who will provide a separate paten.

    This plan also works when you celebrate the Lord's supper with other denominations who use real bread.


    I buy a packet of ordinary rectangular thin rice wafers and break a small piece off, about 1 inch square and take that to church with me each week, taking it to the priest and placing it on a paten. That way also, if we have a visiting priest I can explain the situation to him, and because the communion wafer is so different to the usual round ones, in shape as well as substance, he cannot get confused. A packet lasts a long time!


    When I called the Episcopal Center in NYC, the priest in charge said that first there was no regulation regard what material the wafer had to be made from and two, that we become licensed to handle the wafer. I was speaking to my rector this morning after services, and we have, so far, decided that I will hold the filled pyx and place it on the altar before Mass and that someone will get it at Communion. I assume that I will handle it myself since to do otherwise will contaminate it. We are awaiting the order to come in from England. Lord knows how long that will take.


    I have just returned from church where my parish priest informed me that the Catholic church has approved "the use of of low-gluten altar breads for people affected by celiac disease and revised procedures for permitting the use of MUSTUM for priests affected by alcoholism." ( This quote is from COMMITTEE ON THE LITURGY NEWSLETTER 3211 Fourth Street NE, Washington, DC 20017.) This newsletter, which my priest gave to me, also gives the text of a letter from Cardinal Ratzinger outlining the new approved norms. I quote from the newsletter below:

    "I. Concerning permission to use low-gluten alter breads: A. This may be granted by Ordinaries to priests and laypersons affected by celiac disease, after presentation of a medical certificate.

    B. Conditions for the validity of the matter:

    1. Special hosts quibus glutinum ablatum est are invalid matter for the celebration of the Eucharist;

    2. Low-gluten hosts are valid matter, provided that they contain the amount of gluten sufficient to obtain the confection of bread, that there is no addition of foreign materials , and that the procdure for making such hosts is not such as to alter the nature of the substance of the bread."


    You are SO fortunate! Every priest I have talked to - Roman Catholic - has told me that the staff of life is always wheat, and therefore they cannot bless a rice-based wafer for me, and I have to abstain.


    Here's something from the Canadian Celiac Assoc. Handbook 3rd Ed. concerning a child's first Eucharist. " Canon Law 925:

    Holy Communion is to be given under the form of bread alone or under both kinds in accord with the norm of the liturgical laws or even under the form of wine alone in case of necessity.

    A case of need for giving wine alone is demonstrated ''whenever a person is physically or psychologically unable - whether permanently or temporarily - to consume the Eucaharistic bread''. Those with celiac disease qualify under this Law.

    For those whose church would accept an alternative, the following is a tested recipe for a gluten-free Host that may be brought in a sealed container to the church, hand to a member of the clergy, and blessed along with the gluten containing Hosts.


    For more information on the Catholic Church and CD, please visit: www.celiac.com/misc.html#church


    I am Lutheran and my pastor suggested a small piece of rice cake and grape juice. This has worked out fine for several years. I too was very glad to be able to start taking communion


    I use Hol-Grain Brown rice crackers. They keep well and look close to regular hosts, although most Lutheran churches use regular bread for communion.


    I had a discussion with the Episcopa; Center in NYC as to the regulations concerning the composition of communion wafers. They sstated that there are NO regs. Wafers can be made from any grain.

    It was suggested, however, that the gf wafers be kept seprate from the remainder in a pyx to be held by the Rector. In addition, it was suggested that we become licensed Eucharistic Ministers to facilitate handiing the Hosts. It is a simple matter of paperwork done by the Rector.


    Just a note to the list re Roman Catholic Church attitude to requests from coeliacs in Ireland for gluten-free communion.

    My experience is that when I approached my local priest here in Dublin, there was no hassle whatsoever. He gave me the choice of bringing my own gluten-free hosts or of just receiving wine on its own, along with the altar servers. Also it is the practice in our church at weekday masses to serve bread and wine to all the (admittedly small) congregation.

    It seems the problems some of you have been having are very much based on the personal attitudes of individual priests,etc. The rules are not cast in stone!


    To all Celiac Communicants:

    Believe me when I say there is hope, even for Catholics. I have been off the internet for quite some time because my computer crashed. However, for those of you who don't know me, I am Annette Bentley, President of the American Celiac Society. For years I have been pursuing getting approval for a non-gluten bread for communion. Many priest and minster have recognized that this is a serious problem for their Celiac curch members and have allowed a subsitute bread of non-gluten but have not necessarily publicly announced what they were doing.

    A couple of months ago, I received permission from my local pastor after I had been invited to write an article for the Eucharistic Minister on the subject, to use a gluten free wafer. I was more then delighted that my personal problem was solved but realize that other still face the lack of knowledge by their clergy. DON'T GIVE UP. I am collecting names and address of all individuals for the vacatian. Please send me your names and addresses and any comments to 58 Musano Ct., W. Orange, NJ 07052.

    My parish priest suggested that Celiac obtain a pix and place their communion wafer in it. Then have it placed on the alter cloth for consecration during the Mass. This has been very simple for me as now I don't have to explain to every visiting priest before Mass.

    My sincere prayers that hopefully this will be world widely accepted and that those with problems of unformed clergy will press on. Please feel free to contact me.


    That would be great. Unfortunately most priests that I've encountered won't allow it. In the council of Trent in the 1500's it was declared that the host must be made of Durham wheat flour. At the time the church was having problems with people using almost anything as host. Today the church is still enforcing it. So at my church, my wife (she also has Celiac) and myself have no choice but to receive the (possibly contaminated) wine.


    I am going through adult confirmation & communion on the Sat. before Easter. Yesterday, I found out that part of the regular communion ceremony is that the priest breaks off a piece of a communion host & drops it into the wine that everyone receives. This is done as a symbol of unity. Apparently, it is quite common.

    Tentatively, I am going to bring a small piece of my GF bread to receive for communion. They have told me that this will be OK. I have talked to my instructor about it, she had never heard of anything like Celiac Disease. I had thought it would be fine for me to have a sip of the wine until I found out about this dropping of host into the wine. Any opinions on this? I've been waiting for so long to take communion & I am worried about also not getting sick afterward.


    Regarding Crystal Foley's question about communion wine, I have had some conversation with our local priest. He told me usually the bread is put into the more elaborate chalice prepared for the priest's use, that the chalices used by the lay people often don't have any bread in them. You might want to check on this.


    Just wanted you to know what a happy surprise awaited me in church last Sunday. In the bulletin and announced from the pulpit was the message rice bread was available for anyone needing gluten-free communion elements! Our church offers individual tiny cups of grape juice, so there was also no fear of breadcrumbs floating in the juice. Considering all the hassles arranging ones own GF communion can cause, let's hope the trend at First Methodist in Normal, Illinois spreads!


    Mary's priest contacted Mary a few weeks ago about a letter he received from the archdiocese that was directed at alcoholic priests. It said they could substitute grape juice for wine, and also said if they were gluten-intolerant or had CD they could substitute with a non-gluten substance! So he arranged it so that Mary brought in her own host, wrapped in plastic wrap and it was added to the other hosts for consecration (still wrapped). He then unwrapped it and placed it on a separate plate. At communion time he turned to the table and offered it to Mary without touching it (he had of course been handling all the other hosts). So she was able to have communion for the first time in four years, with a minimum of fuss.

    So contact your priest, and see if he got the letter and is open to doing the same thing for you. Just bring your own host, and make sure it doesn't get contaminated from the other hosts.


    I have been going to share my experience with communion with the list hoping that it might help someone who was in my situation. Since the question has come up today through the list, I am going to respond to the list hoping it will help others, also. I am a Catholic and found it very depressing that I might never receive communion again (I was diagnosed 9 months ago). I struggled over it for a while and then met with the priest. He was absolutely wonderful. He called the Bishop's office and they were aware of the disease and had no problem with my priest working out something so I could receive communion. This is the procedure we now follow: I make a GF unleavened bread. I cut it in appropriate sizes and freeze each piece separately. When going to church, I take one out and place it in a small paper container (like those a nurse would use in dispensing your medicine in a hospital). When I go into church, the priest takes it and places it in the communion dish. He watched where I sit and then at communion time, he sees that he distributes communion in the section I am seated. I, in turn, change sections each Sunday so he also can vary his distribution. He was eager to help me and figured out the procedure so it would work. He in no way believes it will not be equal to the regular communion hosts. That sounds like someone is hung up on some "old" beliefs that don't make a lot of sense for the loving God that we know. I hope this helps someone. If anyone wants the recipe shared, please e-mail me privately.


    After explaining my great experience with receiving communion, I offered the recipe to anyone who wanted it. I have received SO MANY REQUESTS that I have chosen to send one message back to the whole list for all who are interested. To answer some questions.

    (1) the reason for unleavened bread dates back to the Passover. They had to be ready to flee so they couldn't take time for the rising of bread--thus the unleavened bread that contains no yeast and this has been a tradition continued. Interesting, huh?

    (2) Regarding the transubstantiation requiring wheat--my priest's response was like mine--it was probably believed long ago by someone and some have taken longer to make changes that need to be made in the thinking of it all. He does not agree it needs to be wheat. He also said that the National Conference of Liturgy Directors (I think this is correct) had made a proposal to Rome for a change and also a recipe that would be GF. Isn't it great that they understand our needs?

    (3) My priest said the main procedure for making the communion work is "getting the host in the dish of communion hosts and the priest knowing where you are sitting or you going to the priest for distribution." I put my bread in a small paper "pill-like" container to keep it away from the hosts. The ArchBishop was very pleased about our way of working this out. Sorry this is so long--I just want to make it clear. And now for the recipe--remember, it is not "gourmet." You may be able to remake it to be even better. I have tried different ones and this has dissolved better in my mouth. It is a version of one used at our Catholic University Center several years ago. I only changed the flour.


    I have been receiving Communion in parishes around the country for twenty years. Catholic parishes. In all those years I have had only one priest refuse me and I believe it was because he did not truly understand what the heck I was trying to explain. I must take a small piece of rice cracker - sometimes a rather unattractive piece at that ( if I am in a hurry I just grab and break one of the crackers and run). It is obvious if I am in my own parish it is simple. This has happened in Michigan, New York, California, Massachusetts, Florida, Maryland, etc. Even on vacation in Nova Scotia. The priest just puts my "wafer" on the altar and consecrates it on that day right along with the Mass. If I am visiting I just explain that it needs to be consecrated during the Mass and as I said, in twenty years, I have had only one problem. If you multiply that time 52 and many holidays and days just because - well, that is quite a few. Yes, the church has many problems, but come on not everything is about powers that be or whatever!


    Her parish priest suggested that celiacs obtain a pix and place their communion wafer in it. Then have it placed on the altar cloth for consecration during the Mass. This has been very simple for her as now she doesn't have to explain to every visiting priest before Mass.


    This is a long time in coming, but I have received many responses on the problem of Celiacs taking Communion. Here's the results.

    Some people have been able to work with the Church. They include a small packaged piece of GF host that is distributed at the time of Communion, with the bread served the rest of the congregation. It was a prearranged situation. Some provided a storehouse of GF crackers or bread and replenished it when the supply runs low.

    Some people just bring their own bread and quietly slip it in their hand prior to being served.v Some take only the wine and not the bread.

    Some bake GF bread and serve it to the whole congregation.

    The most difficult of responses came from the Roman Catholic population. All but one stated that the Catholic Church forbids anything but wheat to be served for Communion, and that various parishes had a negative response to people who wanted to substitute GF food. Some of these people broke their GF diets to comply with the strict regulations. My heart goes out to those in that predicament. May God Bless them.

    All in all there seems to be a lot of people who were uncomfortable and felt more work had to be done in many Churches to help others understand the needs of the CD person. This might be a good place to begin public education in our neighborhoods.

    If I could ever bake a decent loaf of bread, I would do what some of the people do and share the GF bread with the whole congregation occasionally. What an excellent chance to bring awareness to others.

    Our Church just asked others to spread information by writing articles for the monthly publication. I believe I will submit an article on CD and take the opportunity to explain the special need of the celiac. Perhaps I might find I am not the only one in the congregation.


    For people who have CD, our church offers a small glass container of "Hol- Grain Crackers" pieces which is GF. !st Lutheran Church in Fargo is the only church that I have known to do this. It would be nice if more churches offered this as an option.

    The "Hol-Grain Crackers" brand is like flat bread and be purchased in a health food store.


    I wanted to post this since I found it in our weekly Catholic Bulletin and addresses not receiving the host.

    Q. Must I receive both the body and the Blood of Christ to fully receive Him?

    A. In recent years there has been a renewed interest and practice of receiving the Eucharist under both forms or species, bread and wine. But this is not necessary to receive the Eucharistic Presence of Christ. The Council of Trent taught that the Presence of Christ in the Eucharist begins with the words of consecration and endures as long as the species of bread and wine subsist. Furthermore, Christ is present whole and entire in both species and in all parts of the species. So if the bread is broken the Presence of Christ is not divided. (Catechism #1377) If one receives a larger portion of bread, they do not receive more Christ!

    In the General Instructions of the Roman Missal, paragraph 240 states, "The sign of communion is more complete when given under both kinds, since in that form the sign of the Eucharist meal appears more clearly. The intention of Christ that the new and eternal covenant be ratified in his blood is better expressed.."Para.241 goes on to remind us that we are not deprived of any grace necessary for salvation when we receive Communion under one form. People who are allergic to wheat may receive just the cup and they gain the same grace and Presence as one who receives just the bread. Christ is present fully and completely, whatever the sacramental form we choose.

    Return to the Table of Contents

    Wafer Recipe

    And, lastly, several folks suggested making your own. Ask your priest if he/she knows about any particular requirements, then go into the kitchen. Here is a recipe to try (thanks, Lisa):

    This recipe makes enough for 500 people. I just reduced it significantly and made enough to last me for a while. It keeps in the freezer. These aren't necessarily wafers, but tortilla-like. I broke them apart

    6 cups GF flour (I used Jowar/sorghum)
    1 cup olive oil (it didn't take much with the amount of flour I used)
    1 cup milk ( I think any lactose-free milk should do as well)
    2 eggs
    I used a tiny bit of xanthan gum, enough to make the dough sticky enough to work with.

    Mix together well and knead and roll out thin. Cut around a small saucer dish. Bake 7 or 8 minutes on each side in a 350 degree oven. Looks like tortillas. Serves about 500.


    When I was first diagnosed with Celiac Sprue, I stopped taking the communion wafer, however, did have the wine, until someone pointed out that many in the church dip their wafers into the wine thus "contaminating" the wine for me. When I approached the Rector of St. Columba's here in Washington, D.C. (Episcopal) he told me that he would be happy to have my homemade wafers though he would have to think about the logistics, i.e., which service did I attend, etc. What follows is the recipe given to me by the Washington Celiac Support Group:

    Turn on oven to 350 degrees

    2 Tblsp. potatoe starch
    1 Cup minus 2 Tblsp. (7/8 cup) cornstarch
    3 Cups brown or white rice flour
    1 Tsp. baking soda
    1 Tsp. salt
    2 Tblsp. Xanthum Gum
    1/2 Cup Margerine
    1 Cup Buttermilk

    Mix dry ingredients together.
    Cut Margerine into dry ingredients.
    Add Buttermilk and mix with fingers until workable.
    Roll with rolling pin on a rice floured surface as thin as possible.
    Cut in small circles-- use bottle caps.
    Place in a 350 degree oven for 6 minutes. Will NOT brown.
    This recipe can be halved unless you have a very large family; will be enough for a year.


    Unleavened Communion Recipe

    1/2 T. sugar
    1/4 C. soy flour
    1/4 C. potato starch
    1/4 C. brown rice flour
    1/4 t. salt
    1/4 t. baking powder
    Mix the above very well together
    Cut in:
    1 T white Crisco
    1/2 T. butter flavored Crisco
    1 1/2 T GF honey
    Add in small amounts:
    1/4 C. water (or a speck less)

    Mix well and spread in pan (I usually use a 9-inch pie pan and spread it thin--about 1/4 inch thick) Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

    After it cools, I cut in pieces about 1 to 1 1/4 inches by 1/2 inch. This can be by works better for your container, etc. I cut my container down a little with the help of scotch tape (smiles!) and make it smaller so it leans up and makes it easier for the priest.


    My recipe is simply using Bette Hagman's flour mixture of 2 parts white rice four (the kind from an oriental store), 2/3 part potato starch flour, and 1/3 part tapioca flour. I mix it with water until it is a dry paste and pat out small amounts at a time to about 1/8 inch thickness. Then I use a very small cookie cutter to shape it. (A small medicine bottle of 3/4" to 7/8" diameter would work) and bake at 350 degrees F on a no stick pan until it is set, NOT browned. It looks very similar to the host used by everyone else in the congregation.

    Return to the Table of Contents

    Copyright - 1999 - 2001

    by Michael Jones, Bill Elkus, Jim Lyles, and Lisa Lewis - All rights reserved worldwide.

    Permission is granted to copy this document, at no charge and in its entirety, provided that the copies are not used for commercial advantage, that the source is cited and that the present copyright notice is included in all copies, so that the recipients of such copies are equally bound to abide by the present conditions. Prior written permission is required for any commercial use of this document, in whole or in part, and for any partial reproduction of the contents of this document exceeding 50 lines of up to 80 characters, or equivalent. The title page, table of contents and index, if any, are not considered to be part of the document for the purposes of this copyright notice, and can be freely removed if present.

    The purpose of this copyright is to protect your right to make free copies of this paper for your friends and colleagues, to prevent publishers from using it for commercial advantage, and to prevent ill-meaning people from altering the meaning of the document by changing or removing a few paragraphs.

    Return to the Table of Contents

    Disclaimer

    This fact sheet has been designed to be a general information resource. However, it is not intended for use in diagnosis, treatment, or any other medical application. Questions should be directed to your personal physician. This information is not warranted and no liability is assumed by the author or any group for the recommendations, information, dietary suggestions, menus, and recipes promulgated. Based upon accepted practices in supplying the source documents, this fact sheet is accurate and complete. Products mentioned or omitted do not constitute endorsement.

    Return to the Table of Contents