I am fortunate and very grateful as a Celiac patient that my parish offers very low gluten hosts. I always feel weird though when I go to communion, as the priest always has a host in hand before I have a chance to say “gluten free please”. It feels irreverent that he has to put a consecrated host back and give me a different one, as if I’m at the market refusing a bad piece of fish.
Our priests know and recognize me and always look a bit embarrassed to have to make a correction, but they simply do not see me until I am standing on front of them.
I am wondering if anyone here has a suggestion for priest and parishioner alike to avoid the awkwardness? I once asked this during a retreat and was lectured to “just take” the host first offered, which was disappointing… celiac is no joke.
Gluten free communion was not available at my father’s funeral (my fault…I planned the mass and forgot to request it). I took communion anyway given the occasion, and became predictably and violently ill for several days. I shouldn’t have done it but what a heartbreaking choice!
If a Celiac patient regularly consumes gluten, we have a high risk of developing lymphoma. I have had seizures and, also allergic to wheat, anaphalaxis, so it’s just too dangerous.