Little Loaves of Bread

I was recently at a Catholic Church and the Eucharist they were distributing at Mass was little loaves of whole wheat bread (or at least that is what they appeared to be).

Has anyone else heard of such a practice?

It wasn’t the traditional wafer, so I was wondering if they are okay?

was this during communion or after Mass? I know some Eastern churches have a bread that is unconsecrated which is distributed, not during communion, but afterward, although I don’t exactly know the theology of it. Perhaps they use a homemade bread for communion that has been baked with water and whole wheat flour, and cut in chunks (I did see this one one parish in NC last year). Very ill advised IMO because of the crumbs. otherwise, I am clueless.

Very odd indeed. It conjures the image of tiny loaf tins that they would be baked in! :smiley: Clearly they would not be baked in individual loaf tins, but it is a fun image!


In England you used to be able to get minature loaf tins, about 3’’ long by 2’’ wide and 2’’ deep for making small loaves to serve with soups or cheese boards as an alternative to bread rolls. Perhaps they used something similar?:smiley:

This occured during Communion at Mass.

This was at a Latin Rite church.

The loaves were about 1/2 inch by 1/4 inch in size. Obviously part of a larger item which was broken up into small little squares.

They really had the appearence of being levened bread and had a similar kind of taste and feel.

Just didn’t seem all together correct.

Sounds like what they used to use in my college chapel. They were larger round loaves scored to be broken more easily into small pieces. When broken each piece was a little bigger than a PEZ candy. The shape isn’t a problem at all. It’s possible that the once you experienced were made with just the wheat flour and water. But I later found out that the ones our chapel used were leavened and made with honey. :mad:

This does indeed sound like invalid matter. My understanding, and I may be wrong so I invite well-meaning correction, is that the bread to used at a Latin Rite Mass can only be made from wheat flour and water. Oil, salt, sweetener, yeast or anything else is completely forbidden.

Yes, and the wheat must have some measurable amount of gluten to be valid matter, although there are approved low-gluten alter breads available.

The only thing allowed to be consecrated for the Eucharist at a Latin Rite Mass is bread made of wheat mixed withwater only, much like the Jewish matzoh. Any thing mixed in, or other than that, is ilicit and strictly forbidden.


Shalom Aleichem

It depends on exactly what was being used. The requirements for the Latin Rite is that the bread be made from wheat-flour and water only, and unleavened. Anything other than that is illicit. Anything added to that would at the *very least *call into question the validity of the matter.

So what it comes down to is the question of just what was it? It’s possible (but not very likely) that unleavened bread might have the appearance of leavened.

There is no requirement to use the traditional wafer-type of communion hosts. So that part, in itself, is not an issue. As long as it’s only wheat&water unleavened it’s both valid and licit even it it’s not in a shape that is familiar to most Catholics.

Based on the descriptions we’re reading so far, it’s not possible to give a definate answer and say that it either was or was not valid/licit matter.

I have baked bread for Communion in my parish, using only a wheat flour and water. Using 50% whole wheat with 50% all-purpose flour produces a bread that has a rather nutty, sweet flavour.

The ‘loaves’ were simply shaped: 1/2-3/4" thick loaves shaped into 4-5" diameter circles. They were deeply scored so as to be easily broken into dozens of square pieces. Nothing illicit about it.

That bread did require catechesis because the first time we used it I noticed that some of the older communicants tried to swallow it without chewing. They had to be taught that chewing was not wrong.

Valid but illicit.

Assuming that this was just a leavened wheat loaf (no sweetener, preservative, etc.) - it is valid matter, but illicit in the Latin rite. Leaven does not affect the validity of the Sacrament.

For more information:

Leavened vs. Unleavened Bread

So what you all are saying is what we have here is a church which claims to be Latin Rite not playing by the Latin Traditions…

You don’t know that until you find out exactly what it was that you received.

I know that what I made was licit.

I also know that my former pastor would get the kids in his aboriginal parish to make bannock for their first Communion. Bannock has baking powder and salt so is illicit but when it was pointed out to him stated that he didn’t care. He also had them press grapes for the ‘wine’.

I haven’t had bannock in a while, but I seem to recall someone in BC explaining to me that it was made from a type of grain that isn’t wheat. (No memory at this point what the grain was.) Also, I don’t recall about the baking powder (seems odd that the Haida would traditionally use it, but I suppose it could be they use a naturally occurring form) so I won’t gainsay you on that. But either way, it would seem that, without a special indult, bannock in any form is not valid matter.

Bannock can be made from various grains. I really like it wrapped around a stick and cooked over a campfire. The local bannock is made from wheat flour so in that regard it’s not invalid. The baking powder and salt would make it illicit.

Yup, this reminds me of the Communion bread my parish used to distribute on Easter and I think Christmas. The ladies in the Altar & Rosary Society used to bake it.

A friend of mine had an interesting experience. Was a guest at a parish that is well known to be rather liberal. For communion pita bread was used. She reported crumbs on the floor as well.

In the East, when they use leavened bread to be consecrated - which may be naturally crumbly - they also place all of the consecrated Hosts into the Precious Blood and Communion is distributed via intinction. The Blood helps to hold the Body together. :wink:

When I was young we were taught not to chew the communion wafer, but to let it dissolve in your mouth. (Of course it often got stuck on the roof of your mouth.) Now it seems like many people chew up the body of Christ with gusto. It seems a little disrespectful.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit