I have been diagnosed with celiac disease, which is the inability to process wheat gluten. Gluten damages the small intestine. I must not ingest any wheat, rye, barley etc. In order to be healthy, I must refrain from all types of gluten. Therefore the Eucharist will no longer be available to me unless I can receive in another form. Are there Church rules about the Communion wafer having to contain wheat? Can a rice wafer be substituted? This is extremely important for me to find the answer. I can’t imagine not receiving Communion the rest of my life. Thank you for taking the time to respond to this.
[quote=stellahenry]Are there Church rules about the Communion wafer having to contain wheat?
The [eucharistic] bread must be wheaten only, and recently made, so that there is no danger of corruption (canon 924 §2, Code of Canon Law ).
[quote=stellahenry]Can a rice wafer be substituted?
[quote=stellahenry]This is extremely important for me to find the answer. I can’t imagine not receiving Communion the rest of my life. Thank you for taking the time to respond to this.
You need not worry about being denied Communion. If your body can tolerate a very small amount of gluten (ask your doctor about this), you can ask your pastor to arrange to make low-gluten Communion hosts available for you. (Click here for more details.) If your body cannot tolerate any gluten at all, your pastor can consecrate a portion of the precious blood for you in a separate chalice. Consult with your pastor about arranging this.
The Church teaches that the whole Christ – body, blood, soul, and divinity – is present under the appearances of the bread or the wine. This means that even if you can receive Communion only from the chalice, you have still made a complete Communion.