Communion with Allergies

Food allergies become a part of every little part of life. I never go anywhere without a safe snack in my purse. I’m much more of a planner than I used to be now that I have to think about where or what we will eat if go somewhere for more than a couple of hours. I’ve gotten used to it and no longer feel awkward about having my own food when everyone else is eating something else. However, it is still pretty awkward during communion.

At the beginning of my food allergy issues I would still take the communion provided at church. But I was concentrating so hard on what the later consequences might be and whether or not my mouth was feeling swollen that I kept missing the entire point of participating. Then I found out that the church sent out an email to notify others in the church with food issues when communion was coming so that they could be prepared. I asked to be added to the list and started to bring my own without giving it a second thought.

I’ve been bringing one of my apple chips and some corn syrup free juice each time. Then I had the idea to see if I could order pre-packaged allergen free communion juice and wafers. You know… the kind where you rip the top seal to get the wafer and then rip the bottom to get to the juice. I did find some companies who make wafers I could have, but none with real juice.


Anyway, the surprising part of my search was discovering such controversy surrounding the idea of using a gluten-free wafer or bread. Like somehow it was the gluten part of the bread that makes communion real. I found several blogs where people were writing that each time they took communion they would be praying that God would protect them from any ill side effects that would result from the ingredients they were eating. The elements are just symbols, they could be anything. I think it is much more a matter of where your heart is.

I’m going to stick with my current solution, but I thought it was interesting to think about. Thoughts, anyone?