There are so many things to consider when you or your child have food allergies. Things that most people take for granted are fraught with road blocks or complications.
The Little Man is making his First Communion on May 5th and today we finalized the plans on how to keep him safe that day and every time he takes communion there after.
Due to his severe wheat allergy, he will not receive the host. There is no way for that to happen short of him outgrowing his wheat allergy. Some religions allow a gluten free or wheat free host. The Catholic church states that some amount of wheat must be present due to the fact that Jesus used wheat bread at the last supper. The church acknowledges a "low gluten" host but not wheat free. Because some amount of wheat is present in the "low gluten" host, my son would most likely react to it. As practicing Catholics, we acknowledge the church's position on this subject and will work within the parameters.
So we've decided that my son will only receive the Blood of Christ (or wine). But how do we do that safely since so much wheat is present during communion? He can't drink from the cup after anyone that has eaten the Body of Christ (wheat). And the priest has touched the wheat host and could contaminate the cup.
So we'll be using a small intinction set given to us today by our parish priest. The bowl shaped paten will not hold any host, it will only be used as a "handle" so that no one has to touch the chalice. The Little Man will then take and drink from the chalice and replace it on the paten. The priest or deacon will take care of the remaining consecrated wine and we will take it home with us to clean. Then we bring it back every time we go to mass and place it on the alter before mass starts and the priest will fill it with the Blood of Christ when he fills the other chalices used during communion. Both my husband and myself are Eucharistic Ministers so one of us will administer to him at Sunday service and the school principal will administer to him during school masses.
It seems like a solid plan and one that we can definitely work with.
They did a "taste test" today in class and both my husband and myself were there to put this practice into play and to make sure he didn't have any reaction to the wine. It also gave the Little Man a chance to taste the wine (unconsecrated) . We were pretty sure it would be fine, but didn't want to take any chances. He passed with flying colors.
This is one of many challenging things about food allergies. Food Allergies Complicate Almost Everything! But where there's a will, there's a way.
The intinction set. The bowl shaped paten will be the "handle" and no one will need to touch the chalice possibly contaminating it.
The Little Man will remove the chalice himself and then replace it after receiving communion.
Now the only detail left is how to get this back and forth to church without scratching it....