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Gluten-free Sacrament?


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#1 vestig8or

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Posted 06 June 2010 - 01:34 PM

Hi,

Although my username is vestig8or, I got baptized last month. :)

I am now a visiting teacher, and one of the women to whom I'm assigned has celiac disease. This means that she cannot tolerate anything made of wheat, such as the typical bread used for sacrament. In our visit recently, I found out that she isn't the only member of the ward with gluten intolerance. She's been handling it by bringing her own bread, but feels isolated from the "communion" aspect of all partaking of sacrament together. Other members either just eat the regular bread or skip it altogether.

How do other wards handle this? I visited one ward while on vacation, and they had a separate tray with gluten-free bread. If any of your wards do the same, I'd love to understand how you got this implemented and the priesthood holders trained to prepare sacrament without contaminating the gluten-free bread with the regular bread.

Thanks in advance for your advice!

#2 Wingnut

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Posted 06 June 2010 - 01:38 PM

We have someone in our ward who has some kind of dietary restriction. I'm not sure if it's a gluten issue, or what, but for her, there's always a broken-up rice cake in one of the trays, and a specific point is made of making sure that tray visits her. I've heard of accommodations like this being made a lot for people with Celiac. In many cases, the Priesthood just isn't aware of the need.
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#3 Dravin

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Posted 06 June 2010 - 02:08 PM

One ward I was in there was a lady who couldn't partake of the usual bread and an acceptable cracker of some sort was put in it's own tray on the sacrament table to be blessed and one of the deacons was tasked with taking that tray to her (I think he returned the tray and then took a regular one and passed to the foyers so he wasn't just waiting around).

I'd love to understand how you got this implemented and the priesthood holders trained to prepare sacrament without contaminating the gluten-free bread with the regular bread.


Is Celiacs (I'm not familiar with it) so sensitive that handling regular bread and then handling safe bread (handling = tearing it into peices) causes an issue (I'm thinking cross contamination)? I suppose even if it is the reverse isn't true, one could simply break up the gluten free bread first and then break the regular stuff making sure to keep them on separate trays. Also last I blessed we had moist towelettes available that we washed our hands with before breaking bread, would using those between bread types be sufficient?
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#4 sulli

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Posted 06 June 2010 - 03:00 PM

One ward I was in there was a lady who couldn't partake of the usual bread and an acceptable cracker of some sort was put in it's own tray on the sacrament table to be blessed and one of the deacons was tasked with taking that tray to her (I think he returned the tray and then took a regular one and passed to the foyers so he wasn't just waiting around).



Is Celiacs (I'm not familiar with it) so sensitive that handling regular bread and then handling safe bread (handling = tearing it into peices) causes an issue (I'm thinking cross contamination)? I suppose even if it is the reverse isn't true, one could simply break up the gluten free bread first and then break the regular stuff making sure to keep them on separate trays. Also last I blessed we had moist towelettes available that we washed our hands with before breaking bread, would using those between bread types be sufficient?


Unfortunately it is that sensitive. Four people in my family have Celiacs Disease so we brought our own bread sealed up tight in a zip lock bag. It was blessed on the tray and brought to our family during the Sacrament.

#5 MarginOfError

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Posted 06 June 2010 - 04:35 PM

The most common solution I've seen is that each family or individual will bring their own acceptable substitute in a ziploc bag which the teachers and priests make sure is placed in the appropriate tray. The member then pulls the ziploc off of the tray when it is passed to them.

If the group of members in the ward were large enough, I would think a tray dedicated to that need would be easily done, but you might be asked to sit in the same general area to reduce the amount of running around.

In the end, however, it's up to you and your bishopric to determine a procedure that works for you, your needs and desires, and the make up of the ward.

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#6 vestig8or

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Posted 06 June 2010 - 05:00 PM

Great suggestions and feedback. Thanks, everyone!

#7 carlimac

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Posted 06 June 2010 - 08:29 PM

My daughter has Celiac Disease. There are two others in our ward with it too. Since the one family is the most "with-it" and in the habit and most like ly to remember, they always just bring the gluten free bread. My son is a priest so he knew how to handle it. With clean hands, first break the gluten free, then move on to the regular bread. One deacon was assigned to pass that tray to the three members who needed it.

I'm not sure what you mean by the lack of "communion". When my daughter was first diagnosed, (at age 9) she was a little self concious about it but now it's no big deal(she's 13 now). Everyone in the ward is used to the special tray and no one stares and wonders anymore. BUT- we're moving to a different state in 3 weeks and we'll have to start all over again in our new ward. Since this will be a lifetime thing for her, she just has to get used to explaining it everytime she's in a new ward. Hopefully she'll have priesthood holders who don't balk at it. Celiac Disease is becoming more acknowledged all the time. In fact, my guess is that there are probably at least a dozen in every ward who should be gluten free but don't know it.

#8 rameumptom

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Posted 07 June 2010 - 06:58 AM

We have several small children with such issues in our ward. We have a tray with rice or other bread they can take. It is on the stand with the other trays. One deacon then takes that tray around to each of the people who needs it.
Perhaps she can talk with the YM president about having her piece of bread placed on a tray (maybe in a water cup), and passed to her along with everyone else's? That's also how we do it on occasion.
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#9 Saguaro

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Posted 07 June 2010 - 10:34 AM

There's one little girl in our ward who has Celiac disease, similar to others that have posted, the family brings a little piece of bread just for her, it is placed on a tray and blessed, and one particular deacon has the responsibility to take that special bread to her during the sacrament. It's done very discreetly, I didn't know it was being done until a few weeks ago.

#10 lizzy12

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Posted 07 June 2010 - 05:49 PM

a person in my ward has a special diet and she gets special bread blessed just for her. However she sits in diffrent spots every sunday..She really should make an effort to sit up front in the same spot everyweek.

#11 PV2004

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Posted 09 June 2010 - 04:22 PM

My twin brother has celiac disease (I don't know how I don't have it but thankful I don't) and he brings his own bread as well. Before the sacrement he lets the deacons and teachers know and everything seems to work out. If there is a problem don't be afraid to bring it to the bishop's attention and I am sure he will be sensitive enough to make sure it is handled appropriately.

#12 carlimac

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Posted 09 June 2010 - 04:27 PM

a person in my ward has a special diet and she gets special bread blessed just for her. However she sits in diffrent spots every sunday..She really should make an effort to sit up front in the same spot everyweek.


We tried that for a little while in our ward but some weeks you get to church early, but other weeks are a disaster and you get there late and end up sitting wherever there is an empty bench.

#13 vestig8or

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 06:18 PM

Thanks again, everyone! Had a meeting with our Bishop, and he is totally on board with taking care of members with gluten sensitivities. As some of you mentioned, he just needed to be made aware of the problem. I just wrote up a short page with a description of gluten-intolerance, options to handle it, and some suggestions of gluten-free products that would work. Sure appreciate your feedback!




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