I have been eating a paleo diet since early February 2011 but was only recently diagnosed with celiac disease. So even though the paleo diet is gluten-free by nature, because it eliminates grains, I was not concerned about the seemingly miniscule amount of gluten I was ingesting every week at church worship services via communion bread. However, after learning a ton about gluten intolerance and celiac disease I know even a small amount of gluten can set off an immune reaction. Once I was diagnosed, I knew I needed to take the avoidance of gluten more seriously.
For a person with celiac disease, ingesting even a small amount of gluten is problematic. Even a crumb is enough to set off a reaction. The reaction may be immediate or it may take time to manifest itself but either way damage is being done to your system. I was sensitizing myself every single week with the matzo cracker in communion. We do not have a priest who hands out individual “bread” or “hosts”. At our congregation we have trays that are passed around that contain a matzo cracker. Church members break off a piece as the tray is passed. My temporary solution was to break off a piece and then disposed of it later. The idea of just waving off the tray as it was offered seemed awkward, like there was some other reason I was not willing to partake other than a health issue. And it bothered my conscience that I was just going through the motions and not really partaking fully in the communion. What to do? Continue reading