LOW GLUTEN ALTAR BREAD
As many of you know, altar breads need to be made from water and wheat flour only. Because of that, people who are gluten intolerant cannot receive Holy Communion. Many of them cannot receive from the common cup because people who drink from the cup before them will have partaken of the wheat altar breads. In recent years, however, the Church has approved low gluten altar breads. These altar breads contain less than 0.01% gluten content. Many people who are gluten intolerant are able to receive these altar breads. However, it is always a good idea for people with gluten intolerance to check with the doctor before receiving them.
We would like to offer these low gluten altar breads.
Here is the procedure we will follow:
1. Before Mass please identify yourself to Fr. Tim that you would like a low gluten altar bread. If at all possible, please try to identify yourself at least five minutes before Mass starts.
2. At Communion time, please come up to Father and identify yourself as needing the low gluten altar bread. this low gluten altar bread will be in a separate pyx (special container to hold the consecrated altar bread) so that it does not touch any other gluten altar breads. The priest will hold up the pyx and say, as usual, “The Body of Christ,” to which you shall response, as usual, “Amen.” The priest will then flip the pyx over so that host is placed on your hand. If there is more than one person receiving the low gluten altar bread, you may be asked to pick up the host yourself after saying Amen. This may be done since the priest cannot hold the low gluten altar bread since his fingers will have touched the other hosts.
If you have any questions about this, please contact me.
For those of us of a certain age, Ascension as always followed by Thursday. That was the day of the week in which it was formally celebrated. And in fact, in much of the worldand in parts of our own country it still is celebrated on a Thursday. In our diocese and in all of the dioceses of Minnesota, North and South Dakota, it is now celebrated on the 7th Sunday of Easter. There is a very practical reason why this happened. As it has become more difficult for people to attend Mass on a weekday and the number of people attending has declined, it was decided to move it to a Sunday. The Feast of the Ascension is an integral part of Christ’s Paschal Mystery, his death, resurrection, ascensionand sending forth of the Holy Spirit. Jesus reminded his first disciples that he had to return to the Father in order to send forth the gift of the Holy Spirit. He returns to the Father to prepare a place for us and give us the Holy Spirit to continue his mission in the world. So Jesus has not left us but comes to us now through the Holy Spirit. So the Feast of the Ascension speaks to the mystery of Jesus as true God and true man. It speaks to the mystery of our communion with the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit that is only possible because of Jesus. How important, then, for us to celebrate this mystery when we gather as God’s people. Even though we are not able to gather physically yet, we know we are drawn together as members of Christ’s Body.
He is with us, comforting us always with his compassion and love.
We are beginning our process of opening our facilities for public Mass. It is a process with many things expected of us to provide as safe an environment as possible. We need to have not only the right supplies to keep our building sanitized but also volunteers to help us as we do so.
Because of physical distancing and the number of people who can gather at one time, it will take some time to return to normal. For the short term, we will begin with daily Mass for a limited number of people. Then after a period of time, we will move to weekend liturgies, again with limited numbers. We are still trying to work out all the details.
When we have the exact details and what will be asked of parishioners, a letter will go out to all the parish. Please be patient with us as we move through all of this.
This Monday, we also celebrate Memorial Day. As we remember those men and women who have given of their lives for our freedom as a nation, we are reminded how powerfully sacrificial love truly is. It changes us even though we may not know those who have sacrificed their lives. We can say the same thing these days about those who are caring for the sick in our hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living places and elsewhere. Their sacrificial love affects us in so many ways. We are deeply grateful for those who have served their country and gave of their lives.
We are thankful today for those who are on the front lines of caring for the sick and suffering.