Seek These Things

a blog discussing Celiac Disease, & the Gluten Free Diet, Books, Parenting, Politics, Religion, Pets, Product Reviews, and whatever else catches my interest

Gluten Free Mormon March 12, 2009

If you are a Gluten Free Mormon, you probably felt the five stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, despair, and acceptance) when you were first diagnosed with Celiac Disease. And if you are like my husband C., sacrament meeting may be the hardest place for you to be on Sunday.

There you sit, quiet, contemplating, worshipping, while young men in white shirts hand out little bits of bread that, to you, might as well be poison. Then your diagnosis hits you all over again. Anger, and despair. No body else has to get to church early every Sunday, bring their own bread, and worry about whether or not that boy touched your GF Rice bread before or after he broke the gluten laden bread.

And I don’t want you to have worry about that either. When eating out, you may carry a laminated Restaurant Card explaining your condition to the server and chef. When worshipping, you could carry a Sacrament Card to give to those who will be preparing your bread for the worship service.

Sacrament Card

I have a severe reaction to gluten. I am on a gluten-free diet. Thank you for working with me to prepare a sacrament service I can partake safely.

I cannot eat bread made from wheat, rye, barley, oats, or flours made from these grains.

I need to avoid bread.

This breadis made from rice, corn, potato, tapioca, soy, amaranth, beans, arrowroot, buckwheat, quinoa, millet, teff, or nut flour and is safe for me to eat. Unless it is cross-contaminated.

Please prevent contaminating my bread by washing your hands between touching your bread and touching my bread. Please break my bread back into this plastic bag, or use a separate tray that has been washed with soap and water since your bread was last on it.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask me.

Thank you for working with me to give me the opportunity to relax and enjoy the sacrament service. I appreciate it very much.

Make sure you wait while the boy reads your card so you can see if he “gets it”, he can ask you questions, if he has any, and you can point out to him where you will be sitting. If you are visiting a ward besides your own, you may want to give a card to each of the boys at the table, and one for them to give to the deacon who will be carrying your bread.

In your own ward, give multiple cards to the bishop and young men’s president so they can make sure the boys understand and follow these instructions.

One last note. Do not lick the envelopes for tithes and offerings. The glue contains gluten. You can wet the glue with water from the fountain on a paper towel to seal the envelope.

Do you have a tips or tricks you have used to deal with CD while worshipping in your own church? I’d love to hear them. Please leave a comment.

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3 Responses to “Gluten Free Mormon”

  1. Christina Says:

    I am new to this whole GF life. I took my own bread to church last Sunday, and explained to the YM president about cross contamination. I recently found out that a few others in my ward are also GF so we decided to all sit by each other and take turns bringing the bread. It makes it so much nicer when your not the only one with “special” needs. I’m glad I found your blog, thanks for sharing.

  2. Cinderella Says:

    Hi,

    I was just diagnosed with Celiac Disease about three months ago.

    Here’s what I do for the Sacrament:

    I buy gluten-free crackers (don’t go bad as quickly as bread…) and take it in a plastic ziplock sandwich baggie. My husband (or I, if he’s not there) takes the baggie to the priesthood right before the meeting starts. They break it from the outside of the baggie so that they don’t even have to touch it. I sit in the same place every week so they know where I am. Then they pass it around, I take the baggie off, my husband opens it, and I eat it with the other hand (no cross-contact).

    My first week at church, my husband went into the young men opening exercises so that they (and their leaders) will know what’s going on with me. It’s gone very smoothly.

    • seekthesethings Says:

      Cinderella,

      Thanks so much for sharing yor experience. I’ve seen GF Communion Wafers at Against the Grain, but I didn’t know how the priests would react to a cracker. I hope to hear from you again soon!

      A.K.


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