Receiving the Eucharist wasn't a big deal for Sparky when it came time to make his First Holy Communion. He simply took the cup and received Jesus' Precious Blood. No big deal.
Then we moved. At our new parish, a small, historic, country church, things work a little differently from our old parish.
When I went to communion one Sunday, I saw a piece of the Host floating in the cup. As I'm sure you've seen, the priest breaks a piece of the Host and puts it into his chalice. At our old parish and parishes we've visited, the priest always consumed the Blood and Body from that chalice. At the new parish, the pastor takes that chalice, along with another, out to the congregation.
This is a problem for the celiac sufferer as the wine is contaminated with gluten from the bread and it should not be consumed. From week to week we never knew which aisle the contaminated cup would be taken. We'd sit on the right side of the church and the contaminated cup would end up on that side. The next week we would try the left side and sure enough the cup in question would end up on that side.
Finally, I approached the pastor before Mass and explained the situation to him. I asked if the contaminated cup could always be taken to the same side each week. His answer was simple. "No." He told me to just have Sparky watch which side the safe cup ended up and then cut into that line if need be.
This sounds easier than it is. You see, Sparky also has Asperger syndrome which a high-functioning form of autism. Cutting into another line was a little stressful to him. Add to that the fact that our church is very small and bursting at the seams. It is difficult at best to find your way back to a pew on the other side without climbing over people and causing a bit of a disruption.
I would go with Sparky and of course Super Boy would have to follow. Now we were really causing a disruption. ("Hey, what's the new lady doing?!") So, back to the pastor we went.
We talked it out this weekend and we've decided to go with the new low-gluten host approved by the Catholic Church. I'd prefer not to do this as it still has a trace of gluten. But the doctor insists it is safe and when Gregory tried one recently he didn't get a stomach ache.
There is of course the concern of contamination. The priest cannot touch the low-gluten host as he has touched the regular hosts and Sparky's host would then be contaminated. So, every week, Rob and I will take a low-gluten host from our freezer (we'll order them and stock them ourselves to save our parish the hassle) and put it in a pyx. We'll then take the pyx to church and place it on the altar before Mass. The pastor will open it before the consecration. At communion he'll close the pyx and put it in the palm of his hand below the ciborium. When Sparky comes up to communion, the priest will then give Sparky the pyx and Sparky will take out the consecrated host himself.
It's all so complicated but I'm glad we found a solution. Sparky is actually excited and happy about it. I'll let you know how it works out in reality after a week or two.