Gluten-Free Communion Wafer: Recommended Options for Purchasing

GF wafer options comparisons–

Nabisco Gluten Free Rice Thins
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Nabisco-Rice-Thins-Original-White-Rice-Thin-Rice-Snacks-3.5-oz/26832117

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I purchased at Woodman’s in Onalaska on 8/11/13 for $2.49
(could ask for a case discount if continue to use)

Serving size says 18 pieces at about 3 servings per container = about 54 crackers per package … I will calculate based on 50 crackers to be conservative (my box did contain some broken pieces … which I would be OK with using at communion)

2.49 / 50 = .0498 … so .05 per cracker/communion serving

 

Pros:

  • No need to break crackers into smaller pieces
  • affordable and easy to find (according to what I’m seeing in stores currently)
  • appearance similar to wafers if the congregation is used to this
  • simple allergy-friendly ingredients

Cons:

  • sized slightly larger than most communion wafers
  • if using intinction, these will not absorb as much wine/juice
  • a bit crunchier than a wafer (possibly distraction to some)

Hol Grain Crackers Brown Rice with a touch of salt

online (http://www.conradricemill.com/Details.asp?ProdID=33&category=8)
48.39 for a case / 12 for 4.03 per box (although I assume there is shipping)
Note: at times these are also available via Amazon at a variety of prices for a box or case although I have never seen them less than the above price

At Woodman’s (on 8/11/13) $5.09 for a box
(could ask for a case discount if continue to use)

Serving size 7 crackers with 8 per box 56 crackers — for communion breaking into thirds is recommended (or at least half, but since I recommend thirds I will calculate that way). Calculation on 50 crackers per box (25 per sealed bag) to account for breakage, etc.
50 x 3 = 150 communion servings
5.09/150 = .03 per communion serving

Pros:

  • Very simple allergy friendly ingredients
  • affordable
  • if using intinction, these soak up the wine/juice better than most crackers
  • neutral non-processed taste and texture

Cons:

  • the need to break/cut the crackers into smaller pieces can be messy and is an extra step
  • if not using intinction these crackers are very dry and you may want to consider a smaller piece than 1/3 of the whole cracker

The above two cracker options are my current recommendations for those that want to use something GF to replace communion wafers. These two options are relatively inexpensive and easy to find, and are preferable in both taste and texture to the GF wafer options currently available while remaining allergy friendly (avoiding the addition of soy or other allergen like found in so many other GF products).

Products made specifically as Gluten-Free Communion Wafers
The following two products (really seems to be one product with different packaging although I cannot confirm that) are what I see available for a product specifically marketed as GF communion wafers. If you know of others, please leave a link in the comments area!

Ener-g communion wafers
http://www.ener-g.com/communion-wafers.html
These are available from many sources at a variety of prices. I will use the prices currently on their website for my comparison. Due to shipping these may be more cost effective if there is a local place you can purchase them. Currently many local supply stores as well as gluten-free specialty stores or sections of large grocery stores are carrying them.

Box of 50 @ 8.79 or buy a case to lower price to $7.91 per box
(note, these almost always include broken ones but I will still calculate at the 50 pieces)

8.79/50 = .18 per communion serving

Pros:

  • allergen friendly for top allergens
  • very familiar shape, etc. to those accustomed to using wafers
  • may be able to purchase at the same place you purchase regular communion wafers
  • produced in a facility that understands food allergies and celiac disease

Cons:

  • These simply do not taste good, especially after being open for awhile (this was not true years ago when I began using this brand for GF communion so I believe that a recipe change to move toward avoiding additional allergens, such as soy led them to go stale faster, be more fragile, and taste um, bad)
  • these break very easily and seem smaller than many communion wafers making them less than ideal for intinction.

GF Wafers offered by Celebrate Communion
http://www.celebratecommunion.com/gluten-free-communion-wafers-130.html?gclid=CNa74f6H-7gCFaZaMgodl3AA_Q
These seem to be identical to the Ener-g wafers, but packaged differently. I can not verify that because I have not used these wafers personally.

$19.95 for a box of 130 = .15 per wafer

Similar pros and cons would apply as above. The packaging here helps to prevent crushing; however, if you are not going to quickly use the entire container, there may be more waste.

The Gluten-Free Church: A Eucharistic Manifesto

The Gluten-Free Church: A Eucharistic Manifesto

It is becoming more and more common to hear both pastoral and lay leaders call for inclusive communion practices as part of broader hospitality and accessibility ministries. My heart rejoices when I read or hear such calls for inclusion as found in this manifesto.

What are your thoughts?