Skip to main content



God and Gluten: Wheat, Tradition, and Eucharist

Gluten has been in the news this week as Roman Catholics received news that a traditional position about the use of wheat bread at the Eucharist was being re-affirmed in strong terms.

The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments issued a letter reiterating a position that had already been made fairly clear before, such as in the General Instruction on the Roman Missal (2000) which states: “The bread for celebrating the Eucharist must be made only from wheat, must be recently baked, and, according to the ancient tradition of the Latin Church, must be unleavened.”

This connection between wheat and the Eucharist is an ancient one, although it may be based on a misapprehension. The insistence that the bread be wheat is a historical mistake, if intended as a link with the Last Supper or the observance of Passover (as the emphasis on unleavened bread implies).

The accounts of Jesus' Last Supper do not specify of what the bread was made. It is true that wheat…

Latest posts

Bread: Becoming Who We Are

Secrets and Mysteries

Pentecost 2017

A Saint, His Cloak, and Us

Blame Me: The Cross and the Power of Love

On Blessing: Beatitudes, Knowledge, and Power

Twelfth Night: The Manger and the Cross


Not One Stone Upon Another: Apocalypse, Election, and Christian Life

How to Vote? All Saints' Day