The Vatican just released a new set of guidelines that bishops should follow regarding the production of the bread (also called the host) used during the Holy Communion. The guidelines came after some production of the specific bread used for mass were made gluten-free.

Cardinal Robert Sarah, a member of Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, said in the letter to the bishops containing the guidelines that it was necessary to come up with such because the different versions of the host could easily be bought in supermarkets or over the internet. The Advertiser said that the circular hosts could be bought online for $10 per fifty loaves and the mini versions of the bread costs $6 per bag, which contains around 500 pieces.

Sarah pointed out that the hosts that are completely gluten-free are not valid matter for the celebration of the Eucharist. The Vatican allowed low-gluten breads to be used during the celebration, The Daily Meal reported.

Those low-gluten hosts are only valid if they have a sufficient amount of gluten to obtain “confection of bread without the addition of foreign materials." Sufficient amounts of gluten are also needed in order to assure that the nature of the bread is not altered in any way.

Why the host cannot be completely gluten-free

According to the letter, the Holy Communion Bread must have enough protein in the wheat in order to produce it without additives. Pope Francis reportedly requested that bishops should assure themselves that their bread is being prepared correctly.

The Vatican also specifically instructed bishops that the Holy Communion bread should be made by individuals who are distinguished by their integrity. No fruit or sugar should be added to the bread either.

Wine used during mass celebration should also be natural

Aside from the bread used during Holy Communion, the wine, which is served together with the host, should also be made naturally.

The wine should come from the fruit of the grape and should be “pure and incorrupt.” Bishops are also not allowed to use “doubtful authenticity or provenance” for the celebration. The only substitute for wine is a non-fermented grape juice for people who cannot drink wine, Refinery 29 shared.

The wine and bread served during the Eucharist is important for Roman Catholics.

They believe that the bread and wine are converted into the body and blood of Christ. Around 1.2 billion people all over the world are Catholics.

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