April 03, 2006

Mmm... Sacrament

A Few Innocent Questions about Communion Wafers Which, Although Asked Completely Earnestly, Might Get Me Sent to Hell Anyway

Who makes them? They’re supposed to be unleavened bread, right? The ones we used to get in church were like little quarter-sized poker chips. They were obviously processed so… is there a… mint? Or a factory? Is it run by nuns, or overseen by a bishop, just to make sure they’re keeping it holy? [I would say ‘kosher’, but I don’t know if the term can be legally applied. Can you refer to something Catholic as ‘kosher’? And… are they kosher?]

Are they just bought as the store? I know I haven’t seen them at Meijer or Kroger, so it must be some kind of specialty store. Are they at Crossroads? I’ve never been in one of those, so it’s a possibility, but I don’t think they’re available to the general public. Maybe there’s a store you go to for various religious sundries, and you need to show your pastor ID to get in, like Sam’s Club (Oh, I hope that’s it. And I hope it’s called God’s Club. People would still be trying to fake their way in with their Mom’s ID, but I think the punishment would be excommunication). Everything would be in bulk, like purple tablecloths and gold-plated chalices, menorahs and candles. Lots of candles. And there would be a huge florist section, with lilies at Easter. Can things go on sale, then? Because that’s God stuff, really; it’s wrong to assign value to it. For that matter, are there different brands of communion wafers, like Kellogg’s or General Mills? Can you buy local? Organic? If you buy off-brand, are they just as good, or only like, purgatory-good?


At what point do they stop being flavorless chips, and become The Body of Christ? Are they blessed on the spot, or are they shipped unblessed and then blessed at the church? Our pastor blessed them in the service, but that might’ve been a second blessing; I know they bless things multiple times just to be safe. And if they’re shipped unblessed, and something happens to them in transit, do they go to Hell?

Why are they any different from Wonderbread? Structurally, they are just flour and water, yes? So why all the fuss? Mystique? Symbolism? If you bless any other kind of bread, will it become The Body? Can you bless a croissant? They’ll bless a rosary if you bring it with you to Church… is it the same with a baguette? What if you swear you’re going straight to the local orphanage with it? And if you lied and eat the whole thing yourself, will you be smote (smitten / smited / whichever)? And if you use torn-up pitas, like we did when we played church at my Grama’s house, will the blessing wash off when you dunk it in the Kool-Aid?

Are they shipped in little Quarter-rolls so they don’t break? I think this is where the Catholic Church and the M&M’s Minis guys could do some serious business together. Can I ask for royalties if it was my idea, or does the church get it all? (I think I know the answer to this one.)

Are they just in big tubs? If they’re in tubs, then nothing prevents them from breaking, so it stands to reason that there would be anything from whole chips to damaged ones, to broken ones and crumbs. Are you supposed to just use the whole ones? Is there a cutoff rule, or is it pastor prerogative? [Because if the person in the communion line ahead of you got a whole one, and you just got a half… would you get less salvation? Could a priest do it on purpose, as his subtle way of letting you know he hasn’t pinned any hopes on you, like, if he knows you’re having an affair? Or if he just thinks you need to go on a diet? Did you get it because you just aren’t as well-off as the first guy, and therefore less apt to tithe well? Or did he not realize you got a stubby bit of Christ-cracker, and now you’ll go to Hell because the priest unknowingly failed to give you the full dose, and it’s not your fault at all?]

What happens to the crumbs? If they are packed without proper cushioning, there would inevitably be those little potato-chip crumbs at the bottom of the bag. Now, do you just throw these away? Because that’s… Jesus. It doesn’t seem right. On the other hand, is it right just to tip the jar upward and shake all the crumbs into your mouth like you do with the last of the Pringles? It seems like you’d be getting a double dose of the Lord that way. I guess a priest could save up the crummy bits for those parishioners without teeth, or who have problems swallowing or something. They could make Jesus milkshakes for people with lockjaw or cerebral palsy—that could come in handy for missionaries.

Can you give them to animals? I thought I remembered something about “beasts” not being able to receive the sacraments, but I know a lot of people that are avid pet lovers, some of whom are Catholic. The people, I mean, not the pets. Although I know dogs can feel guilt, so… maybe they are Catholic? Is it like vegetarianism, where you’re one, so your kids are by proxy? I don’t see a problem with giving the crummies to pets, then, if they behave themselves and wait until you’ve used up all the good ones. Is that sacrilege? I think it would be a bigger sin to just compost them, toss them on top of the old eggshells and whatnot, but that does gel with the whole “ashes to ashes” concept. And a little Jesus in your compost has to be good for the soil, right? Would it make your veggies grow bigger, or only if you really believe? I’m surprised there hasn’t been a Miracle-Gro scam. Or lawsuit, for that matter.

Couldn’t I just Google it and find out, without risking my (already tenuous) spot in heaven with all these questions? Yes. Oh. Ah. I see.

Well, it turns out there are people closer to the abyss than I am.

3 comments:

Jessica said...

I've never tried a Christ-cracker, but I imagine it somewhat like matzoh. I do not envy Catholics the weekly consumption.

Beedoo said...

Matzoh is actually better; I've had some (because you can buy it in stores and all). My aunt says that they've actually started using matzoh for communion in her church now... doesn't that blur the line between Judaism and Catholcism just a little bit?

Meg said...

I haven't been to church since, well, last Christmas... but when I was younger, and my mother made me go, communion was a loaf of bread and little tiny cups of grape juice (I suppose you could pose all the same questions about the wine served during mass. Grapes blessed before they're made into wine? Is it really just a big jug of Carlo Rossi? Is it possible to spice it up a bit with different varities of wine? Or is only one type of wine/grape sacred?). Now, we only had communion once a month, but I always looked forward to it because I was usually pretty hungry (seeing as I usually skipped breakfast due to my love of sleep) and the bread was really pretty good (I'm sure someone stopped to pick it up from a bakery on the way in). Although come to think of it, while we did get our own little tiny cups of grape juice, we all basically pulled from the same chunk of bread... that's a little gross isn't it?