As a lapsed Catholic in her thirties, I understand that even with my constant feelings of guilt and shame, I got off pretty easy in comparison to those whose childhoods occurred before the Vatican II Council of 1962. Those Catholics lived with all the same guilt and shame I do, plus the threat of having their knuckles rapped by nuns for the unforgivable sins of occasionally eating meat on Fridays, exclaiming “Oh my God” in a moment of shock, or missing Sunday mass due to the flu.
So what is an observant Catholic to do when coronavirus has shuttered churches, but God is still watching? You can always watch mass on TV or attend via Zoom, but as any churchgoer can tell you, if you do not participate in our most holy of sacraments—the consumption of the body and blood of none other than Jesus Christ himself—you might as well have spent that hour of your life watching pornography. For anyone facing this conundrum, this incredible kit features five hundred single-use shots of shelf-stable “communion wine” (grape juice) and communion wafers (crackers).
Printed on the lid of these Communion K-Cups is the passage, “This is my body, which is broken for you: Take, eat: do this in remembrance of me,” though it’s unclear whether that means they’ve been officially consecrated by religious powers or whether that part has to happen on the back end—or maybe via Zoom services? The communion wafers are standard issue, made from unleavened flour, water, and salt, but I was also able to find gluten-free hosts for the body-of-Christ-intolerant. These are not officially approved by the Holy See, though, because wheat is considered a crucial element of the wafers and, according to a 2017 letter from Pope Francis, “Hosts that are completely gluten-free are invalid matter for the celebration of the Eucharist. Low-gluten hosts (partially gluten-free) are valid matter, provided they contain a sufficient amount of gluten to obtain the confection of bread without the addition of foreign materials and without the use of procedures that would alter the nature of bread.” If you’re having trouble following that, you’re not alone. But the important thing is, in times of quarantine, no one has to worry about losing access to the best part of sitting through church.