Thursday, January 12, 2006

When Necco wafers just don't hit the spot...

As a Catholic schoolboy, I used to play priest. I still see grownups do it today. They call them "communion ministers." But that's another story...

I remember my altar. I didn't have a chalice, so I stacked several books in the middle and used a cloth napkin for a veil. A patchwork quilt was my chasuble. My altar boys were the two brothers from next door, who belonged to the local Church of Christ, and really had to wonder what the hell I was up to. (That's another story too, because one day Mom called the three of us to the table to lecture us on two things to never, ever do -- talk about religion with our Protestant neighbors, and talk to strangers about anything, period. No, not you, Pat; you were too little back then.)

Of course, the "valid matter" of choice for the host was the Necco™ wafer.

These days, however, if the Quebecois want a low-fat, salt-free snack, they reach for a bag of "Retailles d'Hosties," made only from whole wheat flour and water. The story has caused quite a scare in the Catholic blogosphere (as, according to Jimmy Akin, "Quebec is SO going to hell.") However, Canadian priest Father Thomas Dowd manages to put the practice in perspective, in a piece entitled "Et tu, Father Neuhaus?"

If you view Catholicism as a more holistic experience than just "doing religious stuff," it almost makes sense.

Yum. Discuss.

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