Office for Worship

Diocese of Cleveland

Diocesan Policy for use of low gluten hosts and mustum (Celiac-Sprue disease)

Gluten Intolerance and the Reception of Holy Communion

A low-gluten host has been developed. Its contents are unleavened wheat and water and it is free of additives, which conform to the requirements of the Code of Canon Law (canon 924, §2). This low gluten content is still enough to obtain the confection of bread for the Eucharist. Many gluten-intolerant persons may be able to consume it, or some portion of it. Such persons, however, are strongly advised to consult in advance with their physicians.

Gluten-free hosts are invalid
matter for the celebration of Mass. The product mentioned above, however, is the only true, low-gluten altar bread known to the USCCB’s Secretariat for the Liturgy and approved for use at Mass in the United States.  Click here to read the USCCB newsletter regarding this matter (pg 38).

The contact information for ordering from the four USCCB approved distributors of low-gluten hosts is as follows:

Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration
Altar Breads Department
31970 State Highway P
Clyde, MO 64432-8100
Phone:  (800) 223-2772
Gluten Content: 0.01%

Parish Crossroads

P.O. Box 84
Zionsville, IN 46077-0084
Phone: (800) 510-8842
Gluten Content: 0.016% Inc.
100 Buckley Road
Liverpool, NY 13088
Phone: (800) 668-7324 ext. 1
Gluten Content: 0.002%


Cavanagh Company
610 Putnam Pike
Greenville, RI 02828
Phone: (800) 635-0568
Gluten Content: 0.00042%

The common advice given to many Celiac and gluten-intolerant patients is to receive only the Precious Blood at Holy Communion. Additional concerns, however, can emerge when the Precious Blood has been “contaminated” with gluten at the commingling rite. The administration of the Precious Blood, whether under the form of wine or of mustum to persons with these conditions must carefully take into account the need to avoid any mixing of the sacred species at the altar or a communion station.

Low Gluten Hosts: Suggested Procedures

A person with gluten intolerance should keep a supply of low gluten hosts for use as needed. The parish could buy the hosts or the individual could buy hosts directly from one of the three approved suppliers listed above. (Recall that only hosts from the suppliers listed above are valid matter for the Eucharist.  Low-gluten hosts from other suppliers or No-gluten/Gluten-free hosts  are not valid matter for Eucharist.)

  • A person with gluten intolerance should speak with the priest before Mass when providing a low gluten host.
  • It is recommended that a person with gluten intolerance should use a small pyx in which to place the low gluten host to be consecrated. This will lessen the chance of this host getting mixed in with others.
  • The pyx should be brought to the altar when the chalice, paten and other vessels are brought to set up the altar at the Preparation of the Gifts.
  • The procedure for coming forward to receive Communion should be worked out with the pastor and/or liturgy staff of the parish.

Alcohol Intolerance and the Reception of Holy Communion

Those who are unable to consume alcohol, whether lay faithful, deacons, or priests, may now substitute mustum for regular wine in the reception of Holy Communion, with appropriate permission. Mustum is grape juice which contains no additives, is not pasteurized, and has a very low alcohol content (less than 1.0%) due to the fact that the fermentation process has been arrested briefly after its start. Any pasteurized grape juice product, including pasteurized mustum, is invalid matter for Mass due to the fact that the high temperatures used in the pasteurization process evaporate all of the remaining alcohol in the juice.

For mustum approved for use at Mass by the USCCB Secretariat for the Liturgy, please contact:


Mont La Salle Altar Wines
605 Trancas Street, Suite D
Napa, CA94558
Phone: (800) 447-8466

Monks Wine & Candles
P.O. Box 681248
Schaumburg, IL 60168
Phone: (800) 540-MONK (6665)


In accord with the letter of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued on July 24, 2003 (Prot. 89/78-17498), with delegation granted by virtue of canon 137, §1 of the Code of Canon Law, pastors2 of the Diocese of Cleveland are granted the faculty to permit the use of mustum and low-gluten hosts by an individual deacon and an individual member of the lay Christian faithful.
Medical certification of a condition justifying the use of mustum or low-gluten hosts is not required.
Such permission, once granted, stands for as long as the condition persists which occasioned the request for the original permission.
The USCCB Secretariat for the Liturgy has approved for Mass in the United States the sources for low-gluten hosts and mustum given in the attached Appendix.
It is strictly forbidden for a pastor to implement in his parish a widespread use of mustum or low gluten hosts at Mass as a precautionary measure. It is forbidden for those who do not suffer from the medical condition of celiac disease or alcohol intolerance to receive low-gluten hosts or mustum.

The corresponding permission for priests to use mustum and/or low-gluten hosts remains under the competence of the local Ordinary.

The delegation of above referenced faculty to pastors is hereby granted at the Chancery of the Diocese of Cleveland this 25th day of March 2013.


+ Richard G. Lennon

Bishop of Cleveland


Sr. Therese Guerin Sullivan, SP




Updated: 9 November 2015
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