Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Whole Lot of Little Breads...

Click on the link to see a video story about the Host with the Most -- it is a fascinating account of the Cavanagh Company of Smithfield, RI, which produces some 850 million hosts each year -- hosts that become the Body of Christ received by about that many Roman Catholics, Lutherans, and Episcopalians (and a few others).  I had to laugh when the company mentioned a line of "hosts" for the Baptists that, unlike the hosts produced for liturgical churches, would make a fine soup cracker.  Read it here for yourself.

It is something to behold... a company that can chart the health of the eucharistic faith and piety of liturgical Christians in the US simply by checking on sales!

We use them.  Do you?


SKPeterson said...

We use them as well. My wife grew up Disciples of Christ (TCU grad even) and I remember that the communion wafers were like oyster crackers except square, not hexagonal.

Rev. David M. Juhl said...

We use them too.

Jonathan said...

That is what we use. I like that they have a bit of heft to them so you have to actually chew on the host.

Rev. Luke T. Zimmerman said...

We use them at my parish, too.

It is odd to go from the host wafers that are thicker--the Cavanagh type that we use--to the paper-thin ones used at Circuit or District Conferences.

Bishop Robert Lyons said...

I use several brands. I prefer, for decent sized congregations, to use their large breads that break into about 25 pieces each.

At the hospital, I use the regular 'priest's host', which breaks into 4 pieces (or more, if you are inventive!).

I do my best to avoid individual wafers whenever possible, save for what I reserve to commune the sick in emergencies where a full celebration of the Eucharist is impractical.

One brand that I like in some respects better than Cavanaugh is St. Michael Altar Breads from, as I recall, Holland. Meyer Vogephol in Cincinnatti stocks their product, which is thicker and tastes far superior to Cavanaugh's product. Unfortunately, they are so crisp that they leave lots of crumbs at the fraction, and they do not have sealed edges, which makes even handling them for distribution a bit of a pain.

If I could combine the taste of the St. Michael breads with the ease of the Cavanaugh bread, I'd be a happy man.

One brand I avoid like the plague is "Charis" out of Sparta, Tennessee. They are the worst of both worlds - unsealed edges, paper thin, taste like styrafoam, and crumby as the dickens.

Curious, though... how many of you used 'bleached' hosts, and how many use 'unbleached'? I prefer the taste and 'breadiness' of unbleached, but have read some interesting arguments for using bleached as representing the finest offering.