Now, I am attending a new church plant where the communion bread--wheat bread--is made by parishioners. Because of a love for Jesus, a parishioner takes the time and effort to create these loaves. As in old times, the people who provide The Gift present it before the congregation. The priest consecrates it to the Lord, and then we receive it. It's wonderful and I appreciate the love, effort, and obedience that go into making it. However, having received many a wafer in my day, I'm one of the weird people who actually like the texture, taste, and look of it better than wheat bread.
But one thing I'd not give much thought to was the manufacturing of the wafers. That is, until now. In "Buy the Body of Christ," Rowan Moore Gerety gives a short history of the changes in wafer production.
At the outset, Gerety has a slightly negative slant toward the commerical manufacturing of the wafers. True, a few convents lost business due to the new business, The Cavanagh Co., though the family who own it are themselves faithful parishioners. But this is where people need to understand that business, too, is a calling. The sacred and secular can meet in the middle because God is Lord over all.