According to the Church Times and the Guardian (so it must be true) there is a price war going on in France over the cost of wafers for communion. As we all know they are made by nuns (and I have a theory about the thin and fat wafers which I’m happy to share) and are a major source of income for them. However the Shrine at Lourdes are threatening to change supplier from French nuns to Polish lay people because they are cheaper. Are the wafers the same if they are made by the laity and not nuns, one wonders? Lourdes have haggled and got the nuns to put their prices down. Can it ever be right to haggle over the price of wafers? I’m not sure but I feel distinctly uneasy about the whole thing.
The right wafers are very important. You may think that we just go for the cheapest supplier and to hell with the niceties in design, but not so. My personal preference is for a crucifix wafer and I do have a good supplier. However this last batch were extremely thin – wafer thin in fact. Same brand, but they must have been made by the heavy nuns who rolled them out within an inch of their lives. Now you might think that thin is good (less calories and all that) but it means that they are really hard to grasp in the ciborium and they scoot off the paten as fast as you pile them on. So, if you have to wait for a little holy moment for the Body of Christ you’ll know that I’m just trying to catch it.