Spirituality plays an important role for many recovering alcoholics. Indeed, many Seattle residents find that spirituality helps them avoid relapse and commit to sobriety. However, some religious practices conflict with recovery, especially communion. Because many faiths incorporate wine in this rite, alcoholics may feel torn between recovery and religion.
Should Alcoholics Take Communion?
Some faiths believe that taking communion is necessary to their practice, but other faiths see communion as a symbolic gesture. Therefore, recovering alcoholics must determine for themselves why they want to take communion before they determine their options about wine.
Ways Seattle Alcoholics Can Take Communion
If you determine that communion is an essential aspect of your spirituality, there are options aside from wine for this act, including the following suggestions:
- Requesting grape juice. Many priests and clergy will provide grape juice as an alternative if people explain their reasoning. If your pastor is unwilling to listen to your needs, find one who will.
- Receive the bread but pass on the wine. Some recovering alcoholics find meaning in taking communion even though they only receive the bread. The fellowship of other believers, along with receiving the bread, provides significance for many.
- Seeking out a church that offers both wine and grape juice. Some churches provide a non-alcoholic option for participants, especially for those under the legal drinking age. This would allow Seattle residents to participate fully without compromising recovery.
- Kissing the communion cup holding the Eucharist. If you discuss this symbolic gesture with your clergy, she may have no qualm with it.
- Attending a recovery (communion service). In these services, consecrated grape juice is used instead of wine, so people can participate without any anxiety or reservation.
These alternatives can provide a way for Seattle residents to balance religious beliefs with recovery needs. The two do not necessarily conflict.
How to Balance Recovery and Religion
Whatever your religious affiliation, the condition of your heart matters considerably as you approach an outward demonstration of a ritual. When balancing recovery with religion, remember that what matters is your personal struggle with your faith and life. If your heart is clean, then how you express that through religious ceremony is secondary.
Seattle Alcoholism Help
If you live in Seattle and are a religious alcoholic, please call our toll-free helpline now. You can talk to one of our trained counselors who can help you decide the best way to pursue recovery without damaging your religious beliefs. Recovery doesn’t conflict with religion, so call us today. We’re available 24 hours a day.