While in recovery, you will be faced with many challenges to your sobriety. Some temptations will be obvious while others will be more subtle. For the recovering alcoholic, a challenge can lie in taking communion with an alcoholic beverage.
Here are some thoughts to consider when taking communion:
Talk to your pastor or priest.
If your church has communion coming, talk to your pastor or priest and mention that you are an alcoholic. Ask if there are any suitable alternatives to wine, such as grape juice. Many times the church leader will assist you in these circumstances. Do not be afraid or embarrassed about the situation; instead know you are moving forward in your recovery by being intentional and proactive.
You likely have many different options.
If after talking to your church leader you find grape juice is not an acceptable alternative, you still have other options. Many denominations dip the bread into the wine; you have the option to minimize the amount of wine you put on your bread. You could also partake of just the bread and not have any wine. In some denominations, you may kiss your hand and then touch the cup. You may also be able to kiss the cup directly to demonstrate reverence.
It is better to be safe than sorry.
If you are not sure whether or not the wine will trigger a relapse, it is always best to exercise precaution. As an alcoholic, in order to stay sober you know you must avoid alcohol. Be careful not to shrug off any amount of alcohol as just a taste or you could rationalize other drinking. Do not take any of this lightly so you can avoid relapse. We are all different and while you may be fine with a small taste of alcohol in a religious context, it may still be better to be cautious and avoid any potential triggers.
Whatever decision you make, be extremely self-aware and intentional. As an alcoholic, any steps you can take to avoid relapse are worth implementing.
If you or a loved one is struggling with alcoholism, call our 24 hour, toll-free helpline to speak to a trained professional who is ready to help you. Our counselors will answer your questions about treatment and tell you how to move forward in your recovery from alcohol addiction.