A question about being late for a Mass



I have a question: If I am late for a Mass for several minutes, can I receive the Eucharist during this Mass?


There isn’t a cut off time in the modern church. As long as you actively participate and are in a state of grace you may receive. You should not receive if you don’t have adequate time to prepare to receive Jesus.

Most people I know follow a cut off time they learned in childhood : collect, gospel, homily etc. but there is no official cut off


@someone429 only before the I confess prayer ,after that if your late,your not supposed to receive the holy Eucharist.don’t get into the bad habit to go late for mass

will get back to this got go


Ewtn has a good answer here: http://www.ewtn.com/library/liturgy/zliturg9.htm

No post Vatican 2 church document and nothing from the USCCB lays down a definitive cut off.


How long are these minutes and how often are you late.

What you have to consider is what you are doing.

We are gathering for the Feast of the Lord, why are we late?

If it were some other gathering, would we be late/constantly late/have a nonchalant attitude?

We not only offend by disrupting the Mass but we offend by communicating this indifference to others, who may feel as much entitlement as ourselves, and begin to take our lukewarm stance–‘I’ll get there when I get there.’

Then there’s the relationship with God; are we giving to God, as Cain, whatever and whenever ‘so take it!’ or are we giving to God, as Abel, the best of the best we have to offer?

Maran atha!



Yes so long as you get there before the reading of the Gospel is what I was taught.

BUT give yourself sufficient time to be at Mass Early; here we are in the very Divine Presence of Jesus in Person… Mass is a Wondrous Gift to us; grab it joyfully


Yes so long as you get there before the reading of the Gospel is what I was taught.

BUT give yourself sufficient time to be at Mass Early; here we are in the very Divine Presence of Jesus in Person… Mass is a Wondrous Gift to us; grab it joyfully

Thank you!

I know that I should arrive in time. In most cases, I arrive in time. I just want to know whether I can receive the Eucharist even if I am late for several minutes.


Being late for Mass is not, in itself, sinful. What is sinful is not fulfilling Sunday/Holy Day Obligation. To fulfill your obligation, you must participate at Mass, arriving no later than before the Gospel and departing no earlier than the Prayer After Communion. If you arrive, say, at the Offertory, you may still receive Communion at that Mass provided you are otherwise disposed and have the intention of attending at least the portion of the Mass you were absent at another Mass later that day (no such obligation exists for a weekday Mass). Furthermore, the same scenarios which would excuse you from attending Mass entirely also excuse you for being late, so if you are late for the last Mass of the day for reasons that would have justified missing Mass entirely if they had persisted, you are excused and can receive Communion. If, however, you are late for the last Mass such that you do not fulfill your obligation through your own fault, or you refuse to attend another Mass after being too late to fulfill your obligation at an earlier Mass, you shall not present yourself for Communion.


Basically, if your late and its not your fault as happens just pray to Our Lord and say sorry then continue with communion. “No one who asks for God’s mercy is ever turned away” St Faustina.


Yes , as long as you haven’t received the Eucharist the same day .


I remember one Sunday back in ~April where I expected to be working the whole day. But then the event I was working ended earlier than I expected. I arrived at an evening Mass after the homily. It was practically the earliest I could arrive. It was great to be able to be there for that much even though I wasn’t present for the readings. I consider my obligation for that day fulfilled.
As for receiving, I recall someone mentioning how a groundskeeper of their college would come into Daily Mass during the distribution of Eucharist and leave after receiving. It was all he could be there for while on shift. The priest, so far as that poster knew, never told him to stop.



Obligation and reception of the Eucharist are two
different things. And the Church makes no statement on this topic one way or the other.


This is not correct. There isn’t any timeframe associated with receiving the Eucharist.

This used to be told to people regarding fulfilling the obligation, but this has never been part of Church law, just something people “heard” from various people— grandma, sister so-and-so, etc.


You may receive a second time in a day provided it’s at Mass.


I know , but I was answering in the context of the OP . The amount of time he was absent from Mass makes it questionable whether it could be seen as “attending Mass” .


Fair enough; but the Church has no specific cut-off time (despite the numerous attempts to state otherwise on this thread). I just didn’t want the OP to have misleading information compounding an already potentially falsely answered question. Fortunately, 1ke and Deditus_Domina have provided the correct information. The OP will have to rely on conscience about how late was too late to receive Communion or fulfill the obligation (if there was one), and hopefully will take into account the reasons for tardiness rather than a play-by-play or down to the minute of timing with the Mass in making such a determination.


YES you may, so long as your in the “State of Grace”

Pray very much



Yes, you may still receive. Keep holy the Sabbath. Worship and love God. Attend Mass and receive Communion. Pray, pray, pray.


@mythbuster1, for someone who identifies himself as busting myths, you are perpetuating a big one here. The Church has no definitive cutoff for arrival, nor has it defined how early it is acceptable to leave.


I’m not sure where to find it, but there was on article posted on CAF in a similar thread a while back. In it the author talked aboit a hypothetical mother trying to get kids out the door while dealing with an overflowing toilet. (Something like that.) If she arrived halfway through Mass, it was not for lack of love for God, but legitimate reasons. He contrasted that with a guy who wanted to listen to the end of a game on the radio, sitting in his car in the church parking lot to do so. If he arrived a minute or two late, it was different,

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