Eating/Drinking (except water) One Hour Before and After Communion


#1

Are we still following this discipline or not? Why?


#2

I don't know about after, but before, yes, we are still obligated to follow this discipline. From what I understand, it is in place to help us properly prepare ourselves to receive Christ by fasting. However, there are cases in which fasting is not required.

[quote=http://www.ewtn.com/faith/teachings/euchb2a.htm]370, What are the current rules for fasting before Holy Communion?

(a) For many centuries the Church commanded a strict fast from midnight before one could receive Holy Communion. However, in the 1950's Pope Pius XII introduced a much more lenient form of fasting before Holy Communion in order to give Catholics an opportunity to receive Holy Communion more frequently.

(b) Pope Pius XII also allowed the celebration of afternoon and evening Masses every day, when the spiritual good of a considerable number of the faithful requires it. It is the right of the bishop of each diocese to decide when such Masses may be offered in his diocese.

(c) Paul VI further reduced the fasting requirement after the Second Vatican Council, requiring only a one hour fast from all food and drink (excluding water). This may be reduced to 15 minutes for those who are sick or for other important reasons. This is the practice currently in force.

  1. When may Holy Communion be received without fasting?

Holy Communion may be received without fasting when one is in danger of death, or when it is necessary to save the Blessed Sacrament from insult or injury.

(a) Ordinarily the danger of death comes from sickness or injury. But it is not necessary that a person be in danger of death from sickness in order to receive Holy Communion without fasting. The danger of death may come from some other cause. A soldier, for example, who is about to go into battle or a person about to be executed may receive Holy Communion without fasting.
[/quote]


#3

We fast before, obligatory 1 hour, though in the past it used to be much more. Fasting should hopefully go along with prayerful preparation towards the Holy Mass.

Afterwards there is no fast obligation as far as I know, though I think it would be proper to remain at least 10 to 15 minutes in prayer along with Our Lord, for during approximately that time we truly are living tabernacles.


#4

I believe we are supposed to drink water before anything else in case there are any particles left in our mouths.


#5

[quote="onceablasphemer, post:4, topic:305180"]
I believe we are supposed to drink water before anything else in case there are any particles left in our mouths.

[/quote]

There are many things that we were taught as children before First Communion that have never been Church teaching. Our teachers' pious practices were taught to us as though they were doctrine. Not biting the Host was one of them and I suspect your 'drinking water before anything else' is another. Logically, what difference does it make if your first drink is water, juice or coffee? Particles will be washed down by any of them which is what you want to have happen.

Of course from the time you receive to the time you are in a position to drink anything is usually about 15 minutes or longer (unless you walk out of church on you way back from Communion) so any particles should be long dissolved and swallowed.


#6

[quote="fredms3, post:1, topic:305180"]
Are we still following this discipline or not? Why?

[/quote]

The Church's teaching is that we must abstain from food/drink for one hour before Holy Communion, excepting water and medicine. The Church makes no requirement after Communion.

Also, there are exceptions for the elderly, infirm, their caregivers, and priests saying multiple masses:

Can.* 919 §1. A person who is to receive the Most Holy Eucharist is to abstain for at least one hour before holy communion from any food and drink, except for only water and medicine.

§2. A priest who celebrates the Most Holy Eucharist two or three times on the same day can take something before the second or third celebration even if there is less than one hour between them.

§3. The elderly, the infirm, and those who care for them can receive the Most Holy Eucharist even if they have eaten something within the preceding hour.


#7

I knew nothing about waiting after Communion before eating & drinking. Most people tend to go have a meal after Mass at home or other places. I have only known the 1 hour minimal fast as I was born after the changes of Vatican II.

My mother remembers the fasting strictness as a young girl. The nuns at the Catholic school she attended were very strict as the school kids attending daily Mass before school started would not be allowed anywhere near a drinking fountain then they could freely eat and drink after Mass was done. Also, the earliest Sunday Masses tended to be more crowded as people would go eat after it, and those who went later had to wait longer before having their first meal of the day. If you weren't going to the rail, no issue then with the fast but if you were going to the rail to receive, fasting since midnight was the norm.


#8

[quote="MissRose73, post:7, topic:305180"]
My mother remembers the fasting strictness as a young girl. The nuns at the Catholic school she attended were very strict as the school kids attending daily Mass before school started would not be allowed anywhere near a drinking fountain

[/quote]

So was the rule that not even water was allowed in those days, then? Allowed by the Church, I mean, not by the nuns, who may have been stricter than the Church.


#9

[quote="paperwight66, post:8, topic:305180"]
So was the rule that not even water was allowed in those days, then? Allowed by the Church, I mean, not by the nuns, who may have been stricter than the Church.

[/quote]

My mother and sister remember the Dominican nuns that taught them at their local Catholic school were very strict. They tolerated no misbehavior from the kids, and they remember the punishments like the hands being hit with wooden rulers as an example.


#10

[quote="paperwight66, post:8, topic:305180"]
So was the rule that not even water was allowed in those days, then?

[/quote]

Yes, it was a total fast from Midnight, including water.

In 1953 Pope Pius XII allowed water and medicine to be excluded from the fast. The fast was reduced to 3 hours in 1957 and one hour in 1964.

I have posted the current code from 1983.

So, it depends upon when dear mother was in school as to whether the fast included water.


#11

I made my First Communion on May 4, 1958. When I started kindergarten in September of 1956, the water fountains were wrapped in burlap before Mass. Kindergarten had a water fountain in the room, but the older kids couldn't have anything before Mass, which was a daily occurrence then. I believe that the fast was from the previous midnight. It was 3 hours for anything when I made my First Communion, including water. I think you could take medicine if it was absolutley necessary, but people would wait if they could. This was a really long time ago, but I'm pretty sure my memory is correct on this.

After attending Catholic grade school, high school and college, I can't say I've ever heard about fasting after Communion. Most kids brought some kind of breakfast to school, mostly donuts although some kids had cold scrambled egg sandwiches wrapped in foil, and some 8th graders would bring lukewarm milk around for 2 cents a carton.


#12

[quote="fredms3, post:1, topic:305180"]
Are we still following this discipline or not? Why?

[/quote]

As above, the fast is one hour before communion (this means reception of communion, not before Mass), except water and medicine.

There is no fasting required after communion. At my seminary, we have Mass in the early morning followed immediately by breakfast.


#13

[quote="1ke, post:10, topic:305180"]
Yes, it was a total fast from Midnight, including water.

In 1953 Pope Pius XII allowed water and medicine to be excluded from the fast. The fast was reduced to 3 hours in 1957 and one hour in 1964.

I have posted the current code from 1983.

So, it depends upon when dear mother was in school as to whether the fast included water.

[/quote]

My mother was born nearly 3 years after the end of World War 2, her old sister just a year after the war was done. Each girl had their First Communions in the spring time of their 2nd grade year when they were 8 years old so they would have taught about the fasting stuff a great deal by the nuns I am sure. My mother and aunt were teenagers when the fasting was reduced to one hour from the 3 hours it was when they were pre-teens.


#14

[quote="MissRose73, post:13, topic:305180"]
My mother was born nearly 3 years after the end of World War 2, her old sister just a year after the war was done. Each girl had their First Communions in the spring time of their 2nd grade year when they were 8 years old so they would have taught about the fasting stuff a great deal by the nuns I am sure. My mother and aunt were teenagers when the fasting was reduced to one hour from the 3 hours it was when they were pre-teens.

[/quote]

Then the nuns did not get the message or continued to teach other than what the Church required. Water was allowed starting in 1953.


#15

[quote="fredms3, post:1, topic:305180"]
Are we still following this discipline or not? Why?

[/quote]

Afterwards, you're fine. There's no obligation to do anything.


#16

[quote="MissRose73, post:9, topic:305180"]
My mother and sister remember the Dominican nuns that taught them at their local Catholic school were very strict. They tolerated no misbehavior from the kids, and they remember the punishments like the hands being hit with wooden rulers as an example.

[/quote]

Wooden? Hah! Our's had metal yardsticks :)


#17

I know the current law is a 1 hr eucharistic fast... But, personally, I try to follow the fast from midnight if I know I am going (or am planning to go) to mass in the morning. I'll follow the 3 hr eucharistic fast if I am going to an afternoon mass (The Latin Mass I go to on Sundays is at 4pm).

I would never fault anyone for following the current rules. But, for me.. since I will sometimes go a while between meals... I don't know why... it just happens sometimes... I don't personally feel like I'm taking it seriously enough. I am not trying to do the bare minimum.


#18

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