Eucharist ?

Can one receive the Eucharist more than once a day I went to three masses Sunday

You may receive twice, as long as the second time is at a Mass you are attending.
The only time you could receive a third time is as Viaticum if you were dying.

That is why the two guys I was with took communion 2 times and not a third, what about a priest who does multiple masses

Good question! I guess he cannot celebrate more than two. But let’s hear the others :smiley:

A priest cannot should not celebrate more than 2 masses in any given day, unless he receives permission from his bishop to celebrate a 3rd (usually for pastoral reasons - large parish with many mass times, but too few priests). Also, the Saturday vigil does not count as one of the masses celebrated by the priest for Sunday (meaning he can celebrate the Vigil and 2 Sunday masses without special permission).
The only day that this is not true is on the feast of all-souls (Nov. 2 in the West) in which he can, and in fact is encouraged to celebrate 3 masses according to canon law.

That is funny since

Quote Originally Posted by Merrileem:
What is a vigil mass and how is it different from a regular mass?

Country_Wife said:
It is a mass held on the “vigil” (evening before) the actual date of the event being celebrated.

Shakespearean side note: Whenever I think of vigils, I can’t help but think of the St. Crispin’s Day speech from Henry V, where the king says "
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil [of St. Crispin’s Day] feast his neighbours,
And say ‘To-morrow is Saint Crispian:’
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars.
And say ‘These wounds I had on Crispin’s day.’
Anyway, a Sunday “vigil mass” is held on Saturday, but is the same as a Sunday mass; similarly, the Easter Vigil mass is held on the Saturday before Easter Sunday, but if you attend it, it is essentially the same as going to church on Easter Sunday. Mass on Christmas Eve would be the Christmas Vigil mass, I guess.

This happens in our parish. There is the Saturday evening vigil and then another 3 Sunday Masses and only one priest to do them all.

my mistake above. see below copied from Canon Law:

Can. 905 §1. A priest is not permitted to
celebrate the Eucharist more than once a day except in cases where the law
permits him to celebrate or concelebrate more than once on the same day.

§2. If there is a shortage of priests, the local
ordinary can allow priests to celebrate twice a day for a just cause, or if
pastoral necessity requires it, even three times on Sundays and holy days of

As for the Vigil and the Sunday Masses, this is what I was told by my priest, and this was after he had spoken with our diocesan judicial vicar on the subject.

Its required in our parish. We have 3 priests and 10 Masses every Sunday.

The reception canon applies to a day, and that 24 continuous hours from midnight. (Ref: CIC Canon 202 and 917.)

This is a link from ZENIT by Fr. McNamara. The highlights are mine to point to the practical application of these canons. Bottom line is, although Canon Law states only once, it is the norm for pastoral reasons to celebrate two and with special permission, three Masses in a day. As usual, the canons are as clear as mud!:smiley:

Follow-up: Indult for 3 Daily Masses? [11-3-2009]

Related to the question regarding the celebration of more than two daily Masses (see Oct. 20), a Connecticut reader had asked: “I would like to know whether a pastor who celebrates one regularly scheduled daily Mass for his parish each weekday is allowed to also celebrate a second Mass privately each weekday morning. By ‘privately’ I mean that he celebrates a second Mass by himself, or with only one or two attendees who happen to know about it only by word of mouth. If he is allowed to offer a second, private Mass, is that simply up to him or would he need explicit permission from the bishop?”

As stated in our earlier reply, **the priest may celebrate only one Mass a day. The bishop may give priests permission to celebrate twice a day or thrice on Sundays if priests are scarce.

Many bishops grant pastors and other priests habitual permission to use these faculties in order to respond to the needs of the faithful. It is quite common, for example, that a priest has to celebrate a scheduled Mass and a funeral on the same day. There are many other possible examples, and most canonists consider that such faculties may be used for any reasonable cause.**

It is clear, however, that this possibility is allowed only for the good of the faithful and is never a question of a priest’s personal devotion. Thus a priest is not justified in celebrating a Mass alone or with the accidental presence of only one or two people if he is scheduled to celebrate another Mass later on or has already celebrated such a Mass.

Here the question revolves around the “private” character of the celebration and not the number of attendees. It is possible to envision a case when a priest could legitimately celebrate a second Mass for a reduced number of people in special circumstances such as at the bedside of a dying person.

Nor is it a question of the priest celebrating alone, as this situation, while never ideal, can also be justified in certain circumstances such as while traveling.

The danger involved in this double celebration, besides the violation of canon law, is of converting the Mass into a quasi-private devotion and obscuring its essentially public dimension as an act of the whole Church. The priest is the administrator, not the owner of Christ’s treasures and must distribute them according to the mind of the Church.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit