Fast before Holy Communion

I know that we are supposed to fast one hour before we receive Holy Communion. I have come across kind of a stupid issue with this sometimes, though… this sounds ridiculous, but sometimes I will be aware of the fast and not eat, etc. but then maybe like 10 minutes or so before Mass, I realize that there is like a little piece of food in the back of my mouth from earlier or something like that. What am I supposed to do in this situation? Does that break my fast and therefore, I can’t receive communion? If it’s something that I really and truly don’t realize until later but I had every intention to fast, and it was like an accident… then am I not allowed to receive?

Also, would it be a mortal sin, if so? Thanks!

Please don’t be scrupulous.

yes, that’s scrupulous.

The spirit to asking you to fast an hour is for you to get in the mindframe that something very special is about to happen to you and that you should be preparing yourself for something Great.

Lol. My priest once joked that as he was saying the Our Father he had accidentally swallowed the gnat that was flying about him. He jestingly commented that now he has to go to confession because he broke the pre-communion fast. Additionally that he hoped there was no meat on that gnat because it was a Friday during Lent!!! Haha!!

No, if something gets into your mouth and you swallow it by accident, this does not break the fast.

Even if you swallow it knowingly or on purpose, it doesn’t break the fast. Any person who is so concerned about not offending the Lord does not have a lax conscience.

For a person like you, you have to put ordinary food or drink into your mouth with the intention of consuming it in the usual manner in order to break the fast. Munching french fries as you walk into church breaks the fast. Apple pieces stuck between your teeth become dislodged in Mass and you swallow them, doesn’t break the fast.

I read this somewhere else on this website, so if someone can point out the source, please do.

But, digestion begins in the mouth with saliva – not with swallowing the food. So any food that you find and “eat” later has already started being digested anyway. Simply changing its location and putting it down your throat doesn’t count as breaking the fast.

Thank you for asking this! I have braces and so this happens to me all the time, and I’ve often wondered the same thing.

Unless you purposefully store food for future enjoyment in your braces like a chipmunk saving nuts in his cheeks, clearing your braces of stray bits of food does not count as eating. (Not that I’d advise worrying the bits around in your mouth before you swallowed them, as if you were some kind of a ruminant, but that has more to do with manners than fasting! :rolleyes:)

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