Fasting before communion

I understand the whole fasting one hour before communion and all… for someone who is a practicing Catholic, are they required to still observe the one hour fast if they are not receiving because they are in a state of mortal sin? Thanks!

+JMJ+

No. Fasting is required before receiving Communion, not before going to Mass. However you might consider fasting before Mass as a voluntary means of self-discipline and reparation for your sin. Also in some situations it might avoid scandalising others (who might wonder why you are eating just before going to Mass.)

And of course I hope you’re going to confess that sin ASAP so you can rejoin the Lord’s Table!

Personally I think that the one hour fast before Communion (in effect if you’ve got a 20-minute trip to the church, it is nothing more than “don’t pop food into your mouth just before you walk out the door”) is a bare legal minimum which we should go beyong if at all possible. If going to a morning Mass I don’t eat anything, except a cup of tea on getting up, from bedtime the previous night (or 3 hours before if going to an afternoon or evening Mass).

Here’s the official teaching on Fasting before Holy Communion:ewtn.net/expert/answers/communion_dispositions.htm

if you are not receiving communion for any reason you don’t have to fast. is this a trick question?

I was just making sure because I had been wondering for awhile… sometimes when I go to an evening Mass and I don’t intend to receive I usually just eat a full dinner meal (especially on Tuesdays because right after evening Mass I have confirmation class), but the more I did that the more I started wondering…

I’ve actually received both a yes and no answer: yes in the sense that it’s entirely our faults that we’re not in a state of grace to receive Him in the first place and we still should observe it as a sign of repentance since we most likely cannot make confession before Mass on that particular day, and no in the sense that because we are not receiving then there is really nothing to fast for.

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