Fasting Before Mass


I fast before mass. But I also suffer from Gulf War Era disability, which includes among other things a great deal of chronic pain and a severe sleep disorder. Since I got my dog, he has been really good at keeping my schedule normalized, but lately both of us are getting out of whack. It doesn’t look like I will even begin to think about sleep until maybe 0800 or later, so I wouldn’t possibly sleep before going to mass.

But when that happens, the chronic fatigue will set in and I will have to fight to keep my body from shutting down in mass.

Is it permissible for me to stop by a coffee shop maybe an hour before mass starts to purchase a strong latte or something (and maybe those chocolate covered coffee beans in order to stay alert in mass? The mass I will attend begins at 1100. If I drink this latte or whatever it is called at around 0930, and I take communion at around 1145, then I would have waited about two hours since I consumed anything.


Of course it would be OK.

The fast is only for one hour before Holy Communion, so you are well with in time…

I don’t understand, has someone been telling you that you have to fast from midnight, or something? That used to be the case, but not now.


We are to fast one hour before we receive the Eucharist; not one hour before the start of mass.
Try to time it as best you can.

We are not required to receive the Eucharist at every mass, we are required to attend mass every Sunday. So if your “timing” is a bit off, don’t worry— you are fulfilling your Sunday obligation by attending the mass.


Also, your medical conditions certainly allow for some latitude, and if you are truly worried speak with your parish priest.

Like another poster, I am concern if you have been told some incorrect but well-meaning advice.

There are numerous posters on these forums who unfortunately equate their own personal practices and devotions with the disciplines of the Church. Clarification should be sought out from your parish priest and not an anonymous internet forum… I know I just said that on an anonymous internet forum;)

God bless


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