Fasting


#1

Just wondering if drinking lemonade such as 7up before reception of the Eucharist is ok? does this break the fast?


#2

For those subject to the fasting rule (ie, not the elderly, children, etc) the rule prohibits everything except water and medicine. Even though a beverage may be “mostly” water, it is not permitted.

The rule is that we must fast for one hour before we receive (not before the start of Mass). For many people, it would be difficult to break this rule. We typically receive about a half hour after the start of Mass, and many people (myself included) leave our homes to attend Mass about a half hour before Mass begins. So, unless I ate on the way, it would be difficult for me to break the rule. For me, there is essentially no rule - I would “fast” for an hour by circumstance alone.

Some people continue to observe the old rule of fasting from midnight - not too hard if you go to morning Mass but harder if you go to afternoon Mass (or Saturday vigil).


#3

For a healthy person, nothing but water is permitted 1 hour before receiving Holy Communion.

The exception is for sick or elderly.


#4

What about a pregnant woman? What are the rules for a pregnant woman?


#5

You should fast at least 1 hour prior to Communion, meaning you must abstain from all food and drink. Water and medicine is ok. Canon Law of the Catholic Church #919 talks about this.

Canon 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.*

("Elderly" is defined as 60 years of age or older.)

Also, Catholics are dispensed from all of the rules of fasting before Communion when they are in danger of death.


#6

So a pregnant woman is not given permission to eat before Holy Communion and must keep to the fast rule like every other healthy and fit person?


#7

[quote="Stephentlig, post:6, topic:296363"]
So a pregnant woman is not given permission to eat before Holy Communion and must keep to the fast rule like every other healthy and fit person?

[/quote]

Although I don't think it is specifically addressed in Canon Law, I think the exception for medicine can include people who need to eat due to medical reasons (such as issues involving blood sugar and such). Whether or not pregnancy can warrant such a medical concern, I don't know.


#8

[quote="Stephentlig, post:6, topic:296363"]
So a pregnant woman is not given permission to eat before Holy Communion and must keep to the fast rule like every other healthy and fit person?

[/quote]

The fast consists of no food or drinks except water for one hour before receiving the Eucharist. It seems to me to be easy to do that without any serious results.


#9

[quote="Stephentlig, post:4, topic:296363"]
What about a pregnant woman? What are the rules for a pregnant woman?

[/quote]

I couldn't find anything in the Catechism or Canon Law about this specifically, but I believe it depends on the situation of that woman. If a pregnant woman needs to eat for health reasons (because if she doesn't she may feel ill, faint, etc...), then I think it should be fine for her to eat and drink. She is carrying a baby and she is responsible for her baby's health as well as her own and therefore I think she should be excused from the fast if she physically can't fast.


#10

Once I had breakfast right before leaving for mass (7:45) and communion was at 8:43. I checked my watch, and did not swallow the host until 8:45. I know that is kind of silly, but I wonder if this is ok...

I never thought I could possible break the fast, but I live close to church and it was a short service! I'll have to think twice next time. :eek:


#11

The whole point of the fast is to pull us up and remind us what we are about to do. In other words, if we have to remind ourselves not to eat, it serves the purpose of reminding us that we should be preparing ourselves spiritually for Holy Communion.

So missing out on the hour by a minute or two by force of circumstance (an extra-short reading or a homily omitted) that we couldn't have predicted is not a reason for not receiving. Jesus wants to give Himself to us.

Worrying over a few minutes and forgetting the actual purpose of the fast - hmmm.


#12

[quote="paperwight66, post:11, topic:296363"]
The whole point of the fast is to pull us up and remind us what we are about to do. In other words, if we have to remind ourselves not to eat, it serves the purpose of reminding us that we should be preparing ourselves spiritually for Holy Communion.

So missing out on the hour by a minute or two by force of circumstance (an extra-short reading or a homily omitted) that we couldn't have predicted is not a reason for not receiving. Jesus wants to give Himself to us.

Worrying over a few minutes and forgetting the actual purpose of the fast - hmmm.

[/quote]

Thank you for the reminder. I think I was just surprised that it was actually possible to eat less than an hour before communion (without snacking in the pew) so I didn't really know what to think at the time...

It was a very short homily though. What you are saying above makes the most sense to me. :)


#13

[quote="Stephentlig, post:6, topic:296363"]
So a pregnant woman is not given permission to eat before Holy Communion and must keep to the fast rule like every other healthy and fit person?

[/quote]

Are you trying to suggest that a pregnant woman is not fit and healthy. That's an insult to all mothers to be!!


#14

[quote="thistle, post:13, topic:296363"]
Are you trying to suggest that a pregnant woman is not fit and healthy. That's an insult to all mothers to be!!

[/quote]

No I made no such suggestion. Are you making the assumption?:D

I guess that when a woman fasts the baby in her womb must fast too, for when a woman eats she eats also to the growth and nourishment of her child in the womb. Especially if the old rule from midnight were to be observed it would seem quite harsh as, although the mother is not in an unhealthy condition, then again must not place herself and her child in an unhealthy eviroment either which is why I proposed the question of whether or not the mother fasting would place both her and her child in an unhealthy enviroment. But seeing as it's only the one hour rule, it is surely ok to do.

In brief: Nobody said the pregnant woman is unhealthy because she is pregnant, but must avoid situations that would have her succumb to an unhealthy condition i.e smoking, alcohol, and lengthy 24 hour periods of fasting on bread and water.


#15

There is only one hour of a fast that is to be observed. A large,nutritious breakfast can be had before then.

There is no longer a fast from midnight.


#16

[quote="Stephentlig, post:14, topic:296363"]
No I made no such suggestion. Are you making the assumption?:D

I guess that when a woman fasts the baby in her womb must fast too, for when a woman eats she eats also to the growth and nourishment of her child in the womb. Especially if the old rule from midnight were to be observed it would seem quite harsh as, although the mother is not in an unhealthy condition, then again must not place herself and her child in an unhealthy eviroment either which is why I proposed the question of whether or not the mother fasting would place both her and her child in an unhealthy enviroment. But seeing as it's only the one hour rule, it is surely ok to do.

In brief: Nobody said the pregnant woman is unhealthy because she is pregnant, but must avoid situations that would have her succumb to an unhealthy condition i.e smoking, alcohol, and lengthy 24 hour periods of fasting on bread and water.

[/quote]

Its a ONE HOUR fast only before receiving Communion.


#17

[quote="thistle, post:16, topic:296363"]
Its a ONE HOUR fast only before receiving Communion.

[/quote]

OK. No need to panic thistle. I was already aware of that as evident in my last post to you.

Thanks for you help.


#18

[quote="Stephentlig, post:14, topic:296363"]
No I made no such suggestion. Are you making the assumption?:D

**I guess that when a woman fasts the baby in her womb must fast too, for when a woman eats she eats also to the growth and nourishment of her child in the womb. **Especially if the old rule from midnight were to be observed it would seem quite harsh as, although the mother is not in an unhealthy condition, then again must not place herself and her child in an unhealthy eviroment either which is why I proposed the question of whether or not the mother fasting would place both her and her child in an unhealthy enviroment. But seeing as it's only the one hour rule, it is surely ok to do.

In brief: Nobody said the pregnant woman is unhealthy because she is pregnant, but must avoid situations that would have her succumb to an unhealthy condition i.e smoking, alcohol, and lengthy 24 hour periods of fasting on bread and water.

[/quote]

This is simply not true! The baby in the womb does not just get nourishment when his or her mother eats! The mother eats whenever she does. The baby receives nourishment via the placenta, as it needs. There is no "fast" for the baby just because the mother waits an hour or two - or even more - to eat. The baby draws nourishment from its mother's body as it needs, whether or not the mother eats. For example, a friend of mine had morning sickness not just in the mornings, and not just during the first trimester, but morning, noon and night, for all nine months. Sometimes she would phone me to say that she had not thrown up for two meals. Then, immediately after her next meal - throw up! Her baby continued to grow, and she continued to get skinnier while her "bump" got larger and larger. The baby was 10 pounds when he was born!

Fasting for one hour, or fasting from midnight (which, by the way, was no big deal, since Masses were only in the mornings) does no harm whatever to any baby in the womb.


#19

[quote="Joan_M, post:18, topic:296363"]
This is simply not true! The baby in the womb does not just get nourishment when his or her mother eats! The mother eats whenever she does. The baby receives nourishment via the placenta, as it needs. There is no "fast" for the baby just because the mother waits an hour or two - or even more - to eat. The baby draws nourishment from its mother's body as it needs, whether or not the mother eats. For example, a friend of mine had morning sickness not just in the mornings, and not just during the first trimester, but morning, noon and night, for all nine months. Sometimes she would phone me to say that she had not thrown up for two meals. Then, immediately after her next meal - throw up! Her baby continued to grow, and she continued to get skinnier while her "bump" got larger and larger. The baby was 10 pounds when he was born!

Fasting for one hour, or fasting from midnight (which, by the way, was no big deal, since Masses were only in the mornings) does no harm whatever to any baby in the womb.

[/quote]

Thats odd because they say that if you are throwing up more than once a day then you should see your doctor because the baby is obviously not getting the nourishment he/she needs. The placenta doesn't run by itself.

But my question is basically answered so . . . I'm out and thank you everyone for your kind responses.


#20

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