Holy Communion Twice A Day Is Nothing But Magic?

Is there anything wrong with receiving Holy Communion twice a day, as long as the 2nd time is in the context of Mass?

Is there anything wrong with someone who makes it their practice to go to 2 masses a day with the express purpose of receiving Holy Communion twice?

I have heard priests say that nothing was canonically wrong with the practice, but that it stemmed from a childish, misinformed understanding of what the Eucharist was all about. That somehow more is better and makes one holier, when, according to these priests, that is not the case. According to the priests who told me this, it represented a superstitious, magical thinking about the Eucharist. I disagreed with them, but I guess the thoughts stuck in the back of my mind and so I rarely go to Mass twice a day.

Can anyone clarify?

By my best understanding, the twice-a-day rule is in place to accommodate people who attend a regular daily Mass every day, on the days when they also go to a wedding or a funeral, etc.

The second time is not generally supposed to be the exact same Mass as the first time, but if there is a special reason (someone is getting married, someone is being buried, a relative is receiving a Sacrament such as First Holy Communion, Confirmation, or Holy Orders, they can still participate in Holy Communion at their relative’s special Mass, as well as the regular daily Mass that they attend.

We all have plenty of daily tasks that we must attend to, and although it’s a very good thing to be a daily communicant, being a twice-daily communicant has the potential to interfere with one’s duties to one’s employer and family - one must keep a proper balance in life.

So is that a no, one cannot go to Mass twice a day to receive Holy Communion, outside of special circumstances? I understand your point about duties and responsibilities, obviously fulfilling our daily duty is a true way to sanctity, but there are many people who do not have to work, are retired or single people with less obligations. Is there a problem for someone to go to 2 masses a day, same Mass and receive Holy Communion both times?

Well, there may be the problem, as your priest has said, with the simplistic thinking that ‘if 1 is good 2 is necessarily better’.

St Joan of Arc, for example, who received at most once a month (except for also receiving on the eve of the handful of battles she fought), is no less a saint than Pius X, who being a priest communicated every day and encouraged others to do so (but not more often than daily!)

And certainly much more saintly than Alexander VI, who being Pope also, presumably, communicated daily but whose life was notably UNsaintly and UNgraced nonetheless.

I’m sure that someone who knows where to look in the Canon Law for the relevant passage will be along to clarify, but as I said, it’s my understanding that one of the two times (whether it’s the first or the second time) is meant to be an allowance for a special occasion, and that ordinarily, the Church prefers us to go once a day, or obviously no less than once a week on Sundays at a minimum.

You can also receive a third time in one day, if the third one is your own Viaticum - obviously, that would be a once in a lifetime experience only, though. :wink:

That is the law of the Church. So there is nothing wrong with it for sure. The second time could also be outside of Mass if you’re in danger of death, assuming the first time is not for the same reason.

There could be potentially a fundamentally wrong belief on why one would want to receive more than once per day. But intentions aside, there’s nothing wrong with receiving twice a day.

It’d be nice if a religious can share their experience. But from what I understand that religious who live a life of prayer and service to God only go to Mass and receive once per day. So what reason does a lay person have for going to Mass and receiving more than once per day? We can still pray outside Mass and also do some work for the Church with that other half-hour to an hour instead. Jesus is present both in the Eucharist and the least of our brethren. Perhaps receiving Him in the Eucharist in the morning, and feeding Him through the hungry in the evening is a better practice.

Why should that be? Viaticum is given to those who are in danger of death. Some people are in danger of death more than once. Some are in danger of death many times. Accordingly, some receive Viaticum more than once, and some receive it many times.

The canon offers no indication that a “special occasion” is expected, nor that any disapprobation attaches to receiving at a second Mass in one day:
Can. 917 A person who has already received the Most Holy Eucharist can receive it a second time on the same day only within the eucharistic celebration in which the person participates, without prejudice to the prescript of can. 921, §2 [dealing with Viaticum].

You can also receive a third time in one day, if the third one is your own Viaticum - obviously, that would be a once in a lifetime experience only, though. :wink:

As Lily said, that’s not so. This is part of the reason why terms like “Last Rites” are now deprecated, because it creates the misimpression that you’re somehow supposed to receive the sacrament only once at very end of your life. So people would wait when they were gravely ill because they didn’t want to “waste it” in case they got better, that sort of thing. I know this isn’t really the topic of the OP, but it’s a misconception worth remarking on.

Code of Canon Law (No. 917) says a person can receive Holy Communion twice a day.

It depends upon what that priest was trying to emphasize within the context of that conversation. The idea of going to a second Mass exclusively for the purpose of receiving Holy Communion a second time might possibly be “superstitious, magical thinking…” But that does not mean that anyone who does go to 2 Masses on a single day (and receives at both) is necessarily thinking along those lines.

Receiving the Eucharist is receiving INFINITE goodness - God Himself. You cannot add to infinity, so a second Communion for its own sake is unnecessary.


My thoughts:

Would someone make a point of consistently going to a second Mass even if they would not be able to receive communion? If so, then the matter needs further examination as to whether the person is being superstitious.

If that person would not go to a second Mass if he were unable to receive communion then I think there is a good possibility the person is being superstitious.

This makes sense. The entire Mass is such a blessing, and most Sundays I go twice.

I do it because my husband and I take my mother-in-law on Sunday mornings. She is about to become Catholic (at age 85!) and can’t attend evening Masses. It’s good for me to go with, to worship with my husband. But my daughter sings in the church choir on Sunday evening, and I like to worship with her as well. I think it’s good for her to have a parent worship with her. That, and we bring a friend of hers who is going to be received into the Church on Easter Vigil 2011.

I always receive both times. My priest (who I trust a great deal) has never indicated I shouldn’t. But I would be at Mass either way. I pray better there, where everything is so focused on God. I get to worship with others there. And the homily is never quite the same twice…and even it it was, it’s worth listening to twice.

I would hate to think that people who know that I go twice are judging my motives. I don’t want to be a distraction; in other words, I don’t want people thinking those kinds of things when they see me rather than thinking about God. Yet it’s important to the people in my family, and it’s been a source of great growth for me.

I believe from what we are saying it goes to intent. If someone is doing it for special occasion: Viaticum, wedding, funeral, ordination mass, profession mass, etc. great. If the entire choir is going up like they were at my old Parish every mass because the priest told them that was OK - that is something that needs to be examed.

One can receive Holy Communion twice in one day if two different masses. Example: Saturday morning mass and Saturday evening mass (for Sunday). Or a wedding then Saturday evening mass etc.

Just to clarify, we are encouraged to attend daily Mass and required to attend Mass on Sundays (if able) but we are only required to receive the Eucharist once a year.
Can. 920 §1 Once admitted to the blessed Eucharist, each of the faithful is obliged to receive holy communion at least once a year.
§2 This precept must be fulfilled during paschal time, unless for a good reason it is fulfilled at another time during the year.

Thank you; I was making the mistake of confusing going to Mass with receiving Holy Communion.

Obviously, someone could attend Mass as many times a day as he wanted to, if he were not receiving Holy Communion more than twice. But again, it seems pointless, if it’s the same Mass over and over and over again.

It is not the same Mass over and over again - the Liturgy of the Word changes. Also - if one is not in the state to receive Eucharist than it is an opportunity to be in the presence of the Lord again and again during the Consecration which as Fr Corapi puts it - is when the Lord transcends time and space to bring us back to the Last Supper - how exciting.

I am talking about several Masses on the same day.

Obviously it is a very good thing to go to Daily Mass, but once a day is sufficient. :slight_smile:

The Liturgy of the Word is only different when one attends daily Mass.

We are talking about attending multiple Masses in the same day, so the Liturgy of the Word would be the same.

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.