Is 1 hour Eucharistic fast non-binding for a diabetic?


I am a diabetic. I felt somewhat lightheaded before Mass today, but felt better after having eaten a banana 5 minutes before commencement of Mass. Since mass only lasted about 35 minutes I technically violated the fast (I received Communion). Am I exempt because of my medical condition? I normally feel OK prior to Mass. Today was definately an anomaly.


From the CIC (emphasis added)

Can. 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.

§3. 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.


Wouldn’t this also apply to those of us who are hypoglycemic?


It applies to everyone who’s infirmity/illness requires them to eat food. :slight_smile: Fasting is to enhance our life with God through suffering/mortification, not physically damage us or put us into a potentially dangerous situation. :wink:


Please see this link:

The Eucharistic fast is still binding on diabetics, only some circumstances waver it. It should be thought this way rather than to think it isn’t binding, laxity is always a slippery slope no matter how slight.


I am a diabetic and have no problems, I eat half an hour or sometimes an hour before Mass, so 30/35 minutes later its an hour when communion is being given out, there is no big deal with being a diabetic just eat regularly and straight after Mass have some fruit in the car to eat before you start home. Its only a BIG DEAL if you make it one.


I appreciate the post for it shows someone wanting to keep the fast but may not be able to due to medical reasons. I doubt laxity is an issue here.

That said it’s a valid point for the right circumstances; no need so slide down the slippery slope.


I’m borderline prediabetic and have greatly reduced my sugar consumption, which wasn’t all that high anyway. I’m 59. A year or so ago, on Ash Wednesday, I think, I was observing the Lenten fast rules and for a moment felt dizzy sitting in my chair at work, so I ate a few crackers. (My doctor had told me to ordinarily have small carbohydrate snacks between meals.)

I had never had a problem like that when fasting, and I was concerned that if I felt dizzy for a moment while driving or crossing the street it would be more serious. Still, I felt bad about it, but my mom and my doctor set me straight: OK, I had a few crackers because I thought I needed them. It’s not like I had a bacon cheeseburger. And I can, and do, abstain from othe things, such as entertainment, on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday and on other days I choose for special prayer.

If fasting creates a hazard, we can take needed nourishment without having an enjoyable meal, and we can still lift our hearts and minds to God in prayer.


I think it is not binding on a person with diabetes who felt like you did on a specific day. I wouldn’t say it gives license to anyone with diabetes to make a habit of eating right before every Mass and saying, “Well, it doesn’t appy to me.” In other words, I think people who are ill should deal with it on a day-by-day basis. Probably if a person has diabetes, they should try to schedule to finish eating something an hour before Mass if possible, so they will feel comfortable and able to concentrate on prayer. It sounds like the OP made a good decision for that specific day.


Every situation is different, and I think you have a properly formed conscience and are fine. You may want to speak to a priest to reassure yourself. When I was pregnant, I thought I could no longer receive at the early morning daily Mass I attended because it was short and I couldn’t wake early enough to eat and observe the fast. My priest told me to eat but not have a feast! Eventually, I was too tired to get up and go at six anyway but I’m sure glad I received all those graces while I could!:slight_smile:


Some people have a very brittle diabetes that requires insulin and is tough to control. Others have a very stable type 2 controlled by diet, exercise and/or pills. Each case is different and is a matter of conscience and safety. We shouldn’t impose on folks what the Church doesn’t require. The best recommendation in these cases is to talk to one’s priest.


There are also people who need gluten free communion wafers because of celiac disorder or gluten intolerence. My wife is in this group.:frowning: We spoke to our priest about this and he gave her permission to take communion using a gluten-free wafer/host.

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