Is drinking coffee less than one hour before receiving Holy Communion forbidden by Canon 919?

Is drinking coffee less than one hour before receiving Holy Communion forbidden by Canon 919? Caffeinated coffee helps my 70-year-old father stay awake in the morning. Would he be exempt from the pre-Communion fast due to his advanced age? I admit that I have felt crummy about receiving Holy Communion less than an hour after drinking milk on December 8, 2010, though I can’t say I really realized at the time that milk was forbidden.

Generally speaking coffee is considered to break the communion fast. In some rare cases it might be considered medicinal but that would be pretty rare.

Code of Canon Law:

Can. 919 §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.

Given that the Lenten fasting is not obligatory for those over 60 years of age (canon 1252), I would say that your father at age 70 can be considered to fall under the above quoted exception.

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