Is it good to receive Holy Communion twice a day?

I am a new Catholic, confirmed at the Easter Vigil this year, and I would really like to know how people here feel about something my assistant pastor told me the other day.

I have developed a deep, deep love for the Mass and the Eucharist. Attending Mass and receiving Christ in the Eucharist is frankly the highlight of my life now and there is no place I would rather be and nothing I would rather do.

Since I received my first Holy Communion in February, I have attended Mass as often as I can. In my case, that usually means daily Mass Monday through Friday, the Vigil on Saturday and twice on Sunday.

Having apparently noticed that I attend and receive twice on Sunday, my assistant pastor asked me the other day if I knew the “rule” about how often we could receive Holy Communion in a day. I replied “Twice, right?” (since that is what I had read in Canon Law and seen elsewhere.). He nodded and said “Yes, that is technically right. They really prefer that you only receive once a day but they allow you to receive twice.” He didn’t actually come out and say it but it seemed to me that he was trying to tell me that it would be better if I didn’t receive twice in one day since that is how “they” prefer it.

I have been troubled ever since he told me that… I truly want to do the right thing and if it really is better to only receive once a day, I want to do that. What do you all think?
In His love,
Rhonda

It is permitted to receive twice in a day, as you say, as long as the second time occurs within the context of a mass; and you are the only one who can decide whether it is better for you to receive twice.

Hi Rhonda,

Somebody please correct me if I’m wrong but I thought you could only receive it once for the same mass -readings etc on the same day. Like on Sunday - if you went in the AM you couldn’t go again in the afternoon & rec. again because it’s the same mass. The exception would be on Satuday since the AM mass is different from the PM mass.

[quote=carol marie]Hi Rhonda,

Somebody please correct me if I’m wrong but I thought you could only receive it once for the same mass -readings etc on the same day. Like on Sunday - if you went in the AM you couldn’t go again in the afternoon & rec. again because it’s the same mass. The exception would be on Satuday since the AM mass is different from the PM mass.
[/quote]

Saturday is the only day I will receive twince since I normally attend the Vigil Mass and sometimes go to the daily Mass in the morning.

Although receiving often is good, I see receiving twice in one day too often is a possible misuse of the sacrament.

PF

[quote=WanderAimlessly]Although receiving often is good, I see receiving twice in one day too often is a possible misuse of the sacrament.

[/quote]

May I ask why? And what would be your definition of “too often”? I usually only receive twice on Sundays.
In His love,
Rhonda

No, that isn’t the law, Carol Marie. The following is what Canon Law actually says on the subject:

Can. 917 One who has received the blessed Eucharist may receive it again on the same day only within a eucharistic celebration in which that person participates, without prejudice to the provision of can. 921 ß2.

Can. 921 ß1 Christ’s faithful who are in danger of death, from whatever cause, are to be strengthened by holy communion as Viaticum.

ß2 Even if they have already received holy communion that same day, it is nevertheless strongly suggested that in danger of death they should communicate again.

I have read that what that means is that one may receive the Eucharist the first time in a day outside of Mass, as in a Communion service or while in a hospital or at home sick. But the second time must be at a Mass one attends, unless one is in danger of death. There is no provision saying it has to be a different Mass.

So there is no question that it is allowed. Even my assistant pastor acknowledged that when he made his comments to me. My question was whether or not it was a good thing to do or if there was some valid reason to not do it.
In His love,
Rhonda

[quote=urquhart]It is permitted to receive twice in a day, as you say, as long as the second time occurs within the context of a mass; and you are the only one who can decide whether it is better for you to receive twice.
[/quote]

Thanks for the response but the truth is, as a brand new Catholic, I feel very unqualified to make that decision. I’d much rather hear the opinions of those more experienced in the Catholic faith and wiser than myself. As I wrote, I want to do the right thing, not just what I might** feel** like doing.
In His love,
Rhonda

[quote=carol marie]Somebody please correct me if I’m wrong but I thought you could only receive it once for the same mass -readings etc on the same day. Like on Sunday - if you went in the AM you couldn’t go again in the afternoon & rec. again because it’s the same mass. The exception would be on Satuday since the AM mass is different from the PM mass.
[/quote]

Rhonda already corrected you, but I just wanted to add that you are most likely recalling one or more of the various sets of rules that were in effect from 1967 through 1983. In any event, Rhonda correctly cites the rule currently in effect.

Here is what Fr Trigilio has to say on the matter:

HOW MANY TIMES MAY THE EUCHARIST BE RECEIVED ON ONE DAY?
by Fr. John Trigilio

As many have rightly quoted canon 917, the faithful may receive Holy
Communion AGAIN on the same day only during the celebration of the
Eucharist in which the person participates. The authentic Latin text of
the code uses the word ITERUM which is accurately translated as "AGAIN"
as in “a second time.” The current interpretation is that a person may
receive Holy Communion TWICE if they have participated in TWO Masses on
the same day. Prior to the 1983 Code, Vatican II had limited the second
reception of Holy Communion to special occasions and Masses. Now, it
seems, that the law allows a broader usage in that no distinction is
made for the second or first Mass. A third Mass and receiving Communion
a third time on the same day appears NOT to be in conformity to the
spirit of the law nor to current practice and interpretation. As stated
before, the fear of multiplying “Communions” as if one could QUANTIFY
grace and the infinite value of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, led the
Church to restrict reception to twice a day.

[quote=Livnlove55]I am a new Catholic, confirmed at the Easter Vigil this year, and I would really like to know how people here feel about something my assistant pastor told me the other day.
[/quote]

Welcome to the Church, Rhonda! I joined at Easter Vigil in 2003 (hence my username).

During my journey to the Catholic Church, I have discovered that I have a love for canon law, and thus I am now familiar with a large number of Church rules and regulations. I can tell you that the question you are asking is very deep, with a lot of historical and canonical facets as well as the obvious spiritual aspect. So I would warn you to beware of any short, simplistic answers you may receive.

An interesting article for you to read is Frequent Communion on the New Advent Old Catholic Encyclopedia website. They have scanned in a very old edition (from around 1907) that was no longer under copyright protection. Much has changed in the Church since then, and I would strongly urge you to find a more recent copy of the Catholic Encyclopedia from the library to compare with.

One facet from the Canon Law Society of America New Commentary on canon 917 is: “The purpose of this law is twofold: on the one hand, to promote active participation in the Eucharist including the full sacramental sharing in the Lord’s body and blood; on the other hand, to prevent the abuse of receiving multiple communions out of superstition, ignorance, or misguided devotion.”

[quote=Livnlove55]May I ask why? And what would be your definition of “too often”? I usually only receive twice on Sundays.
In His love,
[/quote]

And that is OK. Also, receiving daily (Weekday Mass) is also OK, if not desirable.

However, I have heard of some who go multiple times to daily Mass and receive. In this case, I see it as too often.

PF

Pope John Paul II’s reflections on Holy Communion are well worth reading, in his encyclical Ecclesia de Eucharistia.

You may also want to consider Eucharistic adoration.

[quote=Catholic2003]Pope John Paul II’s reflections on Holy Communion are well worth reading, in his encyclical Ecclesia de Eucharistia.

You may also want to consider Eucharistic adoration.
[/quote]

Thanks to everyone who has responded, and especially to you, “2003”. I have already read the encyclopedia article several times, although I will have to make a trip to the library to read the more recent article. I have also read the Pope’s encyclical repeatedly and. regularly practice Eucharistic adoration. I agree that all of those have been helpful to someone who feels the way I do about the Eucharist.

However, I am going to have to change the title of this thread to “Never mind.” :wink: I spoke with my pastor this morning about what the assistant pastor had said to me and I have the answer to my question.

Basically what he told me was the same thing Carol Marie had said, i.e. that we could receive twice in one day only if we were attending Masses with different liturgies. I began to tell him that I had heard different “rules” but he quite firmly told me that was the correct “rule.” And I guess you’d have to understand my relationship with my pastor to understand why that settled the issue for me. I respect the man deeply and, as my pastor, I consider him my unofficial “spiritual director.” I have absolutely no interest in arguing with him or attempting to prove him wrong (IF, indeed, he is wrong). So if he says I shouldn’t receive twice on Sunday since the liturgy is the same, then I will no longer receive twice on Sunday. :slight_smile: Although he did say that it was OK to receive at the Vigil Mass and then receive again on Sunday since that was the same liturgy but on different days.

Once again, thanks to all for your replies and I hope you all are having a blessed Pentecost.
In His love,
Rhonda

[quote=Livnlove55]So if he says I shouldn’t receive twice on Sunday since the liturgy is the same, then I will no longer receive twice on Sunday. :slight_smile:
[/quote]

I think that is a wonderful attitude to take!

[quote=Livnlove55]Although he did say that it was OK to receive at the Vigil Mass and then receive again on Sunday since that was the same liturgy but on different days.
[/quote]

Just FYI, here is the incredibly complicated rule that was in effect from 1973 to 1983, in case any of the other special cases might come in useful for you.

From Immensae Caritatis:

The discipline now in force permits the faithful to receive communion a second time on the same day:

—on Saturday evening or the evening before a holy day of obligation, when they are fulfilling the obligation to assist at Mass, even if they have received communion that morning;

—at the second Mass of Easter Sunday and in one of the day Masses on Christmas, even if they have received communion at the Mass of the Easter Vigil or at the Mass at Midnight on Christmas;

—also at the evening Mass on Holy Thursday, even if they have also received communion at the chrism Mass.

Over and above those listed, there are other situations of the same type that favor a second communion. The reasons for granting a new faculty therefore must here be set out in detail.

Like a provident mother, the Church has established from centuries-old practice and has received into its canon law a norm according to which it is lawful for the faithful to receive communion only once a day. That norm remains unchanged and is not to be disregarded simply for reasons of devotion. Any ill-advised desire to repeat communion must be countered by the truth that the more devoutly a person approaches the holy table the greater the power of that sacrament which feeds, strengthens, and expresses faith, charity, and the rest of the virtues. For the faithful are to go forth from the liturgical celebration to do works of charity, religion, and the apostolate “so that what they have received by faith and sacrament in the celebration of the eucharist they will hold to by the way they live.”

There may however be special circumstances in which the faithful who have already received communion on the same day or in which priests who have celebrated Mass attend some community’s celebration. It will be lawful for these faithful and these priests to receive communion a second time in the following situations:

  1. at ritual Masses in which the sacraments of baptism, confirmation, anointing of the sick, orders, and marriage are administered, as well as at Masses in which there is a first communion;
  1. at Masses for the consecration of a church or an altar, for a religious profession, for the conferral of a “canonical mission”;
  1. at the Masses for the dead on the occasion of the funeral, news of the death, the final burial, or the first anniversary;
  1. at the principal Mass celebrated in a cathedral or parish church on the solemnity of Corpus Christi and on the day of a pastoral visitation; at a Mass celebrated on the occasion of a major religious superior’s canonical visitation to a particular religious house or chapter;
  1. at the principal Mass at a eucharistic or Marian congress, whether international or national, regional or diocesan;
  1. at the principal Mass of any kind of meeting, pilgrimage, or people’s mission;

7 at the administration of viaticum, when communion may be given to the members of the household and the friends of the sick person who are present.

  1. Over and above the cases already mentioned, the local Ordinary is allowed to grant for a single occasion the faculty to receive communion twice on the same day whenever, because of truly special circumstances. a second reception is warranted on the basis of this Instruction.

Note that the paragraph that begins “The discipline now in force” refers to various rules from 1965 and 1967.

I think it is great to recieve more than once. But here in the buckle of the bible belt, I would find it hard to find a parish that offers more than one daily mass during a weekday.

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