When I told my sister “I saw two people chewing during Mass on Easter Sunday,” her response was, “Who said it’s wrong to chew gum during Mass?” Then she went on to say that she keeps a stick of gum in her mouth during Mass. The purpose is to keep her mouth moist. She continues to have the gum in her mouth while she is receiving Communion. What do I say to her?
Perhaps rather than focusing on satisfying her own personal comfort, your sister should be focusing instead on the crucified Christ who said, “I thirst,” and offer up her dry mouth in union with his.
To chew gum during Mass – even to the point of receiving Communion with a wad of gum stashed in one’s cheek – demonstrates incredible thoughtlessness and gives scandal to all who see it. It also demonstrates a complete lack of understanding about what is going on at Mass and about Who is received in Communion. But it does not break the Communion fast.