MERGED: Receiving the Eucharist - more than once on a Sunday?

I am planning to attend both Sunday Masses at my church THIS WEEKEND, one is on Saturday evening and the other is Sunday morning. Usually when I go to both, I don’t receive the Eucharist at one of them because I’m not sure if you’re supposed to receive more than once. Someone told me that since they are different days it is ok to receive both times, but I have trouble excepting that if we count both those Masses as Sunday. Is there an official rule on this somewhere? Your help ASAP would be greately appreciated!

You can receive twice in one day (three times if the third time is Viaticum: Communion to the dying).

The first time can be under any circumstance: Liturgy of the Word; at the beside of a sick relative, etc.
The second time must always be at a Mass you’re attending.

Is it appropriate to receive the Holy Eucharist twice in one day if it’s Saturday and one attends Mass in the morning and again in the evening when the evening Mass fulfills the Sunday obligation?


Yes. You can always receive Communion twice in a day, provided that the second time is in the context of a full Mass instead of a Communion service or something.

And as far as I know it is a contested question whether Saturday evening even counts as the same “day” as Saturday morning for purposes of this rule, or whether it is to be considered as part of “liturgical Sunday” and thus a different day. I have read convincing arguments for and against. But that would only make a difference if you had received, say, Saturday morning and Saturday at noon, and were wondering whether receiving on Saturday evening would count as an impermissible third Communion in the same day.* Your question doesn’t require resolving the issue, though.

*A third Communion can of course be permitted in the context of Last Rites when a person is in danger of death.

I have seen someplace, by a canon lawyer as I recall, that a day in canon law is midnight to midnight unless otherwise specified, and it is not otherwise specified in this particular law.

Further, if a law is doubtful, that is there are credible sources supporting various options, one is free to follow ones own judgment as to which to follow.

And that is generally accepted as twice in a day, midnight to midnight. You can receive twice on Saturday and twice on Sunday.

Correct …this is how the Church understands this in Canon Law

(of course it is important to note that the second time on Saturday and the second one on Sunday needs to be at a Mass one participates in…not just a Mass one say walked into while touring a Basilica in Rome or soemthing…or a communion service etc)

While Canon Law says ‘participating in’, people are often confused by the term and think they have to be a reader or in the choir or something. That’s why I usually tell them 'a Mass they are attending."

right…no need to be in choir etc

It is important to note the Church doesn’t impose any limits to how many Masses one can attend per day, whether he or he is properly disposed or not. This is to emphasize the importance of the Holy Sacrifice.for all of us.

But … is is okay then to receive at two different Masses on the same day? Not just a Mass and Communion Service or something.

Yes, you just couldn’t receive twice in one day at Communion Services…one MUST be a Mass.

I go to Saturday night Mass and then Sunday all the time…On Saturday so my husband can participate in the whole Mass and then on Sunday where he has early dismissal for RCIA.

I know that you can only receive the Eucharist 2 times a day, unless you are taking viactum. Can you receive more if the bishop allows you?

Twice daily, and the second time must be in the context of a Mass (unless as you say it is viaticum). IOW, if you go to 9 a.m. Sunday Mass and receive communion, and then attend a 4 p.m. communion service, you don’t receive at the communion service.

However, if you go to a Sunday 10 a.m. communion service because the priest is out of town you may receive communion at the service, but if the priest unexpectedly gets back early and offers a 5 p.m. Mass that day, you can also receive at the Mass.

“if the bishop allows?” That’s a pretty big if. I know a bishop myself and while he might permit reception more than twice in a day in exceptional circumstances for a limited and specific time period for an individual, perhaps somebody who was working in a situation of catastrophe where there was an ongoing imminent danger of death AND concurrently a great ‘availability’ of consecrated hosts being offered 24/7 during the situation, it would be something extremely rare IF indeed he allowed it at all.

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.

A priest can receive permission if he must celebrate Mass more than twice in a day. I do not see any allowance for the lay faithful to receive it more than twice, excepting Viaticum.

Let me rephrase my question. Would the bishop be breaking Canon Law by allowing a person to receive the Eucharist more than 2 times?

I’m not a canon lawyer but a bishop does have greater powers than a priest.

I would recommend that you submit this question to a canon lawyer such as Ed Peters (or ask over on ETWN in their subforum), or submit to ask an apologist, so that you will get the most accurate answer.

I think it would be more correct to say the Bishop would be acting outside canon law. Since there isn’t a law that says that the Bishop can or cannot give permission for more Communions, he isn’t breaking any particular canon law. :shrug:

Yes so long at the second one is a Mass one participates in (one is not just walking through the Church…and sees it is communion time…one is actually there for the second Mass…and participates)

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