Not sure if this is mortal sin

I attended Mass awhile ago and lined up for communion. While in line and a few persons away from the priest, I suddenly remembered that I just ate lunch and I’m not sure if I’m already past the one hour fast. But I didn’t leave the line because there were many people and it seemed weird that I would just leave. So I went on ahead and received Communion. After that I checked the time and I didn’t make it to the 1 hour fast by around 3 minutes. I don’t mean to be scrupulous, but did I do the wrong thing by not leaving the line?

it seems to me that pride may have led you to receive communion under the wrong circumstances, because of what people may think, so maybe you should have left the line to be sure… whether or not that’s a mortal sin, i’m not sure… i think you have to be doing something with complete willful consent and know it’s mortally wrong, to be guilty of a mortal sin.

Go to confession anyways. You can talk to it about the priest there. If you do, God will also give you the grace not to do it again. Mistakes happen. Whether it was a sin or not, you just want to try to avoid it. It’s good that you talked about this here on the forums, because if you don’t ask, you won’t know. You’ll be okay, but I think if it happens again, you should just walk out of line or just ask the priest for a blessing instead of Communion.

Talk to a priest about it. He will be able to advise you in ways that we anonymous CAFers cannot.

Generally speaking, though, I have a hard time believing God would begrudge you over 3 minutes. You honestly forgot until such a moment where you were forced to make a snap decision. That would seem to mitigate free consent IMO.

But, again, your priest would be in the best position to advise you on this matter.

This is always the best advice…talk it over with your confessor

However, in my humble opinion ---- come on now - 3 minutes - Mortal sin??? Let’s get real.

  1. That it was not done as a deliberate affront to God. In other words the action was not undertaken with malice of forethought and in full knowledge that you were defying God. The fact that you say you “missed it by 3 minutes” shows that, as you approached mass and as you approached the sacrament you were not positive but {u]pretty sure that it had been an hour (and you were darn near right).
  2. I look at the example of Christ in similar circumstances. When the Disciples pulled grain to eat and when Jesus healed the withered hand on the sabbath…Jesus is interested in our hearts not in our legal standing.

A mortal sin is mortal because it, “Destroys Charity” (CCC 1855). It requires the "big three, Grave matter, full knowledge and deliberate consent of the will.
Frankly I don’t see 3, or 5 minutes as being grave matter…
Do you really think that Jesus would?


this is scrupulous
ask your priest for guidance
it should work out that even if you eat before Mass an hour will have gone by but sometimes especially in the summer when Masses may be shorter you may miss the mark without realizing it. It is not intentional so don’t worry about it, just time your meal better next time.

:wink: Maybe a little scrupulous… Check with your priest at Confession. Bless you for having such a tender conscience. That is truly a gift. I can’t tell you how many people come in at the halfway mark at Mass, receive and then are out the door before the end of Mass! Offer your confession and any pennance you receive as a sacrifice for those who are not so inclined to care about mortal sin or offending Our Precious Lord in the sacrifice of the Mass.

If it happens again, the best “snap decision” is to cross your arms over your chest and “receive” – a blessing!

I think I would literally have to pick up something from the drive-thru on the way to Mass to violate the fast. :stuck_out_tongue: Communion is usually 45 minutes into the Mass and we try to leave the house at least 15 minutes till.

But, daily Mass would definitely be a different story.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit