One hour fast before receiving the Eucharist


Hi everyone! Could anyone clarify whether this was a mortal sin or not?
In my university there is mass on at 1.05 p.m. Last Friday morning in the university I had an exam. My friends and I then went for something to eat in the college canteen and I had soup. I finished eating at around 12.25 p.m. I then went to the mass. When the Eucharist was distributed, it was 1.20 p.m. This would mean that I had only been fasting for 55 minutes and not the prescribed one hour. I have received the Eucharist since then because I didn’t think it was a mortal sin, but I’m very worried now that what I did may have been gravely disrespectful to Christ. Could anyone clarify what the Church’s stance on this is?


You cannot commit a Mortal Sin without a deliberate, and free choice.

  1. you must know that an act (or omission) is Grave Matter
  2. you must give fully free consent of the will
  3. the issue must actually be Grave Matter.

I do not know for certain that the issue of a 60 minute fast is considered Grave Matter in and of itself, however a deliberate rejection of the churches teachings on fasting and abstinence is Grave Matter.

In your case I would suspect that even if you were aware of the 5 minute shortfall, that it would at most constitute a venial sin. If you only realised the shortfall after the fact then I would suggest that there was most probably no sin at all.

For the future: remember there is no requirement to receive the Eucharist every time you participate in the Mass. You can Stay in the Pew, or in some parishes you can approach the priest for a blessing (normally indicated by crossing your arms in front of your chest).

(lets **not **start an argument on the issue of the liturgical appropriateness of a Priest giving some form of blessing at this time - that’s very much for a different thread - and the Vatican has not yet ruled on the issue! So if a local bishop permits it Thats fine with me.)


It’s technically required, but I wouldn’t obsess over it. This sounds like scruples. You obviously meant to fast for an hour, so I don’t anyone would care that you accidentally only fasted for 55 minutes. That said, I’d try not to cut it so close. My trick is to time it from the start of Mass, not from when you receive. (I have it easy. That’s how long choir practice is)


I believe you're good. Next time be more aware of the time before you eat.

God bless.

Priez pour pape Francois


Proceed to confession before this keeps building up inside you. What’s done is done. And as the last poster mentioned, next time be conscious of the time you’re eating prior to Mass.


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