Receiving Holy Communion

If one attends the Saturday night vigil Mass, can they also attend the Sunday Mass and receive Holy Communion at both Masses, or must they only receive once during that time?

Thanks for any answers.

Yours in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary


Yes, they may. You may receive twice in one day, as long as the second time is at a Mass you have attended.

Of course. While you may receive twice on one day if the second is in Mass, you are asking about two different days therefore you are receiving once on each day.

Is there a reason for the “twice in one day” rule?

Yes, priests often need to offer more than one mass per day! :wink:

If I remember right, it’s to discourage scrupulosity. The rule is actually a bit more complicated than that – twice in one day, but the second time must be at an actual Mass, and of course you can always receive Viaticum.

Priests actually have to get dispensation from the rule IIRC. I think it comes automatically when they receive faculties from the bishop.

A person told me that I was wrong for receiving at the Saturday Vigil Mass and also the next day a Sunday. I think he is under the impression that it was within a 24 hour period and that it is incorrect twice within a day. I recall that before Vigil Masses maybe the Church frowned on doing this.

Thanks for all the replies.

God Bless


Perhaps he is confused about the 24 hours. Because canon law defines the canons dealing with “days” as 24 hour time periods, midnight to midnight, unless a specific canon defines the time period differently.

The law regarding reception of the Eucharist speaks of twice in one day, therefore the “day” is midnight to midnight.

The anticipated Mass itself is not spoken of in those terms as it pertains to the Sundy Obligation. The law states one fulfills the Sunday obligation on the day (midnight to midnight Sunday) **or **the evening before (Saturday after 4 p.m.).

Why is there a twice a day limit? Some churches have mass three times a day.

It’s in the Code of Canon Law:

*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 §2. *

The word “again” here is translated from the Latin iterum, which is more usefully translated as “one more time.” So communion may be received (a) twice in one day, if (b) the second reception is at a Mass. The 921 section 2 provision relates to communication in the event of death, and so allows a person to receive Viaticum even if he’s already received communion (once or twice) earlier in the day.

Thanks for the clarification!

To avoid the heresy of people thinking they get more graces based on the amount of times they received in a day.

The only vigil Mass you have to look out for is Easter Vigil because (normally) you will be receiving after Midnight. If for some reason you have to attend Mass twice during the day on Easter, you would not be able to receive at the last Mass.

Oh, I understand. Thanks.

The last post confused me. What about going to First Saturday Holy Mass in honor of our Blessed Mother in the morning on Saturday and then again on Saturday evening at the Sunday Vigil Holy Mass. I think it is OK, but the last post confused me. Sorry to ask. Chris.

The Easter Vigil must begin in darkness. Civil twilight in the evening is technically when the center of the sun is geometrically 6 degrees below the horizon. At this time there’s still enough light to see the horizon, but it’s dark enough to see the brightest of stars in the sky. Complete darkness, however, begins sometime after the end of evening civil twilight. In our Archdiocese, Easter Vigil may begin no earlier than 8:30pm – but that still leaves plenty of time to receive Communion before midnight.

It’s the Christmas Midnight Mass you have to look out for (though I have heard of parishes that celebrate “midnight” Mass beginning at 10pm).

My husband and I are music ministers at 2 parishes, and sometimes are asked to lead music at 3 Masses on an occasional Sunday. Should we not be receiving the Eucharist at one of the Masses so we don’t go over the “twice a day” rule? I find it hard to say “no” to Jesus in the Eucharist when He’s offered to me just because I’ve already received Him twice that day.

Yes, at one of the Masses you should refrain from receiving.

There are times we must say ‘no, I can’t’. When Dad was dying and I was at his bedside they regularly brought him Communion. On occasion I’d find myself there when they did and they’d also offer Communion to me. If I hadn’t received that day and was in a state of grace, I’d accept. But if it was on Sunday and I’d already received at Mass, I didn’t accept at his bedside because I knew that I mustn’t.

It is my understanding from talking with many priest, a few canon lawyers, a few Bishops, and one Cardinal, that you, if not a priest, may receive the Holy Eucharist only once in a calendar day, EXCEPT if the SECOND time is for a different purpose, such as a wedding, funeral, baptism, etc. Under that understanding, if you are receiving the Holy Eucharist at the Saturday Evening Vigil, which is technically the Sunday Mass, you may not then receive the Holy Eucharist at Sunday Morning Mass, unless that Mass for for a different purpose.

Some have used the “loop hole” of Mass is being said Saturday evening on behalf of X intentions, and on Sunday morning for Y intentions, but the Canon lawyers I have talked to feel that was “against the grain”.

In Christ,

Friar Don, OBR

My understanding of receiving Holy Communion twice in one day is: that one can only receive Jesus in the Eucharist twice in one day, **in special and/or exceptional ****circumstances’ **
The priest celebrating the Eucharist is of course the exception; he must receive Jesus then.
I further understand that we should receive Our Lord only when we have assisted at Holy Mass, fully, ie not arriving late (habitually), and leaving before the conclusion of the Mass.

There are exceptions to this also; doctors, nurses, police, firemen/women and so on. At times their work schedule makes it difficult for them to get to church for the start of the Mass, and/or they must leave befor the final Blessing.

We are so blessed to have the gift of Jesus daily, compared to the times when one only received Our Lord with the permission of the priest. :blessyou::amen:

It’s ok, twice in 24 hours, second time a Mass.

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