Receiving the Communion while in state of Mortal Sin


Hi everyone! My friend received the communion while in state of mortal sin. Will she be forgiven if she confessed it during the sacrament of reconciliation? Thanks everyone!


My opinion.
If she knew what she was doing, it is mortal sin on mortal sin. But she still can be forgiven, sure, if she deeply, sincerely and truely regrets.


She should discuss this with her confessor right away.




Receiving communion when not in the state of grace is a sacrilege. It can be forgiven in confession.


Any sin, so long as you are truly sorry and repentant for them, can be forgiven through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.


It’s sin (mortal if she knew what she was doing) and it can be absolved. But does anyone knows why do people do that? I mean, what’s so pleasuring about recieving communion in the state of grace?


I think the main reason is a desire to not stand out. Especially in American churches where everyone files up pew by pew, staying in your pew marks you as someone different, like something’s wrong with you. Even receiving a blessing can seem weird, since it’s something non-Catholic visitors do far more often than Catholics in a state of mortal sin. When I notice others refrain from receiving the Eucharist, I mentally applaud them for their courage and reverence, but I don’t always show that same devotion.


Of course!


I’d like to ask a question. How would you know that your friend is in a state of Mortal Sin?


This does seem to be an American thing. The percentage of those receiving at the Spanish Masses is significantly lower than those attending the English Masses. Polish Masses, too.


OP, most definitely it can be forgiven in confession. Make sure she reads this to understand things going forward so that she doesn’t put her soul at risk in the future:

Seeker, well said and I agree 100%. I, too, have felt that same pressure when 99+% of the congregation is going up for Communion. In addition, I’ve found that staying in the pew leads my wife to automatically wonder “wait, what mortal sin has my husband committed???”. Sometimes I will go up and receive a blessing to avoid that difficulty. I figure that others may assume I’m in RCIA, as opposed to being non-Catholic.

I would encourage you to take that extra step and go against the grain! I look at it this way: would I rather feel uncomfortable within the congregation or “eat and drink judgment on myself”? It took me awhile to get there, but it’s an easy choice for me now. I’m hoping that my refraining will someday give someone else the courage to do the same :slight_smile:


What if you don’t believe you are in a state of mortal sin, but others think/say you are?


Ask them.


If multiple other people are telling you that you are, then I’d say some discernment and further investigation is in order, as it could be a sign (depending on how knowledgeable/catechized those people are) that you’re justifying sin to yourself.

Go to your priest in confession and discuss it. He’ll be able to help you figure out - better than you can alone or other people can - whether or not you’re in a state of mortal sin.

It’s vitally important that we not make a subjective assessment of ourselves, but rather get an objective understanding of the state of our souls because:

“Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord.” (1 Cor. 11:27).

Many Catholics have not been well-taught about what constitutes mortal sin; or they have been mistakenly taught by bad priests or catechists that they shouldn't worry about it, or that the general confession in the mass covers the sin. Contrition and communion are deeply linked, so the path to the altar goes through the confessional; there can be no real joy in communion without knowing that the union with Jesus in the Eucharist is complete, real, and holy.


Yes the act of receiving communion while in mortal sin can be forgiven.

I am afraid it also happens in my country. It’s like many of my Catholic fellowmen do not completely understand the Sacrament of Reconciliation. :frowning:


I think a lot of it is as a result of bad catechesis. We have a generation (probably two generations now) who believe that you have to receive Communion every time you go to Mass, but when it comes to Confession the belief seems to be that you don’t really have to go. There seems to be the notion that anything ‘less’ than murder, rape and possibly armed robbery isn’t a mortal sin, so just a quick “sorry” to God will suffice. There also seems to be no connection in the minds of many people between Confession and Communion.

How many times do we hear priests even talk about sin, let alone mortal sin, to their congregations? How often do children in Catholic schools hear about mortal sin, hell or even the devil? If the parents haven’t had the right catechesis here, then how are their children to learn about this? We have a generation of Catholic children now growing up who have no idea about mortal sin, many of them have probably never even heard of it, let alone be aware of the consequences of mortal sin.

Whether or not a sin is mortal isn’t relative. It isn’t down to what an individual thinks is a mortal sin or not. If others are telling you that you are in a state of mortal sin then that should be enough to set alarm bells ringing. Are you in deliberate denial out of a sense of pride (a sense of “I know best”)? Why take the risk? Miss Communion and go to Confession straight away.


But doing that would be a product of pride, wouldn’t it? If you are in mortal sin, you are offending Christ by receiving His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity into the darkness of your sins. It’s violating God. Yet, yes, your friend can go to confession if she’s repented and go up to the altar next time in a state of grace.

When I see people abstaining from Communion, I can’t make an assumption as to the reason – maybe they aren’t Catholic – but sometimes I pray for them. We are one body in Christ and we should pray for our own.


Indeed it is. Sin leads to sin leads to sin. I don’t give that reasoning as justification or excuse, just as an answer to why people do it. Similar to if someone said that they lie because telling the truth would get them in trouble, it doesn’t excuse the sin, but helps explain the thought process that led to it.

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