Receiving the Eucharist Twice in One Day


Let me state up front I know (by Can. 917) that an individual *may *receive a second time under the proper circumstances, but:

Is there any compulsion, or even a positive reason to do so? It is my understanding that among the reasons for limiting the number of receptions is that there is no “multiplication of graces” by multiple receptions, so is there any particular reason *to *do so? Is it just so people can look/feel like they are fitting in? :confused:

For instance, this past Sunday I was the scheduled reader at my parish’s 9am Mass; Later, for social reasons, I attended the noon Mass at a near-by parish. I did not feel any particular reason to receive a second time, so I did not. Can it be said that I missed out on something by refraining from the second reception?



1388 It is in keeping with the very meaning of the Eucharist that the faithful, if they have the required dispositions, receive communion when they participate in the Mass. As the Second Vatican Council says: “That more perfect form of participation in the Mass whereby the faithful, after the priest’s communion, receive the Lord’s Body from the same sacrifice, is warmly recommended.”

and read this:

As you note though it is only “a second time” that Holy Communion can be received within a day (normal 24 hour day 12-12) and such is to be only during a Mass one is participating in.

One is not obliged to though.

(of course viaticum is a different matter).


do so? Is it just so people can look/feel like they are fitting in? :confused:

Good question. I’d like to see people’s responses.

I can think of a few possible reasons people might have, some trivial, some less so.

*]I would have had to get out of the pew in any case to let people go by so I figured I might as well go up and receive
*]I didn’t think I was as focused on what I was doing during the first reception of communion so I wanted to receive while better disposed than previously.
*]I want to be more perfectly united with my fellow communicants.
*]I am involved in a liturgical role during my second Mass and I am concerned it might raise eyebrows if I don’t receive.
But I can also think of reasons NOT to receive: For example, I don’t want people to contribute to the impression that EVERYONE receives the Eucharist just because they attend Mass.


I do not think it is ever improper to receive the Lord Jesus in multiple receptions at a Mass. For instance I can remember at Christmas we could receive Holy Communion at Midnight Mass which ended around two in the morning than we can receive the Lord Jesus again at the 8:00 Mass Christmas Day 6 hours later! Under very special circumstances the reception of our Lord can be received twice on the same day. However if you feel not the need to receive at a second time it is also permissible. The grace of God is still with you on the first reception. I am not one who believes a second reception will not involve any grace since you had receive it earlier for the grace of God is always there. The grace is there in the second reception. However it is only under special circumstances that one should receive more than once. The priest at my Church when I was growing up had to receive in multiple receptions sometimes three times on a Sunday morning because he had to celebrate 3 Masses! This can happen in the Church of Rome but never in the Orthodox Church because the priest in the Orthodox Church can only celebrate one Divine Liturgy in one day so that in any Orthodox Church you will only see one Divine Liturgy on any one Sunday. Not so in the Church of Rome.


No, I don’t think you missed out on anything. No one is obliged to receive a second time, even if they go to mass a second time in one day. I go to Confession at least once a month and after confession I stay for the Saturday vigil mass, and then go to the Sunday morning mass. Though it’s not the same 24 hour day, it’s the same liturgical day. Because of that, I couldn’t receive the Eucharist again that day since the Church only allows you to take it twice in one day. Liturgical days count for that.


As others have said, there definitely is no compulsion to do so. Per Canon Law, we are only obligated to receive Communion once a year, so I doubt the Church would seek to compel people to receive twice in one day. :stuck_out_tongue:

As for there being a positive reason to do so, I think SMHW said most of the things that occurred to me. I guess on those occasions where I’ve been to more than one Mass in a day, I never thought of not receiving.

I understand the reason for the discipline of limiting reception. I can see certain people just hanging out at Church and wanting to receive Communion all day long. I do wonder, though, at the idea that no extra grace could be obtained by a second reception. If that were true, why would the Church bother to administer Viaticum to those who had already been to Mass that day?


and be sure to read the second link - about the graces - the reality of Holy Communion (be it first time or second time).


Knowing that it is ok to take a second time why would you not want to unless you felt you weren’t in a worthy place spiritually? The receiving of the Eucharist is the high point and could be argued the main point of the mass altogether


Good question, tee.

My take has always been the Church sees no benefits to receiving more than once sacramentally. The compulsion to receive, though, is certainly well-founded, seeing that everyone around you receives. The social benefit, therefore, can’t be totally discounted.

Spiritual communion, OTOH, has no limitations nor prerequisites. In fact, it was well encouraged by Trent, whether one receives sacramentally or not.


I don’t know, though. Something just seems wrong about saying that receiving Communion (with the proper disposition, of course) yields a person no grace simply because they received Communion a few hours earlier.

Now I’m wondering if any theologians have tackled this question before…



So many theological matters --and I think this is one of them-- are hard for us to comprehend due to our human subjection to time. It is certainly a wonderful thing to be able to be united in the eternal sacrifice and banquet that is the Mass. That is our hope for heaven!

But we also need to take time for other things. The Church’s restrictions on how many times we can receive communion are for that reason. Allowing Communion more than once a day (Viaticum, special Masses for sacraments, Solemnities with Vigils, etc. are a separate matter) is an allowance for the problem of needing multiple Masses in a day in a given parish.

I’m not sure there is a one-size-fits-all answer for a question regarding a situation which comes about because of a “problem”. But it is certainly too bad that all problems are not so delightful as having to figure out if one should receive communion twice rather than just once! :smiley:


I would disagree there. Of course there are “benefits” -the similar benefits (effects) as the first time one received that day (one’s disposition taken into account etc) - the second reception during a second Mass one participates in will yes have similar “benefits”. The reality of what takes place when one receives Holy Communion will take place…see [](

(and remember if one is dying - even a third time! as viaticum )


If they did tackle it, they surely would have addressed “the more communion, the better” question. Obviously, since the Church has imposed numerical limits on the reception, this is not true. Unlike Mass attendance, confession, spiritual communion, etc. which have no limits.


See my post above. Your sense is quite correct. The second reception at a Mass …does have “effects”…

The Church just does not want people to take an incorrect “quantity” (like someone setting out to make as many Communions as possible out of some disordered understanding etc) or other error filled attitudes.


Do you have a theological basis for that?


See the Catechism.

That is what takes place when a person receives and is disposed.

Tis the nature of the reality involved. One is receiving the Logos -Jesus Christ the Son of God.

(one of course would follow the law on the number etc).


This is an incorrect understanding as is frequently pointed out here.


Amen to that! :slight_smile:


The Church DOES allow for Holy Communion a second time (if during a Mass one participates in - it need not be a special Mass etc). So the Church does not say one may only receive once a day. But rather twice.


So what you’re saying, the “twice” is more of an obedience issue? Because if the amount of grace and benefit is proportional to the number of times we receive, we should be in the communion lines every time it is offered on a given day, no? I don’t read in the Catechism where there are diminishing returns on the sacramental reception. What if we commit a lot of venial sins, for example?

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