Rules about taking communion

One thing that no-one I’ve asked seems to know is…
provided that all the other requirements have been met around participatiitng in the Eucharist…what is the rule around having taking communion and/or being a member of a Protestant church?

Why I ask is…

I have been going to a Catholic Church for several months, have talked to my Priest and do plan on being confirmed…(I was baptized but not raised Catholic)
I just recently decided to stop going to the Protestant church, so will not be receiving communion there any longer, ( but I did within the last month),
WHat is the rule on that receiving communion in the Catholic church when one has taken communion in another church…help
Ps I never formally became a member of the Protestant church I am speaking of…

First off , Catholics do not “take” communion, we receive it. Whether you can receive or not depends upon a few things.Since you were baptized in the Catholic Church you are a Catholic.
Basically You must be educated about Communion and the church at least in a basic way,reached the age of reason of course, believe what we believe about communion and be in a state of grace( have gone to confession for any mortal sins). So really it depends upon your priest and what his assessment of your situation is. Are you taking any classes?

If you are coming home to the Church you should definitely not attempt to receive communion at any other type of church. We are not in union with them and you should not be acting like you are.

This is exciting! Prayers for your journey home!

Excuse me for getting the terminology wrong…but Protestants dont take communion either…it was just a slip…I havent been sleeping well…gee whiz

Yes, I am taking classes and I am not only well informed about what Catholics believe, but I also came to believe, through the grace of God and prayer, in the bread and wine becoming the body and blood of our Lord Jesus.

I knew about all that …I just wondered if there was a rule on how long one had to wait after having received communion in another church (not RC).

I cant get a hold of my Bishop and my priest is tired of all my questions…
SOrry for being cranky, but you would be too, if you hadnt slept in 4 days.


you have to wait until you are confirmed. I am assuming that the classes you are taking are RCIA classes? Your instructor can tell you, my guess is that this will be coming up in the near future.

Being baptized in the catholic church is not enough to receive communion. Which is why you do not see 5 yr olds recieving. You will just have to be patient, you will probably receive communion for the first time at the Easter Vigil.

Yeah that would make me cranky. I’m running on 2 and half hours today myself and that is bad enough.

Have you been to confession yet?

There is no canon law about whether you have need to wait a specified time after having taken communion in a protestant church or not. Catholics may not go to communion in any protestant churches. We may only seek Sacraments from validly ordained ministers. Did you understand that at the time? This is only a month ago. Did your complete conversion occur since then? You need to explore those questions a bit.

Not necessarily. The Eastern Catholics give communion to children. In fact they receive communion and confirmation with baptism as infants. Confirmation is not required to receive communion for a baptized Catholic.

If at the time you received communion in this other church you knew you were not supposed to, then you need to go to confession and then you can receive the Eucharist.

If at the time you received communion in this other church you did not know you were doing something wrong, then you did not commit a sin (sin requires that you know it’s wrong and do it anyway). In that case, resume the Sacramental life in the Eucharist (presuming you have already made a good confession for other sins and for falling away from the church).

A good confession is what is needed to resume receiving the Eucharist.

You are a Catholic, you do not need to refrain from the Eucharist until you are confirmed. This, of course, presumes you had already received the sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist before you left the Church. If you left the Church at a very young age, then talk to the priest about the appropriate time for Reconciliation and receiving First Eucharist.

Firstly…I was told by my priest I do not need to be confirmed to receive holy communion…

WHen I received communion in the Protestant Church…I still had not decided which church I was going to go with…
I was having some problems accepting that I would ever be accepted into the Catholic Church…but then something changed in me radically…I realized that the call to come home was a call to come back to me…not necessarily a call to come home to the faith I was baptized in… the ROman Catholic faith… then I was truly free to chose the Catholic CHurch…

Since accepting that I was a child of God, no matter what I chose to do…I was able to put aside my feelings of resentment that held me back from thinking I would ever be a full member of the Catholic Church. I cant explain all of what I mean right now…just know that I now know what what wants me to do and I need to follow my heart…

I guess I will just have to be patient until my Priest has time to talk with me again on this …but thanks to all for your questions and help…and continuing help

I did know it was wrong when I received it, but I did anyway because at the time…I was having second thoughts about joining the RC church…because of alot of self doubt…
Also, I never left the Catholic Church…it was thanks to the Children’s Aid, who thought it was ok to place me in a non-Catholic family and rob me of my culture, heritage, religion and language. THe parents who raised me were wonderful…I just never went to any church and didnt find out I was baptized RC til I was in my 20’s…My priest knows that part…I will talk to him again about receiving first communion…I am still confused about that

You did not freely leave the Church by an act of your will. You were so young when you were placed with another family you didn’t even know you were Catholic. None of that is on you. You are not responsible for that.

I think you were certainly in a state of confusion about your religious path during the time you kept attending this other church and receiving communion. I don’t think you were really in a position to understand fully what you were doing, but that’s me. I think you are being awfully hard on yourself. Even though baptized Catholic, you were not raised Catholic and are exploring the Faith. I am glad you have come to believe that the Church holds the fullness of truth and that you want to complete your sacraments of initiation.

Since you have not yet received Reconciliation or First Communion, and because you are taking instruction to learn about the Catholic faith, I would suggest you follow your priest’s guidance and not be too overly concerned with what went on before you made a firm decision to become Catholic. He knows your situation and he will guide you in first confession.

Also, you said your priest is “tired of all your questions.” Priests are human, and so if he’s having a bad day he may seem annoyed or distracted. But, just keep in mind it is his job and his responsibility to answer your questions, no matter how many you have. Do not hold back your questions. Ask them!

This is one of those questions that is too important to set aside. Don’t hesitate to ask your priest about this. Some of the questions he’ll ask (if he doesn’t already know) will be whether or not you’ve made your first confession (and how long it’s been since then, whether you’ve been recently, etc), and whether or not you’ve received First Communion. 1st Communion can be received “anytime” (since you’re already Catholic, and an adult) but if you haven’t done this yet, it will be one of the “stages” of your return to the Church.

There’s no waiting period to receive the Eucharist after you’ve participated in a Protestant service, but at the same time, that issue does have to be resolved before you can receive Communion. That will depend upon a lot of different things that belong in a private conversation between you and your priest (or another priest in Confession).

So remember, this question is too important not-to-ask your priest.

Thanks to all for your input and encouragement

To be fair to my priest though (and I wasnt before), yes he is very busy but has made alot of time for me…and it just seems that when burning questions come up…its never a good timie for both of us…and I am probably overly impatient…

I do see that is is vitally important I talk to him about this…again…because I am not clear on things…

I would definetly not go up and receive communion until I had talked to my priest…and cleared everything up…

If I have to wait …I have to wait…but its torture…that is how bad I want to receive communion…and God knows it…


Talk to your priest. You should go to confession just to make sure you have everything covered. Once he affirms that you understand all you need to regarding the Eucharist, you may then receive. If you are in RCIA for Confirmation, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to save it for that day. You’ll see why when the time comes.

Welcome home. :thumbsup:

Well…I talked my priest…and he said I am not able to receive Communion…I have to go trough the RCIA, get my divorce, annulment, get married to the man I’m living with (even though we have been celibate) since I started my faith journey…(we are both ok with it)
After all that…I can receive 1st holy communion, after reconciliation and then be confirmed

I have read otherwise however… so I think my Priest is afraid of getting into trouble with parishioners for allowing me to receive communion…since alot of people know I am not married to the man I’m living with(they just dont know we arent having sexual relations)

I have decided not to talk to him about it anymore…

Sounds like your priest is just being prudent. He has to think about the message others in the parish might (rightly or wrongly) get by seeing you going up to communion - that is, they may start to think it’s OK to be in an unblessed relationship. If that’s the case, then it might be both a failing and a sin on his part to permit it.

Perhaps approach a priest in another parish, one where you and your fiance aren’t well-known. Explain your situation to the priest there and get his advice - possibly you could receive communion there instead.

That is probably the case…I cannot go to another parish however…too far away…and too much on gas…however…I’ve waited this long…and perhaps I can wait a little longer…

Thats all for now

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