Thanks for these responses - very helpful.
There is something else that started bothering me, though. It has to do with the Communion fast. In the early evening, before Mass, I was making jam and I tasted it a couple of times while I heated it on the stove. I remembered the fast and checked my watch the last time - it was about 5:30pm. (But it may have been 5:27, or 5:32, etc…) Thinking that I had a full hour before Mass even started, I didn’t pay attention to the time down to the minute.
When I got to the Mass, and Communion was already in progress, it was about 6:30. (But it may have been, say 6:26, etc…) I thought of the fast and glanced at my watch, saw that about an hour had passed since I had tasted the jam and figured that it was fine to join the Communion line. I wasn’t sure if I had really fasted for 60 whole minutes - it is quite possible that I did, but it is also quite possible that I only fasted for, say 55 minutes, or 58 minutes. I decided (again, I really only had a minute or two to try to make a decision, so I couldn’t really think through it) that it wouldn’t be a problem, since I had possibly fasted for 60 whole minutes, and if I hadn’t, I was really only off by a couple of minutes. I was actually more worried about the fact that I had shown up late for the Mass at that point.
Normally, I’m very careful to keep at least the one-hour fast and often observe the three and 12 hour fasts. However, in this situation I was caught by surprise and wasn’t really clear on what to do if, say, I wasn’t absolutely sure that I had fasted for exactly 60 minutes. Had I known (or even suspected) that I had only fasted for 50 minutes, for example, I would not have taken Communion. But I thought, well, if I haven’t fasted for exactly 60 minutes, I was very, very close, so it shouldn’t be a problem…I actually thought that maybe I was being too scrupulous, worrying about five minutes or less.
Last night I did some research on the internet and it looks like the 60-minute rule is very specific - that 55 minutes, or even 59 minute fasts are not acceptable. So now I’m worried that I committed a mortal sin, although I can’t be sure one way or another. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Now that I know that the 60 minute rule must be adhered to, exactly, I’ll make sure to observe it in the future and will refrain from taking Communion if I have any doubt.
I went to Confession last Sunday just to make sure that I would be able to do the First Fridays and First Saturdays devotions this week, even though I didn’t have mortal sins to confess. I don’t know if I will be able to get a priest to listen to a Confession today or even tomorrow, so I’m upset with myself that I’ll have to start all over in December!