I am aware that currently one only needs to fast for one hour before receiving Holy Communion. I also know that previously the fast rules were a three hour fast and before that, it was a fast from midnight. I usually follow the fast from midnight, even though it is not required. If I am going to a Vigil Mass or evening Mass, I will follow the three hour fast. When did the fast change from midnight to three hours? When did it change from three hours to one hour?
I think the midnight fast was cut to a 3-hr fast in the mid-50’s when there were increasing number of Masses extending all the way till noon and beyond. Solid food, 3 hours, and drinking anything other than water, 1 hour.
The 1-hr rule was introduced around the time the Saturday Mass fulfilled the Sunday obligation. 1967 maybe?
1967 seems about right to me too from what I can remember. By that time we had transitioned to the hybrid TLM/NO Mass. The folks in the pews were told that we would transition from the TLM to the NO. It was not seen as an “OK here’s a new liturgical rubric” but rather that we would be “eased” into the NO. So, the senior class of my Catholic high school still had a large Latin overtone in 68 when I served and in 69 when I graduated it was all NO and we sang Simon and Garfunkle accompanied by guitars. So much for “easing”.
I remember that period well. You had to double-check to make sure you were going to the same church every Sunday. And then you had different churches. I stopped going altogether, citing that I had too much college homework to keep up with the changes. I then heard so many canons were invented, take your choice of churches. Things were really getting out of hand. Then came about a move to consolidate all the different canons into four plus another four for special occasions. Then I was dating a girl who brought me back to going to Church in 1970. Yikes, I almost jumped when her mother turned around to give me some handshake of peace. I really felt quite sick about it and all the other changes but I nevertheless hung in there. Did a lot of parish shopping too. I was actually going to church for the wrong reasons. I only hope God will someday give me credit for putting up with all that crazy stuff.
Christus Dominus (Pius XII) in 1953 reduced the fast to 3 hours and excepted water. There was also listed a few cases where priests could fast for 1 hour, I think.
Apostolicae Consitutione in 1964 (January)reduced it for priests and a further decree later in the year (Novemeber) reduced it to the one hour rule.
It was mitigated for the elderly in Immensae Caritatis.
Thanks for the information!
Here is the document concerning the 3 hour change:
Thanks. That was great information.