When were the Eucharistic fast rules changed?

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?

Thanks BobP.

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!:slight_smile:

Here is the document concerning the 3 hour change:
papalencyclicals.net/Pius12/P12FAST.HTM

Thanks. That was great information.:slight_smile:

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