Who can receive Communion?

If someone has a missal used for Mass in a Roman Catholic Church, could you please type out what it says in the front as to who is welcome to receive communion … if not here, then please send it to me by private message.


I don’t have a Roman missal with the information you want, but this article from CAF’s library ought to help you: Who Can Receive Communion.

Yeah, it’s not something that’s outlined in the Missal (at least none of the Missals I have). It’s something you’d find in Canon Law.

Any adult Catholic who is in unity with the Pope can receive Communion on the condition that he or she is properly prepared – he may not if he has any mortal sin on his conscience, and he’d need to go to Confession first. Also, all Catholics must go to Confession at least once a year, whether or not he or she has any mortal sin. By the way, all Catholics also must receive Communion at least once a year too, after getting the annual Confession.

For Catholic children, there’s a customary age for the Latins (“Roman” Catholics). That’s in the second grade or so.

But some Catholics (they’re not Romans but are called “Eastern Catholics”) actually have their babies receive Confirmation and Communion right after they’re baptised. They’re Catholics in union with the Pope, but they just have their own differenct customs. For them, they believe that children should not be hindered from God. But for us Latins, we hold it off till the kid is old enough to understand what he or she is taking part in (it’s called the “age of reason”).

But Communion isn’t restricted to just Catholics. The Orthodox can receive Communion in a Catholic Church on the condition that they choose to do it by themselves (which I guess would be pretty much anybody). There are also some other Churches that have this opportunity, like the Polish National Church.

If you like, I can find out what specific parts in Canon Law say this so you can have the proper sources. Let me know. But if you prefer to find it yourself, you can find the full text for Canon Law in a lot of places online. The Vatican website for instance has it.

It seems to me that you might have a specific scenario in mind. Do you have a question for a special case? There might be a different rule for the scenario you have in mind. If I can help, let me know about that and I’ll try and see what I can do.

Thank you both - I’ll check out the Vatican site for Canon Law.

As a Byzantine Catholic, I know it’s true that receiving Communion at my Byzantine Catholic Church fulfills my “Sunday Obligation”.

Thanks for the site directions.

One quick thing, you might also like to know that going to any Catholic Church (Byzantine, Latin, or any of the 22) would fulfill your obligation. But since you are a Byzantine, going to an Orthodox parish would also fulfill it. That’s something only the Easterners have, and us Latins don’t have the same privilege.

Of course (as your probably already know), if you’re visiting an Orthodox Church and want to receive Communion, it’s best to personally talk to the priest ahead of time. American Orthodox Churches tend to be more strict in observing who takes Eucharist and who doesn’t. The just want to be sure it isn’t taken by people who aren’t supposed to take it. It’s too bad we don’t have that in our Churches. Any weirdo off the street would be able to receive it, and Catholic parishes couldn’t really do anything about it because there are so many people attending that you just don’t know who’s a part of the parish and who isn’t.

I envy the Orthodox for having a nice, close atmosphere like that. I went to a Coptic Orthodox parish once, and they even had a Sunday breakfast with everyone in the community. It was truly like an extended family. But in our Catholic parishes, I barely recognise the people who go to the same Sunday Mass that I go to. It isn’t a sin on anyone’s part of course – it’s just that we’re way too big to have that sort of oversight.

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