The Eucharistic Fast

Jude Missa

As faithful Catholics, we always attend the Holy Mass every Sunday. Most of us, especially the elders, attend the morning Mass. But did you know, that we must fast before we receive the Sacrament of the Holy Communion?

The Eucharistic Fast or Eucharistic Discipline is Catholic practice to prepare ourselves for the reception of the Holy Eucharist. According to Canon 919 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law, “A person who is to receive the Most Holy Eucharist is to abstain for at least one hour before holy communion from any food and drink, except for only water and medicine. But, back from 1917 Code of Canon Law, it is a mandate to have a Eucharistic Fast from midnight until the receiving the Holy Communion until it was changed on the 1983 Code of Canon Law.

The Eucharistic Fast requires aged twenty-one to sixty to have abstention from both food and liquids except for water. A person who does not follow the Eucharistic Fast are not allowed to receive Holy Communion except in danger of death or consume it to protect the Blessed Sacrament against irreverence.
On January 6, 1853, Pope Pius XII allowed the Sick to take liquid during this time. But Alcohol was strictly forbidden. While the Priest can consume liquid after the Holy Mass in 9 am.

According to Pope Pius XII:

“Saint Augustine affirms that the Holy Eucharist is always received by people who are fasting and likewise that this custom is observed throughout the entire world.”

“Abstinence from food and drink is in accord with that supreme reverence we owe to the supreme majesty of Jesus Christ when we are going to receive Him hidden under the veils of the Eucharist. And moreover, when we receive His precious Body and Blood before we take any food, we show clearly that this is the first and loftiest nourishment by which our soul is fed and its holiness increased.”

“Not only does the Eucharistic fast pay due honor to our Divine Redeemer, it fosters piety also; and hence it can help to increase in us those most salutary fruits of holiness which Christ, the Source and Author of all good, wishes us who are enriched by His Grace to bring forth.”

So, before we receive Holy Communion, we must fast 1 hour before receiving the Blessed Sacrament. But also, do not forget to take the Sacrament of Confession.


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