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Eucharistic Fast

The precept to observe the eucharistic fast is a serious obligation founded in the tradition of the Church and based upon due reverence for the Blessed Sacrament. Canon 919 of the "Code of Canon Law" states, "One who is to receive the Most Holy Eucharist is to abstain from any food or drink, with the exception of water and medicine, for at least the period of one hour before Holy Communion." © Evangelization Station, 2010.

 
Eucharistic Fast

The precept to observe the eucharistic fast is a serious obligation founded in the tradition of the Church and based upon due reverence for the Blessed Sacrament. Canon 919 of the "Code of Canon Law" states, "One who is to receive the Most Holy Eucharist is to abstain from any food or drink, with the exception of water and medicine, for at least the period of one hour before Holy Communion." Those who are at least 60 years of age or sick as well as their caretakers can receive Communion even if a full hour fast has not been fulfilled. For example, people in the hospital are not in control of their own schedule and may be eating or have just finished eating when visited by the priest, deacon, or Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion. Therefore, the period of fast before receiving Holy Communion is reduced to "approximately one quarter of an hour" for those who are sick at home or at a medical facility, those elderly confined to home or a nursing home, and those who care for these people and who are unable conveniently to observe the fast (Immensae Caritatis, 1973). By requiring this slight mortification, the Church wishes to invite us to make an effort, a sacrifice, and to teach us that spiritual food ought to come before material food. Is not Jesus more important? We should seek Him before anything else. The purpose of this reminder of the penitential aspect of the eucharistic fast is to bring home again to the communicant the full significance of the Eucharistic Mystery celebrated in memory of Christís passion. © Evangelization Station, 2010.

 

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