Over the past century the rules regarding fasting before receiving Holy Communion have changed significantly. Whilst the canon law quoted below indicates the current rules, it is important to not lose sight of the reason why Catholics fast prior to Holy Communion. When we fast we become aware of our physical hunger, not only for the nourishment of food, but more importantly the spiritual nourishment that comes from receiving Jesus in the Eucharist.

Canon 919 states:

1: "One who is to receive the Most Holy Eucharist is to abstain from any food or drink, with the exception of only water or medicine, for at least the period of one hour before Holy Communion."

3: "Those who are advanced in age or who suffer from any infirmity, as well as those who take care of them, can receive the Most Holy Eucharist even if they have taken something during the previous hour."

Acknowledgements
Host photo by Josh Applegate on Unsplash

Reviewed
14 October 2019

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