Can one go to Communion if they have masturbated?

Not my favorite topic to talk about here. I asked this in the top part but have not had a reply in a while, so I’ll ask here. Having gone to confession some time ago in order to go to communion for Christmas, I was happy. Unfortunately recently the temptation got me again and now, just a week after I went to confession, I wonder, do I need to go to confession again before I can go to communion? I don’t want to go to confession again just to say that one sin. Is it enough to apologize to God personally and be forgiven, or must I go in order to take the Holy Communion again? I had not gone in such a long time so it was nice to go again, but now I am unsure if I can go. Sunday is soon, need to know by then if someone could assist me I would be grateful.

In most cases it’s going to be no.

As stated in this topic, if you know for sure you are in a state of mortal sin, receiving the Eucharist would be inappropriate.

So is it a mortal sin? If it is, does this mean if I don’t go to communion before I die then I will not be able to get in to heaven?

This should be asked from your confessor, not on an internet forum.

It is mortal sin. It suffices to deprive us of sanctifying grace. We do not understand how gravely we offend God when we turn to lust.

Now, it’s not easy to overcome, and the sinfulness can be diminished by many factors, f.ex. age. However, you are certainly not properly disposed to receive the living God in the Holy Eucharist if you have not confessed. And if you face a problem of addiction, you do want to receive some spiritual direction from a priest, so that he may become your confessor and help you.

With regards to your concern for your soul, it is very commendable but an imperfect form of contrition. We should feel more sad about our having offended the good Lord than about where our wretched little souls will end in the end of life. If you repented and seek to confess as soon as possible and to strive to achieve chastity and overcome masturbation, then you should not be worried about the possibility of you dying before confession:

1451 Among the penitent’s acts contrition occupies first place. Contrition is “sorrow of the soul and detestation for the sin committed, together with the resolution not to sin again.”

1452 When it arises from a love by which God is loved above all else, contrition is called “perfect” (contrition of charity).

Such contrition remits venial sins;** it also obtains forgiveness of mortal sins if it includes the firm resolution to have recourse to sacramental confession as soon as possible.**

In short, do not fear hell, because nobody goes in hell unless he chooses to. Just keep moving towards God and educate yourself about how to achieve chastity and defeat lust - hint: repressing natural and good sexual feelings is not the answer, those are always going to be present, and rightfully so. It is when they become disordered that trouble arises.


You are wondering if what you have done is mortal and it is understanding for you to seek out this truth. The mind of the Church tends to be divided on this issue (now I am referring to individual christians here) and with our knowledge and increased science of psychology many of the clergy are more sensitive towards these issues and will not give to these actions as classified as mortal as it was done in the past but to give it more a compassionate lighter offence that only needs to confessed privately before the Lord. You can take it later in Confession when it is your regular time to do so. Remember that Holy Communion cleanses us all from all venial sins for that it is one of its purposes. Today the Church is coming to acknowlege these actions for which you are confessing as only in the venial nature.

Remember that the attitude to be clean before coming to Holy Communion is not correct. Your attitude is to acknowledge your weaknesses beforehand in order so that you can be clean that is by your reception of God’s Perfect Sacrifice and Love. Confession must come before Communion only when one commits a mortal sin. When you are committing only venial sins you do not need to seek out a priest everytime you commit it. The Church however in these days with more understanding and compassion sees these acts of masturbation not as grave as it once did.

I will talk it over with your priest but be aware that the clergy are also divided on the issue of judgement on this so a better equiped priest who is in constant contacts with up to date teachings from Rome will be better to give you consolation and advice than one who is from the “old school” and have not enlarged their own understandings through their later years.

However if you feel the need to go to Confession by all means do so. This can be your comfort until someone can advise you on the correctiveness by which you can place too much judgement on. Masturabation in the Catechism was changed from its judgement from its original statement to a more acceptable compassionate view. The understanding today that it is only venial in nature is more pronounced. A priest today may recommend for you only to pray awhile, acknowlege it before the Lord. You can still receive Communion within those parimeters and receive the Grace of God for your benefit.

Masturbation is a grave matter. Your knowledge of the gravity of the sin and deliberate consent, we do not know.

You sound like you need to spend some time with a Priest and receive some teaching in this area.

There’s nothing wrong with not receiving Communion. We as sinners are really never truly worthy to receive the body and blood or our Lord. We should realize and give thanks to God of how much of a blessing it is that He even allows us to do this.

We should always examine our consciences before going to receive. Do you truly feel like you’re worthy to receive after committing such a sin? I know I would not. Would you go to a friend’s house for dinner after slapping them in the face and act like nothing happened? Or would you apologize first?

Sometimes abstaining from receiving Communion takes a greater act of faith than actually receiving. How many people do we ever see abstaining from receiving? I personally see very few. Do all of these people who receive do so without the stain of mortal sin on their souls? I don’t know, but judging by the lack of lines at the confessionals, I’m willing to bet there are many who are in a state of mortal sin and still receive. To actually refrain from receiving when you know you are in a state of mortal sin shows great faith. It shows your reverence for the Real Presence of the Lord and it shows that you aren’t afraid that others will pass judgement on you as being a sinner by not receiving.

Masturbation is a grave matter. If done with full knowledge and full consent it is a mortal sin.

With mortal sin, it is not simply enough to “apologize to God personally and be forgiven”. With mortal sin, one MUST go to confession before receiving communion.

Just from my own personal experience, I have noticed that with sins of the flesh Satan likes to first try to make your conscience lax and then if that fails and you find the courage to go to confession, he likes to try to make you scrupulous and doubt the efficacy of your confession. Satan knows that when a person masturbates they are releasing powerful mind-altering drugs into their body. He knows what the physiological effects of these drugs are and he knows that their release amplifies the effects of laxity and scrupulosity. This is why you must find a good priest to serve as your regular confessor and spiritual director and must obey his direction in this matter even when you “feel” otherwise.

Seeking a spiritual solution (regular confession, daily prayer, and daily mass and rosary if possible) to masturbation is the first step to recovery. But you should also be familiar with the fact (contrary to what popular culture and popular medicine tell you) that masturbation is very harmful to your physical health. Here is great article by neurosurgeon Donald L. Hilton, Jr that will help you to understand how Porn and Masturbation will literally destroy your brain: “Slave Master: How Pornography Drugs & Changes Your Brain” ( You could also Google the writings of Dr. Judith Reisman, who has written extensively on sex addition and has been predictably demonized and marginalized for doing so.

Looking at Porn and Masturbating releases feel-good chemicals (norepinephrine, epinephrine, dopamine, adrenaline & serotonin among others) into your brain. It’s basically like a drug that your brain gets hooked on and part of the reason why masturbation is so hard to stop. Again, see the above article by Dr. Hilton. If you ever tried to stop then you no doubt are familiar with the strong urge to look at porn and/or masturbate again after a few days to a week. After this amount of time the effects of the feel-good chemicals wear off and you start going thru withdrawal symptoms. It is a vicious cycle. Regular masturbation lowers your stamina and lowers your drive to accomplish things. Regular masturbation puts a high amount of stress on a man’s prostate. Masturbation also weakens your immune system thus making you more prone to diseases, especially to colds and flu during the winter season. Regular masturbation also weakens your tendons and ligaments, making it easier to strain a muscle or sprain a joint. Furthermore, you will start to get lower back pain if you continue to masturbate regularly. However you will most likely not experience this particular symptom until after you are past your teen years. Others will start to experience thinning hair on their heads as well. This is due to too much of your testosterone being converted into dihydrotestosterone (DHT) which overloads your body. You also lose several miligrams of zinc every time you ejaculate. Zinc plays an important role in cell division and growth. It is essential for protein and DNA synthesis and helps in liver function and proper insulin activity and is essential for proper functioning of the sexual organs. Zinc is found in abundance in semen and the prostrate gland. Sexually active men require more zinc than women for the health of the reproductive organs and fertility. Zinc is a component of many enzymes that help in the metabolism of lipids, carbohydrates and proteins and helps in wound healing. When a man has sexual intercourse with a woman, certain trace minerals and prostaglandins are absorbed from the female vaginal secretions which balance the zinc-loss effect and also there is a sort of natural suction during normal sex that helps drain all the semen during an ejaculation. Contrast this with masturbation, where a small portion of semen does not drain and ends up remaining in your system, which is not good.

Our society has turned masturbation into a normal, healthy behavior. Even some Catholics have fooled themselves into thinking that it is just a normal part of going through puberty. These are all lies.

Also, from the spiritual standpoint, you need to understand that pornography and masturbation are one of the easiest pathways to demonic possession. Sex addicts are demonically obsessed and if they become hardened sex addicts they are at risk of demonic possession. When you look at pornography and masturbate you are effectively practicing what Aleister Crowley called “sex magic.” This is dangerous stuff. One of the worst side effects of sins of the flesh is the resulting denial of immortality that accompanies them. Is it any wonder then that our hedonistic culture is also one of the most atheistic. The two sins go hand-in-hand. The sins of the flesh provide the spiritual energy behind the culture of death. Societies that crave the sins of the flesh also crave the destruction of the flesh, whether unborn or born. Sins of the flesh lead to the utter destruction and desecration of the flesh. It is an age-old, Satanic formula.

I’ll be praying for you!

Thanks for some of the insightful answers.

That’s just it, I do not want to go to a priest when this happens, since it happens a lot. Obviously I know I am discussing it on an internet forum, but it’s easier as an anonymous person here than to a priest, even in a confessional where he is not able to see me, saying it to someone is embarrassing, at least to me.

Of course I try not to do it, and sometimes can go a long time without doing it, but sometimes it it gets me. I don’t know how people, particularly younger people, with a sexual drive, are able to not do it. The way I look at it, sometimes it seems like the only way for me not to go out clubbing and have a one night fling. At least with this, once it’s done, I lose any lustful feeling and get on with other stuff, as some days can be hard as it stays in the mind. I am still a virgin but if not for this, I am not sure I would be able to stay clean before marriage [unless this makes me unclean anyway]. You get the urge out of nothing. TV program, music video, advert, even a good looking person out on the street. Honestly I think I’d have to stay locked up but even that might not work, I still have my imagination right?

Well obviously it is deliberate, although sometimes one has wet dreams that are not deliberate. I even had this after confession and it annoyed me. I confessed, I was clean, I was not thinking erotic thoughts or anything, then suddenly, boom, one night, I had an erotic dream and woke up, well, you know. Was this my fault? If not, then why would God let it be happening to me if it is a sin?

Yes that is why I go to Communion so rarely. The priest does mention in his sermons sometimes that it is a shame so many live in sin and cannot go to communion. It is almost as if he is urging them [and me] to do something about it.


That is a very long reply. I appreciate it though. I do have an issue with it. From a lot of what you wrote, it seems going out and having one night stands in better for me than masturbation since masturbation is so bad for my health, but having intercourse with women is not so bad. From what you say, having intercourse absorbs the semen and that is better for me, rather than the semen being left behind, so surely a person who goes out regularly as has sex with girls, is going to be in a better physical condition than me? Obviously the best thing is to have a partner, marry, then have intercourse, but do you see what I am saying here?

I struggled with this sin myself for a long time, so I understand where you are coming from. You say that you do not want to speak to a priest about this, but it’s really about what God wants you to do. God wants you to go to confession. He wants you to be brought back into a state of grace. You say that you do not want to confess because you fall often - but that is precisely why confession is there. The priest is there for you!

On this forum, Father Serpa says that to receive Communion outside of a state of grace is worse than dropping the Host into a dirty sewer. I had done this for many years and I still feel terrible about it, even though I know He has forgiven me through the sacrament of Confession. Please do not receive Communion if you are not in a state of grace. If you go to Mass before you are able to Confession, you can sit in the pew during communion time. Please be sure to confess as soon as possible, for the sake of your eternal salvation.

I concur with the other members of the forum that you should discuss this and work with one priest, one that is known to be faithful and true to the teachings of the Church.

I noticed in your talk you never refer to your family as a guide or help. Are you not in relationships with any family? I mean do you not talk things out with your father or some other family member. It seems you are not learning from those who can teach you within your own family. It is very difficult for the young people to have any direction in their lives when they decide to go on their own. This misconnection towards their family can be very costfull in these days when the older generation no longer connects with the younger generation. This is one of the main reasons for our society’s degeneration and I sense can only be solved by a returning back to common sense and values that were there from for instance our grandmother’s generations.

I teach at my Orthodox Church that when temptation comes and you decide to wrestle it by yourself it may cause problems for you to defeat it. The reason is plain and simple. People are not taught to reveal the temptation so it can easily defeat you if you do not have any previous instruction. When temptation comes knocking at your door notice how it operates. It wants only you to know about it. This is because the devil wants to keep everything he does with you a secret so to defeat him is very easy. You reveal the secret! You do that before it blossoms into sin. You don’t wait for it to become sin because this is teaching you where you must change. Your weakness is very simply you do not reveal to someone the temptation right away. You do that every time the temptation comes you will defeat him. The devil hates a crowd. When you reveal to someone what he is up to he becomes scared, scrams for the nearest exit and eventually give up.

I do not see your condition as serious enough to warrant confession every time you do this for it seems the temptation is trying for you to engage in premarital sex. You said you have not and that is good. The devil wants us to do more. At least you are not going into that direction. I sense though your struggle is much more than what you are revealing so it is good to make an appontment with a good priest to talk this out. Forget only Confession and talk to a priest. From what I see in your talk you may be able to avoid worse sins if you will only approach someone when the temptation comes. Pick out a priest to do this with. Don’t wait for the sin to do this. It seems you do not know how to approach temptation when it does come and that can be normal for any of us.

I am going to say this. It seems masturbation is not your problem but it is more the temptation to be with someone that is permarital sex. This is your real struggle. The masturbation is only a deterent. The reason why I know this is because you revealed a lot more in your last post. Don’t view the masturbation as the culprit. It isn’t. In my opinion it is only a lighter offence that is preventing you to do a larger offence. Premarital sex can be mortal and that is where you are trying to prevent.

When the temptations come I will advise you not to deal with them on your own but go to someone as soon as the temptation comes and it will soon lose its power. Every time this temptation comes you reveal it. Soon the devil will give up and whatever strength the temptation has will also go away.

Remember to tell your priest every thing I told you. Don’t hide this from him. It’s good to tell him what your real struggle is. He will understand this once you explain it to him and please follow his directions.

So you are giving an Internet advice saying that he should go to confession, but you also add that he should not come here on Internet to ask for advice. It looks like it is a catch-22. :smiley: