No eating before mass rule - true or false?

Is there a rule that says we should abstain from eating before mass? Someone mentioned this but it was never discussed in my RCIA class. Is this true and what’s the reason behind it? Thanks :slight_smile:

The law of the Latin rite says that we must abstain from everything except for water and medication for 1 hour prior to recieving Holy Communion.

What does the “law of the Latin rite” mean? My church is just regular Roman Catholic. Does that rule still apply?

Also, does it count for children also? Mine are sometimes eating their breakfast in the car, on the way to church.

According to the Priest at my Parish, the 1 hour rule*** always*** applys and to everyone receiving the Body and Blood of Christ.

I go 'round and 'round with my husband on this, but I believe the rule is a 1 hour fast before receiving Holy Communion; not 1 hour before the start of Mass. Correct?

As to the reason: we should be preparing our hearts & minds to be living tabernacles for our Lord and savior.

Latin rite refers to the largest branch of the church. It means the Western part. Usually called Roman Catholic as opposed to say, Byzantine Rite. And if your children have recieved their First Holy Communion then they must fast for 1 hour prior to recieving. So this means that they robably cannot eat their breakfast in the car.

Stephanie- You are correct. It is one hour prior to recieving, not 1 hour prior to the start of Mass.

The rule is one hour before receiving holy communion

So if your priest speak for a sufficiently long period of time during his homily, or its Palm Sunday or the Easter Vigil, just remember to keep your chips in the car and you’ll be o.k. as far as the fast.

Since it is one hour before reception of Communion, it would depend on what Mass you are going to and how long you drive.

For a weekday mass, which means that Communion is probably about 1/2 hour after the start of Mass, they would need to refrain unlsee you had a very long commute.

If it is a Sunday Mass, and it takes 45 minutes from the start of Mass to Communion, and you usually show up a bit early, there may not be any problem.

And I won’t criticize anyone who is trying to get a family organized and to Church; I had twins… but maybe changing part of the “getting ready” pattern might help if it is a constant problem.

You’re right, but I always feel a bit guilty if I eat an hour before the start of Mass.

Canon 919
1. One who is to receive the Most Holy Eucharist is to abstain from any food or drink, with the exception only of water and medicine, for at least the period of one hour before Holy Communion.
2. A priest who celebrates the Most Holy Eucharist two or three times on the same day may take something before the second or third celebration even if the period of one hour does not intervene.
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.

Until about a year ago, I had thought that the fasting rule was one hour before mass started. I know now that the rule is one hour before receiving, but for pete’s sake, where’s the sacrifice there? Like Kielbasi said, if its a long enough mass you can be swallowing breakfast while you’re walking into the church. I have my family fast for the 1 hour before mass starts. Seems little enough to do.

I agree. I try to keep a fast from midnight, as I did when I was a kid. But I “cheat” if I go to mass at, say, 11 am–still, I won’t eat closer than an hour before mass starts.

It’s hardly a strict rule. Definately not an undue burden.

The custom that we observe in our family is to fast at least 1 hour before the begining of Mass. But the actual rule is one hour before Communion. Of course, people are free to create stricter obervances for themselves! :slight_smile:

The Catholic Church (captial ‘C’) is in reality composed of 22 churches (little ‘c’) spread across 6 Rites: * Alexandrean Rite

  • Coptic Catholic church
  • Ethiopian (& Eritrean) Catholic church
  • Antiochene Rite
  • Syriac Catholic church
  • Syro-Malabarese Catholic church
  • Syro-Malankarese Catholic church
  • Armenian Rite
  • Armenian Catholic church
  • Byzantine Rite
  • Albanian Catholic church
  • Belarusan Catholic church
  • Bulgarian Catholic church
  • Croatian Catholic church
  • Georgian Catholic church
  • Greek Catholic church
  • Hungarian Catholic church
  • Italo-Greco-Albanian Catholic church
  • Melkite Catholic church
  • Russian Catholic church
  • Romanian Catholic church
  • Ruthenian Catholic church
  • Slovakian Catholic church
  • Ukrainian Catholic church
  • Latin Rite
  • Roman Catholic church
  • Maronite Rite
  • Maronite Catholic church
    The Roman Catholic church that you belong to, is, by far, the largest and, if memory serves me correctly, bigger than all of the other Rites combined.

As always, a wealth of information. :slight_smile:

Thanks to all.


The Latin Rite of the Catholic Church is far, far larger than than everything else combined. In fact, I’m pretty sure there are more Latin Rite Catholics here in California then there are all other Catholics combined throughout the world.

You are mistaken about one thing. Within the Western church (I suppose you could call it the “Roman Catholic Church”) there are a handful of rites – Latin, Ambrosian, Bragan, Carmelite, Carthusian and Dominican and Mozarabic. This is sort of a reverse of the Eastern Catholic churches.

When I was little and visited grandma, we would walk about a mile to the church for 0600 mass. It sure seemed early anyhow on empty tummies.

After Mass we toddled home again to my atheistic gramps who cooked up breakfast for his wife and us hungry chillen, the most enormous pancakes in the world made with plain flour and so heavy they could have been used in hand to hand combat:clapping: …my oh my they were great!!!:love:

No, I am not mistaken. There are six Rites or “traditions” within the Catholic faith / Church (with a captial ‘C’). Within those six rites are 22 “rescensions” or churches (with a little ‘c’). The Carmelites, the Dominicans, etc.; that you make reference to are classified as ‘usages’ – which is a term of recent origin that ordinarily denoted limited, localized differences within a rescension/church. My list did not go beyond the rescension level to the usage level … which is why they are not listed.

Chewing Gum also breaks you fast, so if you plan on receiving Holy Communion, get that gum out of you mouth as well.