Canon Lawyer Ed Peters is proposing a 3-hour fast before Mass, and calculated from the beginning of Mass and not the beginning of communion. Hum! See what you think. Ed Peters wrote,

I just published a short article in Antiphon Magazine proposing that the Communion fast be extended to three hours (up from one) and that it be calculated from the beginning of Mass (instead of from the reception of Communion). For a synopsis of my reasons and links to the article itself, see:


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  1. Barbara

    What’s old is new again. That’s the way we did it up until the mid-60’s.

  2. Francine Smith

    I don’t think it’s a great idea.
    1) Many women’s monasteries can’t get a priest in first thing in the morning, so it would mean waiting until 10 or later for breakfast.
    2) I have blood sugar problems and attend evening Masses with the Lay Carmelites. My only chance to eat is immediately after work, which gives me just enough time to fast for a 7:00 pm Mass.
    Still, if it were required I would find some way to do it.

  3. Mattheus

    The three-hour fast goes back to Pope Pius XII who relaxed the time for fasting which originally was from midnight until reception of Communion time. Those who are ill or need to take medication are of course excused.
    Another thing that needs to be addressed regarding the Holy Eucharist is “thanksgiving.” We see the majority of people make a beeline from the Communion line to the door and out of the Church. I’m sure that they either don’t understand what the Eucharist is, or don’t believe in it but regard it as a “meal,” which is what is taught to them. But even if it is just a “meal,” isn’t it proper to at least thank the host for partaking?

  4. Peggy Scott

    Even before that, we had to fast from Midnight – no food or drinks -in order to receive Holy Communion. I attended daily Mass at St. Margaret Mary’s in Detroit and I remember my Mom packing us breakfast each morning. Yes oatmeal in a container before Tupperware !!

  5. Brother Ed

    There are exceptions made to the fast for people with health problems. The Catholic Church is not this unknowing, stupid, monolithic monster which is insensitive to the needs of people (like our federal government!!).
    This is excellent and I hope that the Latin Church will move ahead with it. This is the standard in the Eastern Church, and no one has a problem with it. Yes, it is uncomfortable, but the body learns to adapt.
    Brother Ed

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