Ask a Franciscan

One-hour Fast Before Communion

Priest holds up the host

Are we still expected to fast one hour before receiving Holy Communion? I have seen a woman chewing gum as she comes into Mass and is still chewing it as she stands in line to receive Holy Communion. I was taught that this is not permitted.

You are correct that this is wrong. The current rule is that, except for medicine and accompanying liquids, we are to fast from solid food and any liquid other than water for one hour before receiving Holy Communion.

The person who is chewing gum right up to receiving Holy Communion might argue that she is not eating and thus not breaking this rule. Unless she has been directed by her doctor to do this, I think a reasonable person would agree that this action hardly shows proper respect for the Eucharist.


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