From The Hand of Fr. Aaron Ferris For December 9, 2018

With the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception falling on Saturday, there was a question that came up several times. It is a common enough question, so we will tackle it now so everyone has a chance to read the answer. The question regards whether or not you can receive Communion more than once a day.

The answer begins with the Code of Canon Law, Canon 917: “A person who has already received the Most Holy Eucharist can receive it a second time on the same day only within the eucharistic celebration in which the person participates…” Translating this canon into a short answer to the question would go something like this: “yes, as long as the second reception of the Eucharist happens at Mass.” Now, let’s unpack all this.

The law recognizes the great importance of the Eucharist to our lives. We need Jesus who comes to us in the Eucharist. Not only do we need Him, we should want Him. The encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist is a profoundly intimate encounter with our God. Our whole lives should center around the Lord in the Eucharist.

As with all good things, though, this could be abused. The whole of our Christian lives is not to be spent in a church or at Mass. Even cloistered religious leave their chapel to attend to the practical needs of life and building community. The Church sets a limit on the number of Communions in one day say that we do not spend our day rushing from one Mass to another in order to “get more Jesus.” We need to be out sharing Jesus with others.

At the same time, the Church recognizes that we might be in a position to receive more than once a day, which is a good, noble, and holy thing. Maybe we have been in the hospital in the morning and received Communion before we were discharged. Then, on the way home, we stopped at a noon Mass to give thanks to God. This would be a good thing, and a good time to receive the Eucharist again. There could be any number of situations where something similar could arise.

With this, the Church also recognizes the importance of Mass. Receiving the Eucharist is meant to be part of the larger celebration and sacrifice of the Mass. That is the proper context. While there are worthy reasons to receive outside Mass, the Church specifies that to receive Communion a second time it must be at a Mass at which we participate so that we are actively engaged in the larger work of offering sacrifice and worshipping God. It isn’t just what we get out of it; it is for the praise and glory of God.

From all this the simple take away is: you can receive Communion twice in one day as long as the second one is at a Mass at which you participate.

Rev. Aaron Ferris
Rev. Aaron Ferris
Rev. Aaron R. Ferris Ordination Date: June 6, 2009 Pastor, St. Anthony Parish (Saranac) and St. Mary’s Parish (Lowell) 402 Amity Street Lowell, MI 49331 Phone: 616-897-9820
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