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'Quick Help' Page: When Are Catholics Bound To Receive Holy Communion?

 

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Holy Eucharist

Holy Communion

Obligation to Receive Holy Communion

Easter Duty

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When are Catholics bound to receive Holy Communion?

 

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According to the Baltimore Catechism...

Q. When are we bound to receive Holy Communion?

A. [Catholics who have reached the age of reason] are bound to receive Holy Communion [worthily], under pain of mortal sin, during the Easter time and when in danger of death.

Note: The above is a minimum. More frequent Communion is recommended (assuming, of course, communicants are able to receive worthily).

Note that the obligation to (worthily) receive the Holy Eucharist at Easter – the "Easter Duty" – is a grave obligation that must not be denied...

"If anyone denies that each and everyone of Christ's faithful of both sexes, is bound, when he reaches the age of reason, to receive Communion at least every year during the Paschal season according to the command of holy Mother Church: let him be anathema." (Council of Trent)

Lastly, note that the obligation of receiving Holy Communion does not extend to mentally handicapped persons who are incapable of distinguishing the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist...

"Communion must not be given to persons who are insane and incapable of devotion. However, according to the decree of the Council of Carthage, it may be administered to them at the close of life, provided they have shown, before losing their minds, a pious and religious disposition, and no danger, arising from the state of the stomach or other inconvenience or disrespect, is likely." (Catechism of the Council of Trent )


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