How Many Times May a Person Receive Holy Communion?
Some of our parishioners have asked me, whether one can receive Holy Communion more than once in a day. Let me clarify, how often in a day one can receive Holy Communion.
The Church law, namely, the Code of Canon Law stipulates:
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, without prejudice to the prescript of Can. 921, §2.”
Canon 921, §2: “Even if they have been nourished by holy communion on the same day, however, those in danger of death are strongly urged to receive communion again.”
Based on the above two Canons, we can conclude that a person can receive Holy Communion twice a day by participating in the Mass; nevertheless, a person in danger of death can receive Holy Communion again the same day, even outside the Mass.
The rationale for such a concession is that the participation in the Mass and the reception of the Holy Communion are intrinsically connected. In other words, the two parts of the Mass: The Liturgy of the Word and Liturgy of the Eucharist are two parts of the one whole celebration. Full participation in the Mass entails that one has to be present from the beginning until the end of the Mass and receive Holy Communion. Unfortunately, a few individuals come for Mass in the middle, receive Holy Communion and leave before the Mass concludes. One has to participate in the whole Mass and more precisely, one has to thank The Lord for His gift after receiving the Holy Communion.
According to Canon 921 §2, even if a person has already received Holy Communion twice in a day, he/she can receive Holy Communion again, in a special circumstance like danger of death.
God bless you,
Fr. Arul Joseph V