A TCW Reader
from Europe asked:
Question. "Is it still from 12 o'clock in the night that one must not take food or drink, other than water, before Holy Communion? Has
Pope Pius XII reduced this time?"
Answer. Yes this was modified, however he earnestly exhorted [exhorts] those who are able to keep the old and venerable form of the Eucharistic Fast (from foods and liquids from midnight) before Holy Communion;
to do so. (See details below for those who cannot.)
The New Eucharistic Fast Laws
(Motu Proprio of Pope Pius XII of March 19, 1957)
1. Priests and faithful
before Mass or Holy Communion respectively - whether it is the morning, afternoon, or evening or Midnight Mass - must abstain for three hours from solid foods and alcoholic beverages, and for one hour from non-alcoholic beverages. Water does not break the
2. The infirm, even if not bedridden, may take
non-alcoholic beverages and that which is really and properly medicine, either in liquid or solid form, before Mass or Holy Communion without any time limit.
His Holiness, Pope Pius XII, earnestly exhorts priests and faithful who are
able to do so to observe the old and venerable form of the Eucharistic Fast (from foods and liquids from midnight) before Holy Communion. All those who will make use of these concessions must compensate for the good received by becoming shining examples of
a Christian life and principally with works of penance and charity.