I didn't arrive at Mass until the Consecration. Was I right to refrain from Communion?

By November 13, 2014 8 Comments

Full Question

One morning last week I arrived at Mass during the Consecration and I wasn’t sure whether I could go to Communion. What is the rule on this during a weekday Mass?


You could have gone to Communion. The Church does not require participation in the Mass for reception of the Eucharist, so if you show up late it is perfectly fine to go to Communion. The only exception is for those who have already received the Eucharist that day—canon law does require participation in the Mass for a second reception.


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  • manny says:

    If i failed to attend a sunday mass, am i allowed to partake in the holy communion the next sunday that i attend the mass?

    • Xtian says:

      If you have a good reason not to attend the last Sunday mass, you can receive and then go for confession as soon as possible but if not with a good reason, then you must go for confession before you can receive the holy communion. what matters most is your hearth.

  • sean says:

    If it is a mortal sin to take the Holy Communion without confession, how come it is just okay to take the Holy Communion without participation of the Mass? Maybe that’s why it’s called MASS because it needs to be participated by the people. I need furthermore understanding about this qualms

  • John says:

    Thanks however my priest told me that because full participation of mass involves hearing the scripture and communion, if one doesnt hear the scripture readings without a valid reason, one cannot recieve communion. Who am I to believe?

  • Caryl-Ann le Roux says:

    To receive the fullness of the Mass you need to be in attendance from the start. To have a better understanding, let’s use the anology of a banquet. A banquet has different courses served and each has its own uniqueness and yet collectively they serve to have you enjoy a delicious meal. The Mass has in principle the same format. Should you come late you will have missed out on one of the “Courses”. In the Mass one needs to partake of each “Course” to receive all the Graces received from the Mass. The Holy Eucharist is the Divine Main Meal as the Pennitential Rite, the Readings, Gospel and all prayers and hymns lead you to be open to enter into full communion with our Lord Jesus Christ.

  • Those sound nice, but that is not the teaching of the Church. If I attend Mass for 5 minutes, I have attended Mass. If I am deliberately skipping out, that is another matter. If someone misses the readings he/she should take the time later to read the Scriptures of the day, and take some time to reflect on them. Mother Church does not put a time limit on how long I should be there. The ideal is a complete Mass, but it is not a requirement.
    Also, it is only a mortal sin to take communion if I have mortal sin to confess. Being late for Mass is not a mortal sin. Deliberately skipping Mass can be.

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