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Easter Duty
Question from Dr. Aquino on 6/10/2007:

I can find nothing in the Catechism regarding this but from other sources I've learned that fulfillment of the Easter Duty (obligation) in the U.S. and Canada requires confession in any parish and Communion in one's own parish. This must be done between the first Sunday in Lent and Trinity Sunday. Is this correct? Thank you.

Answer by Rev. Mark J. Gantley, JCL on 6/19/2007:

The Easter duty is the obligation to receive Holy Communion. It is required by canon 920: "§1. After being initiated into the Most Holy Eucharist, each of the faithful is obliged to receive Holy Communion at least once a year. §2. This precept must be fulfilled during the Easter season unless it is fulfilled for a just cause at another time during the year." The obligated to go to confession is related in the sense that, in order to receive Holy Communion, one might need to go to confession first in order to be in a state of grace.

The Easter duty is a minimum requirement in order to motivate people to receive the sacraments. Ideally, a Catholic receives Holy Communion at every Mass that he or she attends.

The dioceses of the U.S. have an indult which allows the fulfillment of the Easter duty from the first Sunday of Lent through Most Holy Trinity Sunday. This may be true for Canada as well. (I am not sure.)

The requirements from the 1917 Code of Canon Law regarding the fulfillment of this duty in one's own parish have been dropped. So it can be fulfilled anywhere.

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