HOW MANY TIMES MAY THE EUCHARIST BE RECEIVED ON ONE DAY?
by Fr. John Trigilio
As many have rightly quoted canon 917, the faithful may receive Holy
Communion AGAIN on the same day only during the celebration of the
Eucharist in which the person participates. The authentic Latin text of
the code uses the word ITERUM which is accurately translated as "AGAIN"
as in "a second time." The current interpretation is that a person may
receive Holy Communion TWICE if they have participated in TWO Masses on
the same day. Prior to the 1983 Code, Vatican II had limited the second
reception of Holy Communion to special occasions and Masses. Now, it
seems, that the law allows a broader usage in that no distinction is
made for the second or first Mass. A third Mass and receiving Communion
a third time on the same day appears NOT to be in conformity to the
spirit of the law nor to current practice and interpretation. As stated
before, the fear of multiplying "Communions" as if one could QUANTIFY
grace and the infinite value of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, led the
Church to restrict reception to twice a day.