According to the
Q. When are we
bound to receive Holy Communion?
A. [Catholics who have reached the age of reason] are bound
to receive Holy Communion [worthily], under pain of mortal sin, during the
Easter time and when in danger of
Note: The above
is a minimum. More frequent Communion is recommended (assuming, of course,
communicants are able to receive worthily).
Note that the
obligation to (worthily) receive the Holy Eucharist at Easter – the "Easter
Duty" – is a grave obligation that must not be denied...
denies that each and everyone of Christ's faithful of both sexes, is bound, when
he reaches the age of reason, to receive Communion at least every year during
the Paschal season according to the command of holy Mother Church: let him be
anathema." (Council of Trent)
Lastly, note that
the obligation of receiving Holy Communion does not extend to mentally
handicapped persons who are incapable of distinguishing the Real Presence of
Christ in the Holy Eucharist...
not be given to persons who are insane and incapable of devotion. However,
according to the decree of the Council of Carthage, it may be administered to
them at the close of life, provided they have shown, before losing their minds,
a pious and religious disposition, and no danger, arising from the state of the
stomach or other inconvenience or disrespect, is likely." (Catechism of the
Council of Trent )
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