I got a question via e-mail:
At the end of Mass today in Christ the King Chapel at Franciscan, the EF Mass taking place this Sunday was announced – however, we were told that if we were going to attend, we would have to fast for three hours. I have attended many Masses in the extraordinary form in the past few months – here at St. Peter’s in Steubenville and in Chicago – but I have never heard this before. Please clarify!
What you were told was wrong.
The Church’s legislation asks that we fast for 1 hour before the reception of Holy Communion. That is, one hour before Communion, not one hour before the beginning of Mass.
That said, I am always pleased to hear that people might want to fast a little longer. But they don’t have to.
Summorum Pontificum did not resurrect all the old laws, now superceded by today’s legislation.
The length of time for fasting is given in the 1983 Code of Canon Law. That is the law in force, even for those who prefer the TLM.
The same thing goes for other issues, such as the obligation under law that women wear chapel veils. I really like it when women wear chapel veils. I think they should. But women are no longer obliged by canon law to do so. Summorum Pontificum did not revive the old Code that obliged women to wear chapel veils.
The same can be said for reception of Holy Communion. Where it is permitted by conferences of bishops and not forbidden by bishops, people may receive on the tongue or in the hand (sadly). I don’t think they should receive in the hand. I don’t like it when they do. But the present law gives them the right to do so in most places.
Summorum Pontificum applies to the use of the 1962 Missale Romanum and not other things which fall under the present legislation.