From a reader, comes a question I have answered quite a few times, but which bears repetitio.
Are there any circumstances in which one can receive Communion more than once a day? I spent Christmas at Clear Creek Abbey in OK and I noticed that some of the locals received Communion at midnight Mass and then again at one of the other Masses. I really wanted to receive again but I chose not to just in case.
Also, I think some of the Altar servers at my (FSSP) parish might serve at more than one Mass on weekdays and receive communion twice.
Would this be permissible? (There are other servers available so that they wouldn’t have to serve twice)
First, there always was permission for people to receive both at Christmas Midnight Mass and again on Christmas morning. No problem there.
YES, you may receive Holy Communion at two Masses on the same day.
The 1983 Code of Canon Law says:
Can. 917 – Qui sanctissimam Eucharistiam iam recepit, potest eam iterum eadem die suscipere solummodo intra eucharisticam celebrationem cui participat, salvo praescripto Can. 921, § 2. … Someone who has already received the Most Holy Eucharist can receive it again (iterum) on the same day only within the Eucharistic celebration [i.e. Mass] in which the person participates, with due regard for the prescription of can. 921 § 2.
Can. 921 § 2 says that if a person is in danger of death, he may receive Communion even it is not in the context of Mass. That is Viaticum, however – a special case.
That iterum does not mean “again and again”, but “again one more time”.
Also, that “Eucharistic celebration” does not mean just any service involving Communion. It means Mass. That was cleared up by the Holy See in an official response to a dubium.
If a person attends or serves Holy Mass, and then for some reason attends or serves another Mass that same day, yes, Communion may be received a second time. It is not obligatory to receive. One may receive a second time. This was a change with the 1983 Code of Canon Law for the subjects of the Latin Church. So, it applies to Latin Church Catholics even if one or both of those “Eucharistic celebrations” were, say, the Divine Liturgy at the local Maronite or Ukrainian Catholic Church.
I don’t know what the Eastern Code says in this regard. I have little doubt that we will know soon after I post this.