ASK FATHER: Sex before Communion | 7/14/2019 | View all posts by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf →
shankay (Posted by) Level 3


The Roman Catechism (Trent) says that a couple should abstain from the marital act at least three days before receiving Holy Communion. I have read that this, though still advisable, is not required under current law. Please advise? Thanks and Jesus and Mary be with you.

Section - Ends - Marriage - Roman - Catechism

In a section concerning the ends of marriage, the Roman Catechism – intended to improve the preaching of priests in parishes – temporary abstinence from the marital act is recommended for the sake of greater prayer.

It was recommended. It is not required by law.

Issue - Case - Deacons - Canonists - Ed

This is still an issue in the case of married permanent deacons. Canonists such as Ed Peters argues – convincingly – that, as clerics, they are obliged to abstinence by can. 277 and tradition upon which it rests.

Unlike angels, we humans have both body and soul. It therefore makes sense that people should prepare in both soul and also body for reception of Holy Communion. In our souls we prepare by making an examination of conscience, confession of sins, prayer and meditation on the profound implications of such a daring act. In our bodies we prepare through self-denial of bodily appetites which, obviously, includes sexual desires. Food is good. Sex is good (natural sex, of course, not the same-sex filth that makes even the demons turn away their gaze). This is why we practice denying ourselves. These mortifications and sacrifices are good for us.

Abstinence - Clergy - Scripture - God - Descent

Abstinence, especially for clergy, is attested to in Scripture. It was the will of God that, before His descent upon them after the Exodus, men (they were all priestly then) should abstain from sexual intercourse. They weren’t even to set their feet on the mountain. They violated God’s will and, as a result, God imposed more laws. The Roman Catechism also cites the example of David, who had abstained...
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