Dan asked:

Is there a point in the mass where you must be present in order to receive the eucharist? How late can you be?

Jimmy Akin replied:

"...People are often confused on this point. You can miss so much of the mass that you don't fulfill your Sunday obligation, in which case you would need to go to another mass if it's possible. There is not a specific amount of the mass that you have to be there in order to receive communion. Those are two independent things."

Patrick Coffin asked:

What would be the early point or the late point after which you have not fulfilled your obligation? Is that laid down anywhere?

Jimmy Akin replied:

"...Today the law doesn't actually specify that. It says that we need to be there, we need to attend mass, but it doesn't specify precisely how much. I think the reason for that is they're trying not to encourage scrupulosity or corner cutting. They're trying to focus on get there. I would say, if it were me and I showed up in a way that would have violated the older canons, through accident or whatever, I didn't know what time the mass started or something. Then I would apply the older canons by default."

[Editor's note: Jimmy mentioned depending on what theologian you asked they would say you need to be at mass before the eucharistic prayer or by the gospel.]


Catholic Answers, "Open Forum" (San Diego: Catholic Answers, 2013)

Editor's note: This is an excerpt of the answer provided. For the complete response download the podcast.

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Show air date: November 13, 2013

Name of show: Open Forum

Guest comments by: Dan

Question appeared in show: 15:14

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