The laws enacted by Pope Pius XII regarding the fast required before Holy Communion are the following:
- Water may be taken at any time before Holy Communion without breaking the fast.
- Sick persons, though not confined to bed, may receive Holy Communion after taking medicine or nonalcoholic drinks. A priest’s permission is not necessary.
- All Catholics may receive Holy Communion after fasting one hour from food and drink including even alcoholic beverages in moderation. This rule applies to Holy Communion at midnight Mass as well as at Masses celebrated in the morning, afternoon or evening. A priest’s permission is not needed.
- One may not receive Holy Communion a second time on the same day, unless the danger of death arises, when he can receive the Blessed Sacrament as Viaticum. But one who has received the Holy Eucharist at the midnight Mass of Christmas or at the Mass of the Easter Vigil may receive again in the course of the day. These rules show the Church’s desire that all Catholics partake of the Holy Eucharist frequently.