Annual Confession and Communion
395. Chapter II
ANNUAL CONFESSION AND COMMUNION
I. Confession. All the faithful who have reached the use of their reason must sincerely confess their sins at least once a year (C. 906).
This confession need not be made during the Easter time, but because of the prescribed Easter Communion it is practical to make it at this time. Children who have the use of reason are also bound by this law even though they have not yet reached their seventh year. – Strictly speaking, however, only those are obliged by this precept who have committed a mortal sin. – One’s obligation is not fulfilled by a sacrilegious confession. (C. 907). – If one has not confessed within the year one must do so as soon as possible. By doing so he would satisfy the precept for both years.
396. II. Easter Communion. All the faithful who have attained the use of their reason must receive Holy Communion at least once during the Easter season. It is earnestly recommended that they make their Easter Communion in their own parish church; if they do it elsewhere they should inform their pastor to this effect (C. 859).
1. The obligation extends also to children who have not yet reached their seventh year, provided they have the use of their reason.
The duty to see to it that children make their Easter Communion rests primarily upon the parents, guardians, confessors, teachers and the pastor (C. 860).
The obligation is not satisfied by a sacrilegious Communion (C. 861). If someone has not made his Easter duty for a long time, and this be publicly known, he is thereby a public sinner who loses hid right to ecclesiastical burial (Cf. C. 1240).
2. The Easter season within which one must receive Holy Communion usually extends in the United States, from the First Sunday of Lent until Trinity Sunday.
Sometimes bishops have special faculties in this regard. – Pastors and confessors may extend the Easter season for individual persons for any reasonable cause (C. 859), e.g., if the penitent comes to confession the Saturday before Trinity Sunday and is doubtfully disposed. There is a grave obligation to receive Holy Communion during this time. – Whoever has not communicated within the prescribed time must do so afterward.
3. The place to make one’s Easter Communion, as mentioned above, is advisably one’s parish church. If one makes it elsewhere he should endeavor to inform his pastor about this (C. 859).
Easter Communion may, therefore, be made in any church or chapel (even a domestic oratory) in one’s own or in another parish district. – The duty to inform one’s pastor when one communicates elsewhere is certainly not a grave obligation. Some authors consider it merely advisable.
by Rev. HERIBERT JONE, O.F.M. CAP., J.C.D.,
by Rev. URBAN ADELMAN, O.F.M. CAP., J.C.D.
THE MERCIER PRESS LIMITED, CORK, IRELAND
Nihil Obstat: PIUS KAELIN, O.F.M. CAP, Censor Deputatus
Imprimi Potest: VICTOR GREEN, O.F.M. CAP., Provincial, July 2, 1955
Nihil Obstat: RICHARD GINDER, S.T.I., Censor Librorum
Imprimatur: JOHN FRANCIS DEARDEN, D.D., Bishop of Pittsburg, August 15, 1955
Printed in the United states of America
p. 267, 268