Clergy, mothers, children and many workers will benefit
FROM last Saturday, January 10, 1953, the drinking of natural water no longer constitutes a .breach of the Communion fast. Priests and laity, by a universally applicable order of the Pope, may therefore drink water at any time before celebrating Mass or going to Holy Communion.
With permission of his confessor, anyone who is sick or suffers from certain difficulties about going to Mass and Holy Communion may take liquid non-alcoholic nourishment before Communion.
This applies to those who have to do heavy work before Communion; far example, workers on night-shifts, nurses and nightwatchmen, expectant mothers and mothers of families with heavy morning work.
It applies also to those who cannot get to early Mass and Communion, such as schoolchildren.
Lastly, it applies to those who live more than about a mile and a quarter from a church to which they have to walk.
A similar easing of the fasting law is applicable to the circumstances of priests before celebrating Mass.
These striking changes in the law of the Eucharistic fast have been ordered by the Pope in the Apostolic Constitution "Christus Dominus" (Christ the Lord), with effect from its official publication last Saturday.
MASS IN THE EVENING TN the same Apostolic Constitution, the Holy Father authorises -1-Bishops to have Mass celebrated in the evening—that is, after 4 p.m.—for the benefit of special classes of people who cannot easily hear Mass in the morning.
Such evening Masses may be celebrated on Sundays, holydays of obligation, days of devotion, First Fridays and special occasions,
All the faithful may hear Mass and receive Holy Communion when such evening Masses are celebrated,
The Constitution states: "Quae quidem omnia, supra statuta, vim suam obtineant a promulgationis die per Acta Apostolicae Sedis factae—All these regulations are in force from the day of their publication in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis.
They were in fact published in the Acta last Saturday.
The Constitution ends with six canons governing the changes in the Eucharistic fast.