Does chewing gum break the fast before Communion?

Steven PutmanQandA

Question: Does chewing gum break the fast before Communion?

Answer:  If you look in Canon Law or in the Catechism, there is no mention of chewing gum. I guess it does not rate the attention of the universal church! The Church requires us to fast for one hour before we receive the Eucharist. Basically, we are to refrain from food and drink, not including water or medicine. There are also exceptions for people who are ill. Overall, the fast is intended for us to prepare ourselves to receive the Eucharist and in some small way to literally as well as spiritually hunger for what we are about to receive. Chewing gum, while not really food, does at least break the spirit of the fast. Besides that, it is a distraction and rude. What do you do with the gum when it is time to receive Communion? People have actually come to the altar chewing away, oblivious to what they were doing or Who they were receiving. At best, it is distracting and irreverent. At worst, it adds a barrier to giving our best to receiving God’s best.