The Precepts of the Church

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The obligatory character of these positive laws decreed by the pastoral authorities is meant to guarantee to the faithful the indispensable minimum in the spirit of prayer and moral effort, in the growth in love of God and neighbor.

1.      You shall attend Mass on Sundays and on holy days of obligation and rest from servile labor.

This precept requires the completion of the Sunday observance by participation in the principal liturgical feasts that honor the mysteries of the Lord, the Virgin Mary, and the saints.  It requires, also, abstinence from those labors and business concerns that impede the worship to be rendered to God, the joy that is proper to the Lord’s day, or the proper relaxation of mind and body.

2.      You shall confess your sins at least once a year.

This precept ensures preparation for the Eucharist by the reception of the sacrament of Reconciliation, which continues Baptism’s work of conversion and forgiveness.

3.      You shall receive the sacrament of the Eucharist at least during the Easter season.

This precept guarantees as a minimum the reception of the Lord’s body and blood in connection with the Paschal feasts, the origin and center of the Christian liturgy.

4.      You shall observe the days of fasting and abstinence established by the Church.

This precept ensures the times of askesis and penance that prepare us for the liturgical feasts; they help us acquire freedom of heart and mastery over our instincts.

5.      You shall help to provide for the needs of the Church.

This precept requires the faithful to contribute to the Church according to their own abilities.