May 6, 2012

The Precepts of the Church

The Church provides these precepts to ensure that the faithful receive the necessary minimum for growth in the love of God and neighbor (see CCC 2041-2043). There are currently five precepts listed in our Catechism.

1.You shall attend Mass on Sundays and on holy days of obligation and rest from servile labor.
The Sunday celebration of the Lord’s Day and the Eucharist is at the heart of the Church’s life (CCC 2177). Link: Why go to Mass?

2. You shall confess your sins at least once a year.
Catholics are only required to confess mortal (serious) sins. However, the Church highly recommends that the faithful receive this sacrament for venial (less serious) sins as well (CCC 1457).
Link: The Sacrament of Confession

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

The Eucharist is the source and summit of all Christian life (CCC 1324). It is the body, blood, soul, and divinity of our Lord (CCC 1374). The Church strongly encourages the faithful to go beyond this precept by receiving the Eucharist on all Sundays and feast days, or more often still, even daily (CCC 1389). Link: Learn about the Eucharsit!

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

We are required to follow follow these especially during Lent (i.e. meatless Fridays, fasting on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday).

5.You shall help to provide for the needs of the Church.
We support the Church in various ways (i.e. providing our time, our talents). Nevertheless, we still need to contribute our material resources, each according to his own ability.