The six precepts of the Catholic Church is something all Catholics have, I am sure, learned verbatim and they are probably old hat to most. I was doing some reading of the Catechism of the Catholic Church today, researching another subject, when I came across the section about the precepts of the Church. I suddenly got the urge to post them to my blog. So here they are, straight from the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
The precepts of the Church are set in the context of a moral life bound to and nourished by liturgical life. 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 neighbour:
1. “You shall attend Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation.”
This precept requires the faithful to participate in the Eucharistic celebration when the Christian community gathers together on the day commemorating the Resurrection of the Lord.
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 humbly receive your Creator in Holy Communion 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 centre of the Christian liturgy.
4. “You shall keep holy the holy days of obligation.”
This precept completes the Sunday observance by participation in the principal liturgical feasts which honour the mysteries of the Lord, the Virgin Mary, and the saints.
5. “You shall observe the prescribed days of fasting and abstinence.”
This precept ensures the times of ascesis and penance which prepare us for the liturgical feasts; they help us acquire mastery over our instincts and freedom of heart.
6. “You shall provide for the material needs of the Church.”
This precept requires the faithful to contribute towards the material needs of the Church, each according to his abilities.
Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2041 to 2043