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PRECEPTS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

1. The First Precept: Sundays; Holydays; Refraining from Needless Work To assist at Mass on all Sundays and Holydays of Obligation; and to avoid those activities that hinder the renewal of soul and body or the growth in union with the Lord. (We used to use the expressions "servile labor" and "frivolous activity.") by Fr. Hal Stockert
2. The Second Precept:: Sacramental Life; Annual Reconciliation To go to confession at least once a year; and to receive Holy Communion during the Easter Time. (To you old-timers out there, the expression was to "make your Easter Duty.) The 'Easter Time' during which to receive Holy Communion is traditionally between the First Day of Lent and Trinity Sunday (the 1st Sunday after Pentecost...inclusive). by Fr. Hal Stockert
3. The Third Precept: To Study the Teachings of the Church To study the teachings of the Church in preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation (we Easterners confirm at Baptism...but that does NOT excuse us from the obligation to learn as much as possible about our faith!), and then to use the knowledge gained in that study to advance the Cause of Christ and the Mission of the Church in evangelizing this world and bringing it to a knowledge of Christ. by Fr. Hal Stockert
4. The Fourth Precept: Observing the Marriage Laws To observe (obey) the laws of the Church concerning marriage (and that includes her teachings on birth control, abortion, and other marital affairs); to provide religious training and an example of sanctity to one's children and grandchildren; and to avail oneself of the facilities provided by the parish to advance their and one's own religious education. by Fr. Hal Stockert
5. The Fifth Precept: A Tithing Parish To contribute to the support of the Church. Oddly, for most people, this has almost always been taken to mean 'financial support.' In reality, it demands support for every area of the Church's mission, the least important of which (in order of importance, if not of time) is how much is dropped into the collection basket. To strengthen and to support the Church, by which one means one's own parish community, one's own pastors, bishops and the Holy Father. by Fr. Hal Stockert
6. The Sixth Precept: Fasting and Abstinence To fast and abstain on the days appointed; i.e., to do penance, including, but not limited to, fasting from food and abstaining from the use of meat on the days appointed. by Fr. Hal Stockert
FASTING = 1 full meal at dinner time and two smaller daytime meals that do not equal the 1 full dinnertime meal

ABSTINENCE = Refraining from the consumption of meat

Fasting on Ash Wednesday & Good Friday
Abstinence on Ash Wednesday & all Fridays of Lent

7. The Seventh Precept: Missionary Spirit and Apostolate In 1973, the American bishops, in recognition of a fast-developing spirit among the laity which threatened almost total disinvolvement with the spiritual life of the parish, added this repetitive but important coda: To join in the missionary spirit and apostolate of the Church. That obligation, of course, is contained implicitly in every one of the prior precepts - but it was given a special prominence in consequence of the threat being posed to it by the swiftly fading zeal of the mass of Catholics for its implementation. It is there as a reminder only - but a vital one. by Fr. Hal Stockert