St. Mary's Parish Logo

St. Mary's Parish

A Beautiful Place to Pray


The Precepts of the Church

It may be said that the Ten Commandments are the Laws of God, and The Precepts of the Church are Laws of His Church. The precepts of the Church are positive, obligatory laws decreed by pastoral authorities for the faithful who are bound to and nourished by liturgical life. The laws command an indispensable minimum of prayer and moral effort necessary to guarantee that the faithful will grow in their love of God and neighbor.


  1. You shall attend Mass on all Sundays and holy days of obligation. "The first 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. "The second 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. "The third 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 keep holy the holy days of obligation. "The fourth precept completes the Sunday observance by participation in the principal liturgical feasts which honor the mysteries of the Lord, the Virgin Mary, and the saints."
  5. You shall observe the prescribed days of fasting and abstinence. "The fifth 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. The faithful also have the duty of providing for the material needs of the Church, each according to his abilities.


From the Catechism of the Catholic Church, #2041-2043