Precepts and Norms

The Precepts of the 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 neighbor:
  • —CCC 2041
  1. Attend Mass on Sundays and on holy days of obligation, and rest from servile labor
  2. Confess your sins at least once a year
  3. Receive the sacrament of the Eucharist at least during the Easter season
  4. Observe the days of fasting and abstinence established by the Church
  5. Help provide for the needs of the Church
  6. Observe the Church’s laws on marriage

—CCC 2041-2043

Penitential Norms

  • “Purple Sack” fasting meals after all Masses on Ash Wednesday.
    Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are obligatory days of fasting and abstinence from meat. Fridays during Lent are obligatory days of abstinence.
  • USCCB Fast & Abstinence
  • Abstinence from eating meat or some other food according to the prescripts of the conference of bishops is to be observed on, of abstinence binds those who have completed their fourteenth year of age. The law of fasting, however, binds all those who have attained their majority until the beginning of their sixtieth year. Nevertheless, pastors of souls and parents are to take care that minors not bound by the law of fast and abstinence are also educated in a genuine sense of penance.
  • —Can. 1251
  • A person who is to receive the Most Holy Eucharist is to abstain for at least one hour before holy communion from any food and drink, except for only water and medicine.
  • —Can. 919 §1
  • The penitential days and times in the universal Church are every Friday of the whole year and the season of Lent
  • —Can. 1250

Holy Days of Obligation

Feast days on which Roman Catholics are required to attend Mass

In the United States there are six holy days of obligation

In the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, the celebration of the Ascension has been transferred to the following Sunday, hence there is no obligation to attend Mass on Thursday for the Ascension of the Lord, 40 days after Easter

On three of the feasts – Jan 1, Aug 15 and Nov 1 – when the feast day occurs on a Saturday or a Monday, the obligation to attend the feast day Mass is lifted and Sunday Mass attendance covers the obligation for the feast and the normal Sunday obligation. The obligation to attend Mass on Christmas and The Feast of The Immaculate Conception is never lifted

Civic Holidays

One Mass only 8:00 AM

  • Civic Holidays