The Fifth and Sixth Precepts of the Church
Bible Passages: Acts 4:36-37, Ephesians 5:21-33.
THE FIFTH PRECEPT OF THE CHURCH: You shall help to provide for the needs of the Church
By the fifth commandment of the Church we are bound to contribute to the support of our pastors. The obligation to assist with the material needs of the Church (each according to his or her own ability) flows from the very nature of our membership in Christ’s mystical body. We are called by our baptism and confirmation to carry out the Lord’s work of salvation by our labors, prayers and by material means. Normally, we discharge this duty by giving, as generously as your means allow, to the various collections taken up in our own parish and in our diocese. Collections include not only offerings for the parish church, but also for world-wide needs, the poor, the sick, and homeless.
THE SIXTH PRECEPT OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH:
You shall obey all the laws and teachings of the church in regards to the sacrament of Holy Matrimony
By the sixth precept, Catholics are obliged not to marry within a certain degree of kindred (up to the fourth degree) (i.e. not to marry close family relations) nor to solemnize marriage at the forbidden times.
The meaning of the precept not to solemnize marriage at forbidden times is that during Lent and Advent the marriage ceremony should not be performed with pomp or a nuptial Mass.
What is the nuptial Mass?
The nuptial Mass is a Mass appointed by the Church to invoke a special blessing upon the married couple.
Observe the Laws of the Church concerning Marriage
General Norms cited below. (Refer to Canon Law 1055-1165 for greater detail.)
1. The matrimonial covenant is the state in life by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, until natural death.
2. It is ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of children.
3. Catholics are obliged to marry before a duly authorized Catholic priest or deacon and two witnesses. This is referred to as the “canonical form” of marriage. There are certain cases, in which a dispensation from this “form” may be granted by the bishop, provided all other requirements for marriage preparation are fulfilled.
4. Marriage must be public, entered into freely, without pressure, conditions, or reservations of any kind.
5. The minimum age requirement in Canon Law is 16 for a man and 14 for a woman. Each state and country has its own laws regulating the minimum age.
6. Parental permission is required for those wishing to marry under the age of 18.
7. A couple must accept the obligation to be exclusively faithful to one another.
8. A couple must give each other the right to have children if God grants such.
9. The marriage of two baptized persons is sacramental. The marriage of a baptized Catholic and a non-baptized person is a true marriage but not sacramental.
10. Permission of the diocesan bishop is required for a Catholic to marry a baptized, non-Catholic. A dispensation is required for the marriage of a Catholic and a non-baptized person.
11. A person wishing to marry who has been in a previous marriage where the former spouse is still living, must obtain a decree of nullity from the Church before entering into another marriage.
Questions to Ponder:
1. How often do you contribute to church development in your parish?
2. When you donate in support of the church, should the church always announce your donation?
3. Can a Catholic marry a non-Catholic in the Church? Explain.
4. During which liturgical season(s) does the church not celebrate nuptial mass for intending couples?
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