Present wording of the Precepts of the Catholic Church

I have tried to find the exact wording of the present version of the 5 precepts of the Catholic Church, but there are considerable differences in the texts I have come across. Some sources name even 6 or 7 precepts, which is evidently wrong. I am interested in the current version approved in 2002.

Scroll down to paragraph 2041 of the Catechism:

As far as I know they have not been changed.
We were given a new edition of the GIRM in 2002. Is that what you were thinking of?

The 6th precept (it should be in the Baltimore Catechism) was to obey the laws of the Church in regard to marriage. I will add a link if I find it.

UPDATE: read this article from the Catholic Encyclopedia

They have been changed in 1998 by the CDF. In 2002 a Polish version was approved. I know the Polish version, but I am looking for the English equivalent. Unfortunately each version I open in internet is different. I also want to find out if in the first precept the phrase ‘servile labor’ has been changed to ‘unnecessary labor or work’. At least this results from the Polish version I know.

I can’t find any document by the CDF showing a change.

I think I have found the answer. This is the document called Catechism of the Catholic Church, Corrigenda 1998 (Second edition of the Catechism). Here is the link:
The problem is that in this version the phrase ‘servile labor’ is still used, whereas in the Polish version approved by CDF in 2002, instead of servile the word ‘unnecessary’ is used. It is a significant difference, isn’t it?

They probably should leave the precept language alone and just explain what it means. I was always taught that the spirit for us is “unnecessary”. I am a nurse for instance and my husband is a police officer. We have had to work on Sunday. It was necessary , though, both to serve the public and for our livelihood. The main concept is to not do anything that takes away from worshiping God (going to Mass)and remembering what the day is about. We have had periods of time where Sunday was our only day off and we had to do some work around the house or help the children with their school work. It wasn’t a violation because it was “necessary”. We worked to make sure there were more days that were restful and play oriented than work days.

The first precept (“You shall attend Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation and rest from servile labor”) requires the faithful to sanctify the day commemorating the Resurrection of the Lord as well as the principal liturgical feasts honoring the mysteries of the Lord, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the saints; in the first place, by participating in the Eucharistic celebration, in which the Christian community is gathered, and by resting from those works and activities which could impede such a sanctification of these days.82

2193 “On Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful are bound . . . to abstain from those labors and business concerns which impede the worship to be rendered to God, the joy which is proper to the Lord’s Day, or the proper relaxation of mind and body” (CIC, can. 1247).

On Sundays and other holy days of obligation, the faithful are to refrain from engaging in work or activities that hinder the worship owed to God, the joy proper to the Lord’s Day, the performance of the works of mercy, and the appropriate relaxation of mind and body.123 Family needs or important social service can legitimately excuse from the obligation of Sunday rest. The faithful should see to it that legitimate excuses do not lead to habits prejudicial to religion, family life, and health.

The charity of truth seeks holy leisure- the necessity of charity accepts just work.124 2186 Those Christians who have leisure should be mindful of their brethren who have the same needs and the same rights, yet cannot rest from work because of poverty and misery. Sunday is traditionally consecrated by Christian piety to good works and humble service of the sick, the infirm, and the elderly. Christians will also sanctify Sunday by devoting time and care to their families and relatives, often difficult to do on other days of the week. Sunday is a time for reflection, silence, cultivation of the mind, and meditation which furthers the growth of the Christian interior life.
2187 Sanctifying Sundays and holy days requires a common effort. Every Christian should avoid making unnecessary demands on others that would hinder them from observing the Lord’s Day. Traditional activities (sport, restaurants, etc.), and social necessities (public services, etc.), require some people to work on Sundays, but everyone should still take care to set aside sufficient time for leisure. With temperance and charity the faithful will see to it that they avoid the excesses and violence sometimes associated with popular leisure activities. In spite of economic constraints, public authorities should ensure citizens a time intended for rest and divine worship. Employers have a similar obligation toward their employees.
2188 In respecting religious liberty and the common good of all, Christians should seek recognition of Sundays and the Church’s holy days as legal holidays. They have to give everyone a public example of prayer, respect, and joy and defend their traditions as a precious contribution to the spiritual life of society. If a country’s legislation or other reasons require work on Sunday, the day should nevertheless be lived as the day of our deliverance which lets us share in this “festal gathering,” this "assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven."125

That is exactly my point. The work can be done even if it is servile (i.e. done for the living), provided it is necessary, for example work done by a police officer or a nurse.

As long as you understand that the church has not issued a change in the precept.

The latest major edition of the precepts was made in 1992.
As a curiosity, I can tell you that Polish Conference of Bishops received in 2002 a permission to use the following version of precepts (my own translation from Polish):

  1. You shall attend the Holy Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation and abstain from unnecessary work.
  2. You shall attend the sacrament of penance at least once a year.
  3. You shall receive the Holy Communion at least once a year, during Easter time.
  4. You shall observe the days of fasting and abstinence from meat and you shall abstain from amusement in times of penance.
  5. You shall care about the needs of the Church community.
DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit