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The Commandments of the Church

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  1. Are we bound to obey the Church?

We are bound to obey the Church, because Christ has said to the pastors of the Church: ‘Anyone who listens to you, listens to me: anyone who rejects you rejects me’. (Luke 10:16)

  1. What are the chief Commandments of the Church?

The chief Commandments of the Church are:
1. To keep the Sundays and Holy days of Obligation holy, by hearing Mass and resting from servile works.
2. To observe the appointed days of penance.
3. To go to confession at least once a year.
4. To receive the Blessed Sacrament at least once a year, and that at Easter or thereabouts.
5. To contribute to the support of our pastors.
6. Not to marry within certain degrees of kindred.

  1. What is the first Commandment of the Church?

The first Commandment of the Church is, ‘To keep the Sundays and Holy days of Obligation holy, by. hearing Mass and resting from servile works’.

  1. Which are the Holy days of Obligation observed in England and Wales?

The Holy days of Obligation observed in England and Wales are: Christmas Day, the Epiphany, the Ascension, Corpus Christi, SS Peter and Paul, the Assumption of our Lady, and All Saints.

  1. Are Catholics bound to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy days of Obligation?

Catholics are under a serious obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy days of Obligation unless prevented by other serious duties or by ill-health.

  1. Are parents, masters, and mistresses bound to provide that those under their charge shall hear Mass on Sundays and Holy days of Obligation?

Parents, masters and mistresses are bound to provide that those under their charge shall hear Mass on Sundays and Holy days of Obligation.

  1. What is the second Commandment of the Church?

The second Commandment of the Church is ‘To observe the appointed days of penance’.

  1. Which are the appointed days of penance?

The appointed days of penance are each Friday of the year and the Season of Lent.

  1. What are days of Penance?

Days of Penance are days on which we are in a special manner to devote ourselves to prayer, works of charity and self-denial.

  1. What are the Friday forms of Penance?

On Fridays other than Solemnities we are to abstain from meat or some other food, drink or amusement or undertake one of the other works of penance stipulated by the Bishops’ Conference. (Abstinence is binding from the age of 14).

  1. On Ash Wednesday and Good Friday what forms of penance are we to observe?

On Ash Wednesday and Good Friday we are to fast and observe the Friday forms of penance.

  1. What is fasting?

Fasting is eating considerably less food. The Church commands us to fast and abstain that so we may mortify the flesh and satisfy God for our sins. (Fasting is binding between the age of 18 and 59).

  1. How often should we go to Confession?

If we have been guilty of serious sin we should go to Confession as soon as possible, but never less than once a year.

  1. How soon are children bound to go to confession?

Children are bound to go to confession as soon as they have come to the use of reason, and are capable of serious sin.

  1. When are children generally supposed to come to the use of reason?

Children are generally supposed to come to the use of reason about the age of seven years.

  1. What is the fourth Commandment of the Church?

The fourth Commandment of the Church is, ‘To receive the Blessed Sacrament at least once a year, and that at Easter or thereabouts.

  1. How soon are Christians bound to receive the Blessed Sacrament?

Christians are bound to receive the Blessed Sacrament as soon as they are capable of distinguishing the Body of Christ from ordinary bread, and are judged to be sufficiently instructed.

  1. What is the fifth Commandment of the Church?

The fifth Commandment of the Church is, ‘To contribute to the support of our pastors’.

  1. Is it a duty to contribute to the support of religion?

It is a duty to contribute to the support of religion according to our means, so that God may be duly honoured and worshipped, and the kingdom of his Church extended.

  1. What is the sixth Commandment of the Church?

The sixth Commandment of the Church is, ‘Not to marry within certain degrees of kindred’.

  1. Are there any times of the year in which it is forbidden to marry?

There are no times of the year in which it is forbidden to marry, but couples who marry during Advent or Lent should take into consideration the special liturgical nature of these times.

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