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Thursday, July 27, 2017
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The Complete Catholic Handbook

The Complete Catholic Handbook

The Commandments of the Church

  1. Are we bound to obey the Church?
  2. What are the chief Commandments of the Church?
  3. What is the first Commandment of the Church?
  4. Which are the Holydays of Obligation observed?
  5. Is it a mortal sin to neglect to hear Mass on Sundays and Holydays of Obligation?
  6. Are parents, masters, and mistresses bound to provide that those under their charge shall hear Mass on Sundays and Holydays of Obligation?
  7. What is the second Commandment of the Church?
  8. What are fasting days?
  9. Which are the fasting days?
  10. What are days of abstinence?
  11. Which are the days of abstinence?
  12. Why does the Church command us to fast and abstain?
  13. What is the third Commandment of the Church?
  14. How soon are children bound to go to confession?
  15. When are children generally supposed to come to the use of reason?
  16. What is the fourth Commandment of the Church?
  17. How soon are Christians bound to receive the Blessed Sacrament?
  18. What is the fifth Commandment of the Church?
  19. Is it a duty to contribute to the support of religion?
  20. What is the sixth Commandment of the Church?
  21. Which are the times in which it is forbidden to marry with solemnity?

  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, ‘He that heareth you heareth Me, and he that despiseth you despiseth Me’. (Luke 10:16) He that heareth you, etc. Every one who attends to what the bishops and priests of the Church say, and follows their teaching, pleases God. He that despiseth you, etc. Those persons who have a contempt for their pastors, or think little of their teaching, displease God.

  2. What are the chief Commandments of the Church?
    The chief Commandments of the Church are:
    1. Mass and resting from servile works.

      The chief Commandments.
      The six principal ones given in the Catechism. There are many other precepts of the Church besides. These Commandments may be altered to suit different circumstances or different places, as the Head of the Church may think fit.

    2. To keep the days of fasting and abstinence appointed by the Church.
    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, nor to solemnize marriage at the forbidden times.

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

  4. Which are the Holydays of Obligation?
    The Holydays of Obligation observed in England are Christmas Day, the Octave-day of Christmas, the Epiphany, the Ascension, Corpus Christi, SS. Peter and Paul, the Assumption of our Lady, and All Saints. In Scotland, St. Joseph (19 March) and the Immaculate Conception of our Lady (8 December) are kept as Holydays of Obligation in addition to the above. In Ireland, the Holydays of Obligation are: Christmas Day, the Octave day of Christmas, St. Patrick (I 7 March), the Ascension, Corpus Christi, the Assumption of our Lady, All Saints and the Immaculate Conception of our Lady. In the U.S.A., the Holy Days of Obligation are: Christmas Day, the Octaveday of Christmas (Circumcision), the Ascension, the Assumption of our Lady, All Saints, and the Immaculate Conception of our Lady. In Canada, Christmas, the Circumcision, the Epiphany, Ascension Day, All Saints, and the Immaculate Conception are kept as Holy Days of Obligation. In Australia, the Holy Days of Obligations are Christmas Day, the Circumcision, Ascension Day, the Assumption, and All Saints.

  5. Is it a mortal sin to neglect to hear Mass on Sundays and Holydays of Obligation?
    It is a mortal sin to neglect to hear Mass on Sundays and Holydays of Obligation.

  6. Are parents, masters, and mistresses bound to provide that those under their charge shall hear Mass on Sundays and Holydays of Obligation?
    Parents, masters, and mistresses are bound to provide that those under their charge shall hear Mass on Sundays and Holydays of Obligation.

  7. What is the second Commandment of the Church?
    The second Commandment of the Church is, ‘To keep the days of fasting and abstinence appointed by the Church’.

    Fasting.
    Eating only one full meal a day, which must be taken before midday. No person is bound to fast before he has completed his 21st year, nor after he has entered his 60th year. Dispensations are granted by priests at Confession. We may be dispensed or freed from the obligations of fasting through sickness, great poverty, very hard work.

    Abstinence.
    To refrain or keep from a thing; here is meant flesh-meat. All over seven years of age must abstain.

  8. What are fasting days?
    Fasting days are days on which we are allowed to take only one full meal.

  9. Which are the fasting days?
    The fasting days are the weekdays of Lent, certain Vigils, and the Ember-days.

    Lent.
    A time of fasting and penance, beginning on Ash Wednesday and ending at midnight on Holy Saturday. It reminds us of the fast of our Lord for forty days in the desert, after His baptism.

    Vigil.
    A watching, the fast-day before a certain great feast. The Vigils which are fasting days are those of Pentecost, the Immaculate Conception, and Christmas.

    Ember Days.
    The ember days occur four times a year, viz., the Wednesday, Friday and Saturday next after the first Sunday in Lent; in Whitsun week; next after the 14th September; and next after the third Sunday in Advent. On these occasions we ask God’s blessing on the fruits of the earth; and that He will grant good pastors to His Church, as it is at those times they are usually ordained.

  10. What are days of abstinence?
    Days of abstinence are days on which we are forbidden to take flesh-meat, and soups made from meat.

  11. Which are the days of abstinence?
    The days of abstinence are all Fridays except any Friday on which a Holy-day of Obligation fails; the Wednesdays of Lent (in England); the three Vigils (unless one falls on a Sunday); and the Ember-days. In Ireland, Bishops may transfer the abstinence from Saturday to Wednesday during Lent. (S. Congr. Conc. 24th January, 1918.) In Ireland, flesh-meat is allowed at the principal meal on the Saturdays of Quarter Tense (outside of Lent) and on Vigils which immediately precede or follow a Friday or other day of abstinence (Indult. of S. Congr. of Council, 31st July, 1912). On St. Patrick’s Day the obligation of Fast and Abstinence is also removed (S.Congr. Cone. 13th May, 1919).

  12. Why does the Church command us to fast and abstain?
    The Church commands us to fast and abstain so that we may mortify the flesh and satisfy God for our sins.

    Mortify the flesh.
    To punish our bodies and weaken temptation, and thus make us more fit for prayer and meditation.

  13. What is the third Commandment of the Church?
    The third Commandment of the Church is, ‘To go to confession at least once a year’.

    At least once a year.
    We are bound to go once, but of course we ought to go several times.

  14. 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 mortal sin.

    Capable of mortal sin.
    Able to do it, and to know that it is a mortal sin.

  15. 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.

  16. 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’.

    Thereabouts.
    The time appointed in each diocese for fulfilling our Easter duties. This is usually between Passion Sunday and Low Sunday, but a Bishop may extend the time for his diocese.

  17. 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.

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

  19. 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.

  20. What is the sixth Commandment of the Church?
    The sixth Commandment of the Church is, ‘Not to marry within certain degrees of kindred, nor to solemnize marriage at the forbidden times’.

    Certain degrees, etc.
    Certain states of relationship, as first or second cousins. In the Catholic Church none can contract matrimony who are related by blood up to the third degree inclusive, unless they obtain a dispensation or leave to do so, Solemnize. To do anything in a religious or solemn manner, with all the ceremonies.

  21. Which are the times in which it is forbidden to marry with solemnity?
    The times in which it is forbidden to marry with solemnity without special leave are from the First Sunday of Advent till after Christmas Day, and from Ash Wednesday till after Easter Sunday.

    Ash Wednesday.
    So called because ashes are blessed and distributed on this day, to remind us of our origin and of our end.

    Next: Chapter VI - The Sacraments