THIRTY-SIXTH: On the Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Commandments of the Church
1349. What is meant by the command of confessing at least once a year?
By the command of confessing at least once a year is meant that we are obliged,
under pain of mortal sin, to go to confession within the year.
1350. Should we confess only once a year?
We should confess frequently, if we wish to lead a good life.
1351. Should we go to confession at our usual time even if we think we have not
committed sin since our last confession?
We should go to confession at our usual time even if we think we have not
committed sin since our last confession, because the Sacrament of Penance has
for its object not only to forgive sins, but also to bestow grace and
strengthen the soul against temptation.
1352. Should children go to confession?
Children should go to confession when they are old enough to commit sin, which
is commonly about the age of seven years.
1353. What sin does he commit who neglects to receive Communion during the
He who neglects to receive Communion during the Easter time commits a mortal
1354. What is the Easter time?
The Easter time is, in this country, the time between the first Sunday of Lent
and Trinity Sunday.
1355. When is Trinity Sunday?
Trinity Sunday is the Sunday after Pentecost, or eight weeks after Easter
Sunday; so that there are fourteen weeks in which one may comply with the
command of the Church to receive Holy Communion between the first Sunday of
Lent and Trinity Sunday.
1356. Are we obliged to contribute to the support of our pastors?
We are obliged to contribute to the support of our pastors, and to bear our
share in the expense of the Church and school.
1357. Where did the duty of contributing to the support of the Church and
The duty of contributing to the support of the Church and clergy originated in
the Old Law, when God commanded all the people to contribute to the support of
the temple and of its priests.
1358. What does the obligation of supporting the Church and school imply?
The obligation of supporting the Church and school implies the duty of making
use of the Church and school by attending religious worship in the one and by
giving Catholic education in the other; because if the Church and school were
not necessary for our spiritual welfare we would not be commanded to support
1359. Does the fifth commandment of the Church include the support only of our
pastors and the Church and school?
The fifth commandment of the Church includes the support also of our holy
father, the Pope, bishops, priests, missions, religious institutions and
religion in general.
1360. What is the meaning of the commandment not to marry within the third
degree of kindred?
The meaning of the commandment not to marry within the third degree of kindred
is that no one is allowed to marry another within the third degree of blood
1361. Who are in the third degree of blood relationship?
Second cousins are in the third degree of blood relationship, and persons whose
relationship is nearer than second cousins are in closer degrees of kindred. It
is unlawful for persons thus related to marry without a dispensation or special
permission of the Church.
1362. Are there other relationships besides blood relationship that render
marriage unlawful without a dispensation?
There are other relationships besides blood relationship that render marriage
unlawful without a dispensation, namely, the relationships contracted by
marriage, which are called degrees of affinity, and the relationship contracted
by being sponsors at Baptism, which is called spiritual affinity.
1363. What should persons about to marry do, if they suspect they are related
to each other?
Persons about to marry, if they suspect they are related to each other, should
make known the facts to the priest, that he may examine the degree of relationship
and procure a dispensation if necessary.
1364. What is the meaning of the command not to marry privately?
The command not to marry privately means that none should marry without the
blessing of God's priests or without witnesses.
1365. What sin is it for Catholics to be married before the minister of another
It is a mortal sin for Catholics to be married before the minister of another
religion, and they who attempt to do so incur excommunication, and absolution
from their sin is reserved to the bishop.
1366. What is the meaning of the precept not to solemnize marriage at forbidden
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.
1367. What is the nuptial Mass?
The nuptial Mass is a Mass appointed by the Church to invoke a special blessing
upon the married couple.
1368. Should Catholics be married at a nuptial Mass?
Catholics should be married at a nuptial Mass, because they thereby show
greater reverence for the holy Sacrament and bring richer blessings upon their
1369. What restrictions does the Church place on the ceremonies of marriage
when one of the persons is not a Catholic?
The Church places several restrictions on the ceremonies of marriage when one
of the persons is not a Catholic. The marriage cannot take place in the church;
the priest cannot wear his sacred vestments nor use holy water nor bless the
ring nor the marriage itself. The Church places these restrictions to show her
dislike for such marriages, commonly called mixed marriages.
1370. Why does the Church dislike mixed marriages?
The Church dislikes mixed marriages because such marriages are frequently
unhappy, give rise to many disputes, endanger the faith of the Catholic member
of the family, and prevent the religious education of the children.