389. Q. Which are the chief commandments of the Church?
A. The chief commandments of the Church are six:
1. To hear Mass on Sundays and holydays of obligation.
2. To fast and abstain on the days appointed.
3. To confess at least once a year.
4. To receive the Holy Eucharist during the Easter time.
5. To contribute to the support of our pastors.
6. Not to marry persons who are not Catholics, or who are related to us within the third degree of kindred, nor privately without witnesses, nor to solemnize marriage at forbidden times.
390. Q. Is it a mortal sin not to hear Mass on a Sunday or a holyday of obligation?
A. It is a mortal sin not to hear Mass on a Sunday or a holyday of obligation, unless we are excused for a serious reason. They also commit a mortal sin who, having others under their charge, hinder them from hearing Mass, without a sufficient reason.
391. Q. Why were holydays instituted by the Church?
A. Holydays were instituted by the Church to recall to our minds the great mysteries of religion and the virtues and rewards of the saints.
392. Q. How should we keep the holydays of obligation?
A. We should keep the holydays of obligation as we should keep the Sunday.
393. Q. What do you mean by fast-days?
A. By fast-days I mean days on which we are allowed but one full meal.
394. Q. What do you mean by days of abstinence?
A. By days of abstinence I mean days on which we are forbidden to eat flesh-meat, but are allowed the usual number of meals.
395. Q. Why does the Church command us to fast and abstain?
A. The Church commands us to fast and abstain, in order that we may mortify our passions and satisfy for our sins.
396. Q. Why does the Church command us to abstain from flesh-meat on Fridays?
A. The Church commands us to abstain from flesh-meat on Fridays, in honor of the day on which our Savior died.