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LESSON THIRTY-SECOND: From the Second to the Fourth Commandment
The following is an excerpt:
“….Q. 1242. What is the third Commandment?
A. The third Commandment is: Remember thou keep holy the Sabbath day.
Q. 1243. What are we commanded by the third Commandment?
A. By the third Commandment we are commanded to keep holy the Lord’s day and the holydays of obligation, on which we are to give our time to the service and worship of God.
Q. 1244. What are holydays of obligation?
A. Holydays of obligation are special feasts of the Church on which we are bound, under pain of mortal sin, to hear Mass and to keep from servile or bodily labors when it can be done without great loss or inconvenience. Whoever, on account of their circumstances, cannot give up work on holydays of obligation should make every effort to hear Mass and should also explain in confession the necessity of working on holydays.
Q. 1245. How are we to worship God on Sundays and holydays of obligation?
A. We are to worship God on Sundays and holydays of obligation by hearing Mass, by prayer, and by other good works.
Q. 1246. Name some of the good works recommended for Sunday.
A. Some of the good works recommended for Sunday are: The reading of religious books or papers, teaching Catechism, bringing relief to the poor or sick, visiting the Blessed Sacrament, attending Vespers, Rosary or other devotions in the Church; also attending the meetings of religious sodalities or societies. It is not necessary to spend the whole Sunday in such good works, but we should give some time to them, that for the love of God we may do a little more than what is strictly commanded.
Q. 1247. Is it forbidden, then, to seek any pleasure or enjoyment on Sunday?
A. It is not forbidden to seek lawful pleasure or enjoyment on Sunday, especially to those who are occupied during the week, for God did not intend the keeping of the Sunday to be a punishment, but a benefit to us. Therefore, after hearing Mass we may take such recreation as is necessary or useful for us; but we should avoid any vulgar, noisy or disgraceful amusements that turn the day of rest and prayer into a day of scandal and sin.
Q. 1248. Are the Sabbath day and the Sunday the same?
A. The Sabbath day and the Sunday are not the same. The Sabbath is the seventh day of the week, and is the day which was kept holy in the old law; the Sunday is the first day of the week, and is the day which is kept holy in the new law.
Q. 1249. What is meant by the Old and New Law?
A. The Old Law means the law or religion given to the Jews; the New Law means the law or religion given to Christians.
Q. 1250. Why does the Church command us to keep the Sunday holy instead of the Sabbath?
A. The Church commands us to keep the Sunday holy instead of the Sabbath because on Sunday Christ rose from the dead, and on Sunday He sent the Holy Ghost upon the Apostles.
Q. 1251. Do we keep Sunday instead of Saturday holy for any other reason?
A. We keep Sunday instead of Saturday holy also to teach that the Old Law is not now binding upon us, but that we must keep the New Law, which takes its place.
Q. 1252. What is forbidden by the third Commandment?
A. The third Commandment forbids all unnecessary servile work and whatever else may hinder the due observance of the Lord’s day.
Q. 1253. What are servile works?
A. Servile works are those which require labor rather of body than of mind.
Q. 1254. From what do servile works derive their name?
A. Servile works derive their name from the fact that such works were formerly done by slaves. Therefore, reading, writing, studying and, in general, all works that slaves did not perform are not considered servile works.
Q. 1255. Are servile works on Sunday ever lawful?
A. Servile works are lawful on Sundays when the honor of God, the good of our neighbor, or necessity requires them.
Q. 1256. Give some examples of when the honor of God, the good of our neighbor or necessity may require servile works on Sunday.
A. The honor of God, the good of our neighbor or necessity may require servile works on Sunday, in such cases as the preparation of a place for Holy Mass, the saving of property in storms or accidents, the cooking of meals and similar works.”
This may be found at: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/resource.php?n=469