Lesson 34: The First Commandment
"Come let us praise the Lord with joy:  let us joyfully sing to God our savior.  Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; and make a joyful noise to Him with psalms.  For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.  For in His hand are all the ends of the earth:  and the heights of the mountains are His.  For the sea is His, and He made it:  and His hands formed the dry land.  Come let us adore and fall down:  and weep before the Lord that made us.  For He is the Lord our God:  and we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand."  (Psalm 94:1-7)

  1. What is the First Commandment?

  2.    I am the Lord thy God; thou shalt not have strange gods before Me.

  3. What does the First Commandment oblige you to do?

  4.    To offer true worship to God.
    "Adore ye Him that made Heaven and earth, the sea, and the fountains of waters."    (Apocalypse 14:7)

  5. What is worship?

  6.    Acknowledging the fact that God is the Supreme Being, that He created you and that you depend entirely on Him.
    "For in Him we live, and move, and are."    (Acts 17:28)

  7. How do you worship God?

  8.    By praying to Him both in private and in public.
    "And they were always in the temple, praising and blessing God."    (Luke 24:53)

  9. How do many people sin against the First Commandment?

  10.    By never, or at least seldom, giving worship to God.
    Very few people deny that God exists, but many live as though there were no God.

  11. What is the true worship of God?

  12.    By praying to Him both in private and in public.
    Catholic worship, since God Himself established the Catholic Church.   This includes especially the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.  Before Christ, the Jewish religion was the only one established by God, but it is no longer the true religion, since "Now in saying a new [covenant], he hath made the former old."    (Hebrews 8:13)

  13. Name some mortal sins against the First Commandment.

    1. Taking an active part in the services of a non-Catholic church.
    2. Quitting the Catholic Church.
    3. Joining a non-Catholic church.
    4. Denying anything taught by the Catholic Church.
    5. Joining the Masons or any society forbidden by the Church.
    6. Joining the Communists.
    7. Guiding your life by fortune telling, palmistry, phrenology, crystal gazing, horoscopes, dreams, etc...
    8. Using the ouija board or practicing spiritualism.
    9. Superstition, guiding your life by lucky charms, etc...
    10. Reading the literature of false (that is to say, non-Catholic) religions.

  14. Are you ever allowed to go to a non-Catholic church?

  15.    Yes, but only for the wedding or funeral of a close relative or friend or of a public official.

  16. Are you ever allowed to take part in the religious services of a non-Catholic church?

  17.    No; this includes singing hymns or praying aloud with the congregation.
    Also, you are forbidden to act as best man or bridesmaid at a wedding at which a non-Catholic minister or rabbi officiates if the wedding is invalid.

  18. Why does the Church condemn Masonry?

  19.    Because Masonry is not only a secret fraternal organization but also a false religion which ignores Jesus Christ and has always been an enemy of the Catholic Church.
    Other forbidden societies:  Knights of the Pythias, Shriners, Odd Fellows, Sons of Temperance, Templars, also the female societies affiliated with them such as the Rebeccas, Eastern Star, Pythian Sisters.

  20. Why is it a mortal sin to join the Communists?

  21.    Because Communism denies that there is a God and seeks to wipe out religion.

  22. What happens to a Catholic who joins the Masons or Communists?

  23.    A Catholic who knowingly and willingly joins either of these groups commits a mortal sin.
    Traditionally, these offenses were punished by automatic excommunication.  Although this penalty no longer applies, joining the Masons or the Communists remains a grave sin.

  24. Why is it a sin to believe in fortune telling?

  25.    Because to do so is to attribute to a creature the knowledge that belongs only to God.
    Only God knows what you will do, and He certainly will not reveal the future in silly ways, such as through tea leaves, the bumps on your head or the lines in your palm.

  26. Why is it a sin to guide your life by dreams?

    1. God forbids it many times in the Bible.
    2. It is foolish and may lead to other sins.
    "Except it be a vision sent forth from the most High, set not thy heart upon them.  For dreams have deceived many, and they have failed that put their trust in them."    (Ecclesiasticus 34:6-7)


  1. The Catholic Church is not narrow-minded toward other religions, because it is not being narrow-minded to stay away from error.
  2. Your attitude toward non-Catholics should be Christian. Try to lead them to the Truth by prayer and good example.
  3. "Having your conversation good among the Gentiles:  that whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by the good work, which they shall behold in you, glorify God in the day of visitation."    (1 Peter 2:12)