Do You Know These Basic Rules of the Catholic Church?

By: Pierre Roustan
Estimated Completion Time
4 min
Do You Know These Basic Rules of the Catholic Church?
Image: Eddie Gerald/Moment/Getty Images

About This Quiz

If you happen to be a Catholic, you might be surprised that even you don't know all the traditions and rules of the church. They're quite lengthy. Catholicism was, and has always been, about structure built by faith and for faith. It's crazy to think, though, that we might still not know how that whole house of cards got built. Who began it? What are all the rules? Do I know the rules? Am I bad person for not knowing the rules? Maybe, maybe not. But the fact is, even if you are a Catholic, you're not perfect, and that's okay.

But it's still curious to know just how much we, well, know! I mean, we had to have learned something in Catholic school. We went to all those Sundays, and we sat in class learning about Jesus, Moses, Noah, Abraham, Elijah, the Apostles and more—something had to stick. Do we know the Ten Commandments? Sure. What about the Seven Sacraments? Maybe. Let's face it: learning Catholicism is a natural next step after learning about faith. The good news is you have faith. And deep down, that's all that matters. Over time, though, you learn more and more about what it takes to be the very best Catholic you can be, and thankfully we have this quiz to guide you through all those steps. Give it a shot!

What is the "Eucharist"?
When you get to play Euchre in church
It's when a youth leader of the Catholic church begins a group session.
When you take Communion every Mass on Sunday
When you die and go to Heaven
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Holy Communion actually goes by a more official name in terms of the Sacraments: that's the "Eucharist." It's the term designated for the act of drinking and eating the blood and body of Christ during Sunday Mass.

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What is "Holy Communion"?
It's when you all get together and sing praises.
It's when you get baptized.
It's when you get circumcised.
It's when you receive the body and blood of Jesus Christ.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Holy Communion typically refers to the entire congregation drinking wine that's in remembrance of Jesus' blood and then eating bread that's in remembrance of Jesus' body.

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Can Catholic priests marry?
No
It depends
Sure!
Only once
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The covenant a Catholic priest makes is forever. A priest is celibate. They forsake marriage. They can't have relationships. Their sole purpose is to literally serve God and God alone.

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Which Sacrament allows you to become a priest for the Catholic Church?
Reconciliation
Baptism
Anointing of the Sick
Holy Orders
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

When you take on the Sacrament of Holy Orders, you're willingly giving yourself up to the entire Catholic Church as a servant, either as a deacon or priest either for a congregation or the Vatican itself.

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Can you recite the First Commandment?
"You will let the Hebrews go!"
"Back away, you demon."
"I am the Lord thy God, thou shalt not have any strange gods before me."
"I am your savior, who brought you out of Egypt, and made you into a Holy Nation of priests."
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The First Commandment is actually quite simple: God wrote on one of the tablets Moses was holding that no one should worship other gods except Him.

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What is fasting?
Praying fast
Doing the rosary twice
Not eating
Giving Communion
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Fasting is what Christians often do, in fact, to ensure they remain in tune with their spirituality. They do this by refraining from eating anything, typically for a day or more.

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What do you do in that "confession closet"?
It's a bathroom.
It's a place you can do the rosary in silence.
You confess your sins to the priest.
You hang you coat up in it.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Typically, the confessional is the place where you confess your sins privately. The priest is on the other side of that closet, to hear your confession.

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What is a "pew"?
It's a pamphlet you're holding onto in the sanctuary.
It's where you often sit or kneel in the sanctuary among the rest of the congregation.
It's a necklace you wear during Ash Wednesday.
It's what the priest does to your baby immediately after baptism.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The pew is a specially designed long bench with a contraption at the bottom, allowing you to actually kneel on it, so you can pray to God.

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What is "Ash Wednesday"?
The day when you spiritually become a Catholic Christian.
It is a holy day of prayer of penance and fasting for a day.
When this day comes, you observe the day when Christ becomes a full-grown man.
It's the day when you only drink wine as the blood of Christ.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

"Ash Wednesday" is the day when Lent begins, typically involving not only penance and fasting, but ashes pressed on your forehead. Hence the name "Ash Wednesday."

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How often can you receive Communion?
As many times as you want—which would be once a day if you so choose.
Just once a week
Only every Sunday
Only on Easter
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The Catholic church honestly doesn't have much of a limit to how often you can receive Holy Communion. Meet with the priest and you can receive it literally every day.

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What are the names of the gospel writers in the New Testament?
Matticus, Habakkuk, Isaiah and Elijah
Matthew, Mark, Luke and John
Matthias, Marcus, Lucas and Jonathan
Peter, Paul, David and Goliath
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

If you were to open a Bible and turn to the New Testament, you'll notice that the first book belongs to "Matthew," who wrote the first account of Jesus. Mark then followed, along with Luke and then finally John.

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Which Sacrament is responsible for you "graduating" from Sunday school?
Anointing of the Sick
Marriage
Eucharist
Confirmation
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

When you graduate, you typically go on a "rite of passage." You're going to be an adult, sometimes physically, mentally, practically AND spiritually. That's what the Sacrament of "Confirmation" is, a rite of passage typically led by a Bishop who then anoints you with "holy oil" on your forehead as a celebration that you are ready to take on the world as an adult Catholic Christian.

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What are Sundays for?
Mass
Lent
Communion
Sleep
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Sundays in general are all about Mass. It's where you meet for church and worship. Sundays can include everything like Lent, communion… and even sleep.

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What is the first article of Catholic faith?
There's reading?
"I believe in the Catholic Church and the Pope."
"I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth."
"Issue number one."
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Since this is the "first" article, naturally this is all about the very "head" of the entire faith: God the FATHER. So, naturally, we say we FIRST believe in God.

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What is the first "Sacrament"?
Holy Orders
Reconciliation
Eucharist
Baptism
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Baptism is the anointing of water, or the "washing" of water on your head when you're an infant. Generally, you can be baptized at any age, but traditionally the first Sacrament is when you're a child.

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Who was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary?
Jesus of Rome
Jesus of Bethlehem
Jesus of Nazareth
Jesus, son of Jehoshaphat
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

They called Jesus the "Nazarene" for a reason. According to the Twelve Articles, Jesus was the one who was "conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary," and while he was born in Bethlehem in a manger, he grew up to be a man in Nazareth.

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Which Sacrament allows you to basically have sexual relations with the opposite gender?
None
Marriage
Holy Orders
Reconciliation
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Marriage is not just sexual relations, of course, but it is with a specific person who you will then be bonded to for life. That's what "marriage" is, when you're joined in Holy matrimony with a promise to love, care and support your spouse through bad times and good times and in sickness and in health.

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What is "Good Friday"?
It's the day when Christ rose to Heaven.
It's the day immediately following Christmas Eve.
It's the day Jesus died on the cross.
It's the only day of the year that you can't eat pork.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

"Good Friday" is the one last traditional day right before Easter Sunday. It's the day Jesus Christ died on the cross. Three days later, he rose again on Easter Sunday, which is why we celebrate on Easter Sunday as well.

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What is the "rosary"?
It's a necklace with a pendant on it, given to you by the church on the day of your Confirmation.
It's a type of vestment all deacons and priest wear during Ash Wednesday.
It's a cloth your child wears right after baptism.
It's a large necklace with beads on it, representing prayers you must recite to yourself in earnest.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The rosary is very traditional form of prayer designed to focus you on "Our Father" and the "Hail Mary" through beads on the necklace. You often kneel, holding onto the rosary by each bead and saying your prayer for each one.

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Which day is traditionally the "Sabbath Day"?
Good Friday
Saturday
Sunday
Ash Wednesday
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The "Sabbath Day" is the day when God rested after the six days of work He did to create everything. In the same vein, Catholics also "rest" on the Sabbath Day, typically not working. Also, since it's on every Sunday, they go to church and worship.

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What is tithing?
Supporting missionary work
You give 10% of your income to the church every Sunday.
Offering prayer to the homeless
You make a donation to a charity of your choice.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Tithing actually is represented in the New Testament: it's when you give 10% of your finances to the church. When you go to Mass and officials get ready to receive donations that help contribute to the cause of the Church, that's when you offer your help in the most actionable way.

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What was the Apostle Peter's original name?
Joseph
Judas
Simon
Bob
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The Apostle Peter before he ever met Jesus was none other than a measly fisherman named Simon.

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What is the second article of Catholicism?
"And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord."
"And in Christ Jesus, our Lord and Savior."
"Our Lord of Lords, Christ Jesus."
"Our one and only Jesus, our Christ and Savior."
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

When reciting the twelve articles, this one immediately follows the first, which is about God the Father, hence this is how it's written and recited as "And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord."

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Which Commandment tells you to honor your parents?
The fourth
The sixth
The second
The ninth
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

According to the Old Testament, it says that the Fourth Commandment is "Honor thy father and mother."

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Which prayer do you recite on the large beads of the Rosary?
"Our Father"
"Hail Mary"
"Apostles' Creed"
"Glory Be"
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The large beads on a rosary represent probably the most standard and first of all Catholic prayers: the "Our Father," which is a prayer actually written specifically in the New Testament as the way Jesus tells his disciples how they should pray.

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Which Commandment are you breaking if you commit murder?
The eighth
The fifth
The tenth
The seventh
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The most notable Commandment, "Thou shalt not kill," happens to sit right in the middle of the ten. It's number five on the list.

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Which Commandment forbids you from being jealous, greedy or envious of someone else's stuff?
The second
The sixth
The third
The tenth
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

As written in the Old Testament, the Tenth Commandment states: "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's goods." It essentially means don't want what your friends or strangers have. Simply put, don't be jealous of others.

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How often are you "required" to go to confession?
You have to go a minimum of once a month.
Once a year.
Every day.
Randomly.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Traditionally, from the very beginning, you go to confession just once a year. You can, however, request to go more than once.

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No matter how you look at it, Robin Hood's violating just one Commandment. Which one?
Seventh
Sixth
Fifth
Fourth
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Stealing is forbidden in Catholic and full Christian faith. That's outlined in the Seventh Commandment: "Thou shalt not steal."

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Do priests do anything for the sick or the terminally ill?
They pray on their own.
They encourage prayer during Mass.
They're usually invoked by the fifth Sacrament.
It's the first thing a priest does after taking on the seventh Sacrament.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The fifth Sacrament is known as the "Anointing of the Sick," which occurs during those times when people fall horribly ill. This can include terminal illnesses, or even moments immediately before death for those individuals suffering from it. You're anointed with oil, and the priest recites a prayer of good will in your time of need. It's for not only the sick, but for all the family.

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Who wrote the Book of Revelation in the Bible?
Noah
The Apostle Paul
The Apostle John
John the Baptist
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The Apostle John was famously the last Apostle alive back in the days of the early Christians. He wrote the Book of Revelation, which is why it happens to be the very last book of the Bible. It was the last great project John ever took on before he died.

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Which Sacrament is "Reconciliation"?
The second
The seventh
The fourth
The fifth
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The fourth Sacrament, "Reconciliation," typically happens to everyone just about on any day of the week. It's the term used for when you go to a confessional with a priest and discuss your sins, seeking to be absolved or forgiven.

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What date is "Ash Wednesday" for 2019?
March 26th
April first
March fourth
March sixth
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Generally, Lent is tough to get your head wrapped around, because the dates always change from year to year. This year, though, the first day of Lent happens to be on March sixth.

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