Westminster Assembly Act of Weekly Catechising

Presbyterian Catechising, 1847, a painting by John Phillip

“The General Assembly, taking to their serious consideration the great darkness and ignorance wherein a great part of this kingdom lays, together with the late solemn engagement to use all means for remedy thereof, do ordain every minister, with assistance of the elders of their several kirk-sessions, to take course, that in every house where there is any who can read, there be at least one copy of the Shorter and Larger Catechism, Confession of Faith, and Directory for Family Worship. And do renew the Act of the Assembly, August 30, 1639, for a day of weeky catechising, to be constantly observed in every kirk; and that every minister so order their catechetical questions, as thereby the people (who do not convene all at one time, but by turns, unto that exercise) may at every diet have the chief heads of Saving Knowledge, in a short view, presented unto them. And the Assembly considering that, notwithstanding of their former act, these diets of weekly catechising are much slighted and neglected by many ministers throughout this kingdom, do, therefore, appoint and ordain every Presbytery to take trial of all the ministers within their bounds, once at least in the half year, whither they be careful to keep weekly diets of catechising; and if they shall find any of their number negligent herein, they shall admonish for the first fault, and if after such admonition they shall not amend, the Presbytery for the second fault shall rebuke them sharply, and if after such rebuke they do not yet amend, they shall be suspended.”

[Sess. 30, July 30, 1649, ante meridian. — Act concerning Catechising].

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