The Westminster Shorter Catechism (also known simply as the
Shorter Catechism) was written in the 1640s by English and Scottish clergymen -- the assembly that also produced the
Westminster Confession of Faith and the
Westminster Larger Catechism. The three documents together are often referred to as the Westminster Standards and are judged by some as the most important English
documents coming out of the
The Shorter Catechism is designed to educate lay persons in matters of doctrine and belief and, as with other catechisms, is in a simple question and answer format to facilitate memorization.
Perhaps the most famous of the questions is the first:
Q. 1. What is the chief end of man?
A. Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.