Can Catholics eat at restaurants on Sundays?

Is it ok to eat at restaurants or go shopping on a Sunday? By doing so, we basically make others have to work. Employers and store owners decide to open on Sundays since people are willing to eat and shop on Sundays. Likewise, are we allowed to do work around the house like mowing the lawn if we enjoy doing such things? I consider working around the house as my leisure activity since my regular job is doing office work. The following is from the Catechism and mentions sport and restaurants.

CCC 2187 Sanctifying Sundays and holy days requires a common effort. Every Christian should avoid making unnecessary demands on others that would hinder them from observing the Lord’s Day. Traditional activities (sport, restaurants, etc.), and social necessities (public services, etc.), require some people to work on Sundays, but everyone should still take care to set aside sufficient time for leisure. With temperance and charity the faithful will see to it that they avoid the excesses and violence sometimes associated with popular leisure activities. In spite of economic constraints, public authorities should ensure citizens a time intended for rest and divine worship. Employers have a similar obligation toward their employees.

If you read #2185 you are to refrain from engaging in work or activities that hinder the worship owed to God. It goes on to say that some family needs or social services can legitimately excuse you from this obligation.

Remember the sabbath was made for man not man for the sabbath. (Mark2:27) Jesus himself was accused of doing work on the sabbath when he cured the man with the withered hand.(Mark 3:1-5) There are other examples I could sight.

I have eaten at restaurants and done laborious work on Sundays but usually after I have gone to mass. But there are times when you may have to do some work before going to mass, for example clearing out your driveway from an all night snow fall. Caring for your aged mother or father. I build wooden model ships, but I would never think of putting this leisure work above going to church.

Many parishes have mass at various times on Sunday and Saturday evening so there is no reason to miss mass unless as noted in the catechism above. If the work you plan to do can wait until after you go to mass then you should go to mass and afterwords do your work. :slight_smile:

I would mow the yard on Sunday if I considered it recreation instead of work, but I hate to mow the yard, so its work.:slight_smile: I understand where you’re coming from, though, because I ‘recreate’ by taking care of my fowers; with roses this requires pruning, mulching and other ‘work-like’ things that are strictly enjoyable to me.
I would NOT eat in a resturant on Sunday because that’s for sure forcing at least your server into servile work.

My wife and I frequently eat at a restaurant on our way home from Mass. Occasionally, if he doesn’t have to run off to say Mass at another parish, Father will go with us. It doesn’t seem to bother him.

Just be sure to leave a big tip.

We have recently begun to go out to eat regularly after Mass. We try to take my mother with us to Mass and eating out is a big treat for her now that she is not as mobile. We try to make it a leisurely, enjoyable family time and always treat the resturant staff well.

I remember reading an article about this years ago by a protestant (Baptist?) minister. He said that it was very common for his congregation to go out for lunch after church but he did always recommend that they treat their wait staff well and leave a big tip. Apparently he was very embarrassed by some people from his church in a small town who were known for blowing into a resturant in their “Sunday Best”, berating the waiters for service and how the food was cooked and then leaving a teeny tip–left a very bad impression of Christian behavior! :eek:

It would be okay to eat at a Kosher deli on Sunday, wouldn’t it? I mean, assuming that the cook is Jewish and the waitress is Jewish, they should have no problem working on a Sunday.

Keeping the sabbath has melted over the years, sometimes to my annoyance. When I was a child living in the deep South, anyone cutting the grass on Sunday was considered to be rude, making noise kept others from enjoying a quiet day. It just was not the thing that nice people did. I still feel that way. Yes, I am a relic. It seems that Sunday, at least in my neighborhood, has become the semi-official day to run outdoor power equipment.

We were all guilty of hypocrisy in one huge way. When there was a chance to vote for blue laws, the voters of my town approved the measure overwhelmingly. The courts struck the law down and the Sunday after that, the parking lots of stores were full of cars driven by those who supported blue laws.

Until I saw this thread, I really didn’t give much thought to going to a restaurant on Sunday. My being there does lead to someone having to work, so I am going to have to rethink this one.

My concern with “boycotting” restaurants on Sundays is that many of the people working there need the income. It’s not like they get paid much as it is… And some have to work two or three jobs anymore to make ends meet. Sunday is an opportunity for them to provide FOR themselves or their family.

If we want to do something pro-active, we might want to consider eating more at restaurants during the week that are CLOSED on Sundays. A way to reward those that are more strict about the Sabbath and way to show other businesses that a model like that works.

You know, I honestly don’t know. I think in this particular instance, it is a matter of one’s own conscience.

I’m another one that enjoys mowing grass. My husband usually does it but occasionally I will. Either way, we both tend to do it on days other than Sunday. DH watches sports all day Sunday so he definitely has his day of rest.

Sunday is usually my day to make a real good homecooked meal at home so we don’t ever eat out on Sunday. I can see both sides though.

Our church is having its Autumn Fest in 2 weeks. Its usually Friday and Saturday but theis year they changed it to Saturday and Sunday. I’m in the PTO now so I’m required to help serve at the meal on Sunday. :frowning: It just doesn’t seem right. I really enjoy my Sundays. Its my day to sit at home and do nothing if I want. I know I’ll end up having fun with the other mom’s and dads and make lots of money for the school and church, but I’d rather be at home.

The Catechism describes eating at restaurants on Sunday as “a traditional activity” and thus, I think, explicity says it’s OK. It implies also that working in a restaurant on Sunday is acceptable, as long as sufficient time is taken for Mass obligation and some leisure.

But you see… your husband is making those poor football players work on Sunday and take them from family and church for 20+ weeks! Can you imagine if the Church came out and said that everyone should stop watching football on Sundays? And we thought Humane Vitae went over with a thud?:rolleyes:

I find it interesting and difficult to interpret or implement. If we were all Catholic or Christian in this world, it might work. But what about Jewish and Muslim faiths. Would businesses have to take off Friday and Saturday, too? For employers, this sounds like a good case for diversity in the workplace.

Boy, I remember when nothing was open but churches on Sunday’s before 11…

(Romans 14:5) “If one man keeps certain days as holier than others, and another considers all days to be equally holy, each must be left free to hold his own opinion.”

Bingo. That’s about as authoritative an answer as one can give.

My own personal preference is not to eat at restaurants after Mass on Sundays. Since I am the chief cook at our house, I like to have a multi-day meal prepared, so all we have to do on Sundays is nuke leftovers. I do have to prepare breakfast, tho.


**I believe in respecting the autonomy of others. They keep their own Sabbath as they see fit. Does it matter if you are the one to cook, serve and clean after Sunday dinner, or if they do the work instead? If so, how?

Nobody is making any demands on the restaurant employees, unless one is holding a gun to their heads. I simply do not presume on how others keep their Sabbaths. They may need that money desperately. Leave a great tip.**

While the text of the Catechism does say, “Traditional activities, (sport, restaurant, etc.), and social necessities, (Public services, etc.), require some people to work on Sundays…” Immediatley above this it states,

2187 "Sanctifying Sundays and holy days requires a common effort. Every Christian should avoid making unnecessary demands on others that would hinder them from observing the Lord’s Day."

Is it necessary for you to eat at a restaurant on Sunday? (Or, for that matter, do anything else where you pay someone to provide a service for you?)

If there were no demand for a restaurant to be open on Sunday those who work there could also give the Lord His day instead of trying to make this observance on another day.

Sunday is fast becoming just part of ‘the weekend’…I know people who take off work on Friday to get a jump on the weekend, and then start working again (emails, etc.) on Sunday afternoon/evening.

This is like other issues where many want to know “What’s the minimum I need to do…?” By all means, take care of ‘The ox in the ditch’ issues that do come up, and works of mercy are encouraged… how about visitng a nursing home on Sunday? But let’s not turn something that’s allowable when necessary into something that’s ‘clear and obviously okay’

I remember Sundays as a child because we would go home and have a big brunch. This allowed my Mom to do less cooking overall because we would have a smaller dinner meal. When we go to restaurants so that we don’t have to work, (Which is usually a well intended act of charity toward the person who would have had to cook.) we’re paying people to provide a service for us…we’re making someone else do the work instead.

2186 of the Catechism states, “Those Christians who have leisure should be mindful of their brethren who have the same needs and same rights yet cannot rest from work because of poverty and misery.”

There’s no easy answer because people are dependent on Sunday jobs…and I used to eat out on Sundays too…but suppose if we, as a culture (Even just Christians), were to return to a strict Sunday observance for the love of God, because He asks us to…do you not think He would provide for those whose jobs were lost in another manner? If we trust Him, He takes care of us.

2 Chronicles 7:14-16
“and if my people, upon whom my name has been pronounced, humble themselves and pray, and seek my presence and turn from their evil ways, I will hear them from heaven and pardon their sins and revive their land. Now my eyes shall be open and my ears attentive to the prayers of this place. And now I have chosen and consecrated this house that my name may be there forever; my eyes and my heart also shall be there always.”

For the greater glory of God and the salvation of souls…

this is actually something my priest talked about recently, he’s a traditional priest part of the fssp, and very smart(as they all seem to be)

he put it this way, imagine on Sunday that there are just 2 or 3 chefs cooking in the kitchen at a restaurant, and 60 families come in to eat, because of those 2 or 3 chefs working that day, they make it possible for those 60 families to not have to cook that day, and those few chefs are sacrificing for those families and helping to keep Gods day holy, even though they are working, they make it possible for thousands (or something like that e,e ) to not have to.

well, i probably butchered his example, so forgive me if that doesn’t make sense c_c

but besides that, there is no shopping aloud on Sunday, although internet shopping may be ok,
and also things like if you and your family wanted to go out to the lake for recreational purposes, it would be ok to rent a boat or whatever, because that is for recreation and is also keeping Gods day holy.

so, coming from a priest(a really smart priest) yes you can eat out on Sunday, but no shopping.

The way your priest described this it almost makes it seem okay to me. However, has he ever worked at a restaurant…or more specifically worked in one on a Sunday? I worked in restaurants for 13 years, one thing was constant within the whole industry - you got used to never being able to spend weekends or holidays with your family because that’s when they made the most ‘business’. (I cannot help but wonder how many chefs, waitresses, and other restaurant staff are there becasue of the Godly scarifice they are making…very few I’d wager.)

Would you explain why it is not okay to shop - which is visiting a business to purchase their product - in stores on Sunday… but it’s okay to visit a restaurant (business) to purchase their product…and have people wait on you and clean up after you when you leave? I am totally not understanding this one…

well, when you’re going to shop for like clothes or groceries or whatever other things, you’re doing that on Gods day, when you should be doing something recreational or pray or visit with family or something else like that,
but when you go out to eat, you’re not really “doing business” in that sense, you’re only having someone else do the same thing you would do at home, only your paying for it,
just like it’s ok to rent a boat on Sunday for recreational purposes, it’s also ok to buy food for the sake of not having to cook yourself,
although i do agree that it would be better if nothing was open that wasn’t absolutely necessary to be open on Sunday(like hospitals)
i know that back 50 or 60 years ago, on Sunday there was almost nothing open, and if wives(or whoever did the cooking) didn’t want to cook on Sunday, they prepared something the day before, and that’s how i think it should be now,
so despite my priests approval of eating out on Sunday, if things went back to not being open on Sundays, that would be just fine with me.

but another way to look at it, those chefs, even if they’re not working for the soul purpose of cooking for us on Sunday so we can keep Gods day holy, i’m sure that most of them still would rather not be working every day like they do,
although i dunno if all restaurants require such a full work week, but i found out after getting a diploma in the culinary arts, most places require you to work long hours, weekends, and be prepared to change your work schedule, that’s why i decided not to go through with becoming a chef, as much as i wanted to, i don’t want to work on Sundays, but these other chefs, they have no choice, they need their jobs, they have families to support, so even if they don’t want to work on Sunday, they can’t help it, and we are told that if we cannot help but work on Sunday because of risk of being fired, especially if you have a family to support, then you are not sinning.

but even if they’re not doing it with good intentions, they’re still helping you to keep the day holy, even if they don’t know it.

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