Half-day of rest?


If we have to work for part of a Sunday, can we take part of another day off to fulfill our obligation to rest?

For example, if I have to work Sunday after Mass until the evening, can I take Monday afternoon off? Or do I need one full day of rest a week?


p.s. I work 6 days a week, so Saturday would be a full working day as well


You don’t have to “make up” a half day’s worth of rest if you have to work part time on Sunday. If you have to work, you have to work. The Church understands these things. :slight_smile:


Oh OK. I’m confused as to what exactly the Sunday obligation is. Is it just Mass? Is there any obligation to rest? :shrug:


The Lord commands that we refrain from work on the Sunday. Holy Mother Church also would generally extend this to Holy Days of Obligation. The main focus of the day should be prayer and recreation (in that order). The core of the obligation is to attend Holy Mass, but we must also not do servile work. If we work in a necessary profession (doctor, nurse, police, military on active serve etc.) then it is understood that w may not be able to res as we would prefer and may even be forced to miss the Holy Sacrifice. If our work is not necessary though then we must not work on that day, it has traditionally permitted to do some small work on a day if that is the only day it could be done, so if a business deal had to be closed on Sunday and you don’t do it very often then you could close the deal, trying to make the day as holy as possible. My advice would be to “make it up” if you can through extra Mass and prayer on another day if you can’t fulfil the rest aspect properly. If it is routine you may need to look at other employment.


Thanks — has the Church published anything that clearly delineates the obligation? I’ve looked it up in the catechism but it’s a bit vague.


I think the idea is that we are supposed to give the whole day to the Lord. Therefore, it would generally be wrong to use the day for profit. This would especially be wrong if you lived in a society where everyone else closes up on Sunday and you chose to use the Lord’s day for profit in order to get ahead of the compitition. The problem is that we live in a society where it is expected that we be open for business on a Sunday and many people can’t find a job that allows them to be “off” on Sunday. In this case, I think it would be a very fitting devotion to offer another day of the week to God by committing it to prayer and service. So people get a little rediculous on the subject. I find it really ironic that a banker who makes six figures feels morally superior to a hotel worker because he goes golfing on Sunday after Mass while the hotel worker has to work to feed his family.


Neithan;9802944]Oh OK. I’m confused as to what exactly the Sunday obligation is. Is it just Mass? Is there any obligation to rest?

Hello Neithan, in answer to your question (from a non-RCC perspective), since Sunday (the first day of the week) is not specified in the Scriptures as a day of rest and Holy Convocation, you will not be at variance with God, but you may be at variance with the Roman Catholic Church. The following excerpt is from the link supplied below:-

"God’s Holy Days"
Did you know that God has Holy Days that reveal His plan of Salvation?
Man has substituted his holidays, Christmas, Easter, New Year’s Day, and many more for God’s Holy Days. Because of this, man has lost sight of God’s wonderful plan of Salvation and man’s true destiny!
Read this booklet and check it out in your Bible…You may be surprised. Remember what the wise writer of Proverbs said, “He that answers a matter before he hears it is folly and shame unto him.” - Proverbs 18:13

“ IN THE 12th chapter of Exodus, while the Children of Israel were still in Egypt—LONG BEFORE ANY OF THE LAWS MOSES HAD BEEN GIVEN — prior to the time when God revealed to Moses and the Israelites that He would make the Old Covenant with them — we find God’s annual Holy Days being observed.
And in the 23rd chapter of Leviticus we find a summary of these annual Holy Days or set feasts. The reason for calling them Holy Days is because as each day is given it states that this day is a “Holy Convocation,” Holy assembly.
Now when God made the Sabbath for MAN, He gave man a rest-day carrying great significance and purpose. To His CHURCH in the wilderness, God said that the Sabbath was a covenant SIGN between Him and His people. Exodus 31:13 A sign is a supernatural proof of identity. It is the sign by which WE KNOW that He is God. How does it prove that to us? “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the SEVENTH DAY He rested.” It is a memorial of CREATION.
And creation is the proof of the existence of God. Creation identifies God. The Sabbath is a weekly memorial of creation. A weekly reminder of God’s power to create. Therefore it identifies God to us. — It keeps us in the true memory of true worship of the true God. No other day but the SEVENTH DAY OF THE WEEK could have that great significance and MEANING. It was designed to keep us in the true worship of God.”

                                              [www.cgom.org/Publications/Booklets](www.cgom.org/Publications/Booklets)   under the heading of, “God's Holy Days”



These bits from the catechism may help.

“The pastor should also not omit carefully to teach what works and actions Christians should perform on festival days. These are: to go to church, and there, with heartfelt piety and devotion, to assist at the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass; and to approach frequently the Sacraments of the Church, instituted for our salvation in order to obtain a remedy for the wounds of the soul.”

The Catechism of Council of Trent, The Third Commandment

“Thou shalt do no work on it, says the Lord, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy beast, nor the stranger that is within thy gates.
These words teach us, in the first place, to avoid whatever may interfere with the worship of God. Hence it is not difficult to perceive that all servile works are forbidden, not because they are improper or evil in themselves, but because they withdraw the attention from the worship of God, which is the great end of the Commandment.”

The Catechism of Council of Trent, The Third Commandment

The Catechism of the Council of Trent on the Third Commandment, has quite a good sumamry which I quote below.

“We should, it is true, be prepared to undergo the severest labor for the sake of God; but in this Commandment He imposes on us no labor; He only commands us to rest and disengage ourselves from worldly cares on those days which are to be kept holy. To refuse obedience to this Commandment is, therefore, a proof of extreme boldness; and the punishments with which its infraction has been visited by God, as we learn from the Book of Numbers,’ should be a warning to us”.


The only catechism the Church expects us to folow is the current one. If you must work on Sunday for part of the day you are NOT obligated to “make it up”. If you wish to do so, you may, but again, you are NOT obligated to do so.


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