Is it a mortal sin to work on Sundays?

I’m a college student trying to get a job for the summer and right now I’m applying to an amusement park. I know a lot of people who work or who have worked there and everyone says that it’s the kind of place where they tell you when you’re working and you don’t have too much control over your schedule and days off. I’m sure they’ll ask me to work Sundays a lot and I just don’t know what to do. I certainly don’t want to commit a mortal sin but I don’t want to risk my job or get on the wrong side of my managers. I’m also having trouble justifying working on Sundays since I basically just work for my personal spending and college expenses, I’m not working to feed a family or anything. Am I obligated to tell them I don’t want to work Sundays? I just don’t know what to do.

No it is not mortal sin. your job is just a temporary position and you are not in any position to start telling your employer that you can’t work on Sundays when this is when they are open. The mortal sin is not attending Mass but with the Catholic Church, there are many Mass times starting with Saturday evening to even Sunday evening in some Churches. I am not sure where you are getting your ideas from, but the Catholic Church does not consider working on Sundays to be mortal sin.

Perfect answer! :thumbsup:

I think we should try and avoid work if possible on Sundays, the idea being it promotes family time and protects those in lower paid jobs being taken advantage of by their employers, but as long as you get to Mass, all good I’d say.

Just in case you are still worried after the above replies, here is a quote from the Catechism:

"2185 On Sundays and other holy days of obligation, the faithful are to refrain from engaging in work or activities that hinder the worship owed to God, the joy proper to the Lord’s Day, the performance of the works of mercy, and the appropriate relaxation of mind and body.123 Family needs or important social service can legitimately excuse from the obligation of Sunday rest. The faithful should see to it that legitimate excuses do not lead to habits prejudicial to religion, family life, and health.

The charity of truth seeks holy leisure- the necessity of charity accepts just work.124"

Iron Donkeys link to the catechism is useful.

If I were to try to summarise this point I would say that a Catholic is not bound by the old cannon law to abstain from all servile work on the Lords Day and similarly the anticipatory mass on Saturday is no longer restricted to those like Hospital workers who have a greater obligation to work on Sundays.

The Sunday rest is not like the Sabbath rest observed by Orthodox Jews where even switching on or off a light is forbidden.

rather the advice is that you should make Sunday a priority for rest family and the Lord. If working on a Sunday is optional it should be avoided. If your job or livelihood depend on it then that’s another matter. If other people’s or even animals wellbeing depend on you working then your work may be the greater obligation (e.g. farm or zoo animals need care. Hospitals and care homes need staff for all the patients. Even the entertainment and hospitaluty industries need staff to aid the rest and relaxation of others In the modern world.)

But if you have a free choice you should rest from work.

Thank you all for your help, I guess to be honest I’m still having a little trouble with the phrase: “work or activities that hinder the worship owed to God, the joy proper to the Lord’s Day, the performance of the works of mercy, and the appropriate relaxation of mind and body”

Cause part of me thinks I can still worship God and be joyful at work, but my scrupulous side doesn’t see working at an amusement park as fulfilling all those,

is that phrase basically saying as long as you go to Mass and pray, and honor the fact that it’s Sunday even if you go to work you’re good?

sorry if I’m being too legalistic :confused:

the phrase you are quoting is very broad based and will mean different things to different people at different times. A student like yourself needs a summer job to help pay for expenses and what is available is something like what you have is very typical and to try and extrapolate the above quote to mean don’t work and can’t is unrealistic. Stop worrying about this, work hard and in doing that you will honor God. But fretting about a rather vague and somewhat undefined quote is not honoring God or trusting in him. If you were to take your idea about working in a park or restaurant etc on Sunday, then to not be hypocritical, you should on Sunday never go see a movie, or eat out or go to a park or watch sports or go shopping because in doing any of the above, you are causing someone else to work on Sunday. That is what amazes me when people get stuck on this. They claim they shouldn’t work yet have no problem doing things on Sunday that cause others to work. Unless you want to end up isolated at home with nothing to do, then drop this idea and be grateful you do have a job in the first place.

For your purposes, I would say yes to the above.

For another point of view, let’s look at like this. Let’s say you are a student or a lawyer and need to study/work at home over the weekend. On Saturday, you relax and take part in relaxation. Then, on Sunday, you spend the whole time working, not going to Church, not spending time with family, not relaxing your soul, etc. That’s where the sin comes in, because you had a choice and choose relaxing on Saturday and leaving all your work for Sunday.

Does this help?

BTW - working at an amusement park, I would speculate that you might have time to make either an early morning Mass or an evening Mass. If you can check Masstimes.org to search for Catholic Churches near the park and/or your home to find out your options.

God Bless

Trust in Him, not in your scrupulosity.

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