Is it a sin to work on sundays?

Hi. Is it a sin to work at a fast food restaurant on Sundays?
I have recently got a job at hungry jacks and the manger wants me to work sundays.

No, it’s not a sin to work to support you and/or your family on Sundays. Perhaps you could attend Saturday evening Masses or Sunday evenings? If there’s no way you can get to Mass Sat. evening or Sunday evening either then you are not obligated. Still, when you can go, then go. :slight_smile:

Is it false then to believe it is necessary to receive a dispensation from a priest for not getting to mass on Sunday or Saturday evening?

I don’t honestly know the canon law on this sort of thing, but it seems to me that some here on CAF take this issue too lightly.

I can’t say for certain one way or another, but it does concern me.

Good day. The Sabbath is not just a special day where we must attend mass (except we’re sick or have a good excuse), it is a Holy Day and should be kept holy.
Remember God “rested” on the Sabbath day, so we should too. See Exodus 20:8-11 –
So yes, working there would be a sin. It would be dishonouring the Sabbath. Just tell your boss you can’t work Sundays.
I’m even a bit surprised that you were asked to work Sundays.
Pagans even rest on Sundays.
Furthermore, I’m afraid I don’t agree with the the first response to your post. There’s no such excuse about “trying to support one’s-self or one’s family”. If you’ve the worked the previous six days, then u should rest on the seventh. One shouldn’t try a make a little extra money.

Well, I do know that our Catholic Faith accepts the necessity of health care professionals, especially nurses, working on Sundays. I can only say for myself that it would make me extremely uncomfortable to miss mass voluntarily unless for some grave reason. And I was fairly certain the priest had to grant the person a dispensation or not to release them from their Sunday obligation.

cm00, peace be with you once again. :slight_smile:
I’ve thought it wise to split my responses.

[part 2]: Be rest assured I’m sure of myself with this Sabbath thing. My Rev Father spoke about the 10 commandments last two Sundays or so. And I’m pretty sure he said stuff like: “don’t open your shops/close your shops” and that we should abandon our normal (professional) work, to come to church and after, spend time with family.
Bottomline: we’ve got to keep the day holy.

***Canon 1247
On Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful are bound to participate in the Mass; they are also to abstain from those labors and business concerns which impede the worship to be rendered to God, the joy which is proper to the Lord’s Day, or the proper relaxation of mind and body.

Canon 1248

  1. The precept of participating in the Mass is satisfied by assistance at a Mass which is celebrated anywhere in a Catholic rite either on the holy day or on the evening of the preceding day.
  2. If because of lack of a sacred minister or for other grave cause participation in the celebration of the Eucharist is impossible, it is specially recommended that the faithful take part in the liturgy of the word if it is celebrated in the parish church or in another sacred place according to the prescriptions of the diocesan bishop, or engage in prayer for an appropriate amount of time personally or in a family or, as occasion offers, in groups of families.***

per EWTN:

Since a “grave cause” is needed to excuse one from this obligation it would be a serious or mortal sin to willfully skip Mass on Sunday or a Holy Day of Obligation, as the Church has always taught. Reasons such as the necessity to work to support one’s family, child care, personal sickness or the care of the sick, necessary travel etc. would excuse a person on a particular occasions. Those who have continuing reason to be excused should consult their pastor.

It is better to not work on Sundays, but it is not sinful to do so if it is necessary. The Church understands that we have to support ourselves and our family:

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.

Essentially, we can work on Sundays if it is necessary, but we should avoid it if we can, and we should make sure it doesn’t lead to ignoring God.

:slight_smile: Okay. Thanks for your input, brother.
And yes, I think doctors & co. are a bit exempted, sort of.

Okay. I understand better now, thanks. I was drawn to this too: “The faithful should see to it that legitimate excuses do not lead to habits prejudicial to religion, family life, and health.”

I agree with Della, but is it possible you could work out a compromise with your employer that you work every other Sunday?


The same thing caught my eye too. It always concerns me when I see people casually throw out that working on Sunday isn’t a big deal as long as you make it to Mass. We are supposed to abstain from servile labor, not just go to worship services. Our default should not be that working Sundays is no big deal.

If your livelihood depends on it and not working would cause you to lose your job then I can see the reason for working. There I see it as your boss coercing you to work against your will in a way. On the otherhand if we are talking about a teenager or someone else who is working just to get spending money, then I don’t think it’s justified. My oldest daughter marked Sundays as unavailable when she applied for a fast food restaurant. The couple times they asked if she would cover a Sunday shift she simply told them that her application clearly stated she was unavailable on Sundays and they dropped it and found someone else to work.

It’s a sin to ignore God.
On any day.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit