Is it lawful to go apple picking on a Holy day?

Is it lawful to go apple picking on a Holy day? Is it servile work?
Thank you for your replies.

If only Eve had asked that question, things might have turned out different :o

Jokes aside, a Holy Day is such that we are “to enjoy adequate rest and leisure to cultivate our familial, cultural, social, and religious lives” (CCC 2184) and therefore “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” (CCC 2185).

No activity, even servile work, is intrinsically wrong, as long as it is clear that it is a Holy Day and as such a day of rest.

I remember the story of a saint (a cloistered Carmelite, I think) who went on praying during the time of recreation, and her superior called her attention and told her under obedience to cease praying during time of recreation and enjoy the company of the sisters, as there is a time for work, a time for prayer, and a time for recreation. :thumbsup:

If you are apple picking as a form of labor, that is, you are being paid for it, or are doing it to pay for an obligation, then yes, it counts as servile work.

However, if you are picking for consumption, as recreation, or in other circumstances where it cannot be classified as “work,” (such as charity) you are fine.

Remember, however, that the third commandment is a positive, not a negative commandment. It says, “Keep the Lord’s Day holy,” not, “Thou shalt not miss Church, lift anything over a quarter your body weight, work for anyone, do anything you do not enjoy, or become tired.”

The goal is not to AVOID certain actions, but to ACTIVELY make the day Holy. I’m sure that you intuitively can know how to do that, so go ahead. Going to mass is a given, but you could also add in some bible reading during the day, or special talk/recreation time with family, or… you could go apple picking, if you think it edifies you and keeps the day holy.

Matthew 12:1 At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn and to eat.

Never, not once, as far back as the 1950’s, have I ever heard it preached that work was to be avoided on mid-week Holy Days. If this is what the CCC says, I would have thought that we would have heard that it was sinful for people to go to work on Aug 15 or Dec 8 or Nov. 1. Has anyone actually been taught this or heard it preached?

Mark 2: 23 And it happened that He was passing through the grainfields on the Sabbath, and His disciples began to make their way along while picking the heads of grain. 24 The Pharisees were saying to Him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?”…25 And He said to them, “Have you never read what David did when he was in need and he and his companions became hungry 26 how he entered the house of God in the time of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the consecrated bread, which is not lawful for anyone to eat except the priests, and he also gave it to those who were with him?” 27Jesus said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.…;…:thumbsup:

It’s very clearly stated in the Catechism.

CCC 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. 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.

In US university you have the right to skip class and take an exam on a later date if the exam falls on a religious Holy Day.

Fr. Z. was asked about this and said:

It seems to me that c. 1247 is pretty clear. People must fulfill their obligation. That may require them to set aside some other thing they want to do. They may have to make some sacrifice to fulfill their obligation.

The idea behind the canon is that people must have adequate relief from work and worldly obligations so that they can see to their spiritual obligations. This, historically, was also intended to defend the poor and workers from being set to work too much on Holy Days.

I think that once your obligation is fulfilled, it is possible to do some “work” activities, though for the sake of the day it is best, if possible, to avoid too much that would be “menial” work.

And what is “menial”?

It is hard for me to imagine that washing the dishes after a meal violates the spirit of the Holy Day. There are things that must be done no matter what the day. Dairy farmers still have to milk the cows everyday, whether it is a holy day or not. It is okay to take out the garbage.

And how many people out there simply must go to work just like it was any other day? Is this the reason why bishops decide to suspend the obligation on some Holy Days? Perhaps. I still think it is not unreasonable to ask Catholics to go to Mass more than once a week, even if that requires planning and some sacrifice.

Perhaps the best approach is to make sure, even if you have to work, go to school, etc., that in addition to fulfilling the Mass obligation, you try to make something about that day special, different from your regular routine.

Me either.

Everyone on this forum seems to have heard it preached.

How many people can afford to take a day off of work in mid-week?

I go to my office but don’t do any work. Does that count?

I’m having a hard time believing any of this.

best answer yet, imo.

We were taught (in pre-vatican II days) that a holy day during the week is to be treated the same as any Sunday.

However, everyone knew that people had to work because they were required to, and so it wasn’t a sin to work for that reason. But if you happen to have a day off that day, then it should be a day to relax as Sunday is.

I remember our catholic schools having freedays on holydays. But then as time went on, and the catholic schools were required to have school so many days in the year, these were dropped and we had to go to school. But just by the by, school isn’t considered work since it isn’t manual labor. I don’t know if that would apply also to office work.

It turned into an adventure.

The church bulletin said 7:30 Mass. We arrived and no one was there. A couple more cars pulled up. Someone went to the church doors. They were locked. Another man saw lightw in the parish office and went to inquire. He was told that there had only been a 5:30 in spite of what the bulletin said.

By now about ten people had gathered. There was another parish five minutes or so down the road, so we formed a convoy, lol, and drove there.

The road was cordoned off by a number of police cars. Traffic was at a crawl.

We, uhh, all made it in time for about half the homily. :blush:

Having to work is another story entirely.


Dear Friends,

 Do NOT pick the Apples.

  Buy them at the store, maybe. 


      Dorothy and Eve

Except that in the setting of Sunday work, the Church’s teaching seems to be that only essential service and public safety work is acceptable, so presumably the same holds for labor on a Holy Day. To be consistent, then, everyone else, from office workers, salespeople, department store clerks, laborers, mill workers, carpenters, and everyone else who isn’t a policeman, fireman, hospital worker, responsible for power or water plants, etc., shouldn’t be going to work on Holy Days of Oblogation. And again, if that has ever been taught, I have never heard it.

And yes, back in my day, we in parochial school got Holy Days off. My understanding is that now, at least around here, some of the remaining parochial schools stay open, because only that way can they ensure that the kids get to Mass. But that’s a separate issue - except that based on what some posters have said - and since moral theology holds that an evil cannot be done in order to accomplish a good - it would seem sinful for a Catholic school to be open on a Holy Day, making the teachers work, so that the kids can be brought to Mass. Except again, that’s not what’s being taught, by word or by example.

For everyone who keeps saying they never heard this taught, RC already provided the CCC quote in an earlier post:

CCC 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…

The Catechism has it covered. That’s why it’s important for a Catholic to read the CCC, right?

I’m a little more clear about “cherry picking”.

Pretty sure you can peel a banana for your cereal. Although I live in California - and come to think of it lately - the United States … so what is legal and not seems like the inverse of common sense these days. :shrug:

Painfully true. :smiley:

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