Is it okay to eat out on Sunday?

Why do think you can’t?:confused:

Her concern, which has been addressed, was with the fact that because some are going out to eat on the Lord’s Day, others are required to work on the Lord’s Day.

What would everyone do after Mass on any given Sunday if all the restaurants were closed? :stuck_out_tongue:

Well, I dont think those sunday are that important for economy…If you let your doors open for sale from 9 to 6, the people will buy - If you open the store 24/7 the customers will come , too, just because they have the opportunity. They won´t spend more money after all, it is just seen as normal nowdays that you can get everything right in the moent you want it. Most people who have to work on sunday have another free day in the week- so the result is that as a family it will be almost impossible to find a day when all have some free time…

I’m going to disagree with the majority of people here.

I say it is not okay to eat out on Sunday because it is supposed to be a day of rest for everyone. The whole idea that is is okay because there are people who need to work on Sunday because they need to pay their rent (or so forth) only furthers the idea that Sunday is not a special day set aside by the Lord.

The more people who ‘ok’ this, the more people WILL have to work on Sunday. Also, those Christians who say there is nothing wrong to eat out or shop on Sunday are like those Christinas who say pornography is bad but will go ahead and watch some very risque show on HBO or some other movie with explicit sex scenes in them. To them they think “its on tv, so it should be ok”, when instead they should be asking themselves “Would Jesus Christ ok this? Would He be sitting beside me watching this also and thinking its fine and dandy?” Sadly I had a family member who is supposedly Catholic say to me that she thought Jesus and Mary would both get a kick out of “Desperate Housewives”. Really? REALLY? We must not know the same Christ then. Do you think Jesus laughs at risqué sex jokes? At scenes of adultery? IS that really funny in real life? The same Person Who said “Any man who looks at a woman with lust has already committed ADULTRY in his heart” would think that is ok? And yet adultery is pretty much the theme of the show? No way. That’s not faith, that is idolatry. You’ve made up your own “jesus” then.

While it is right NOT to judge a Christian who has to work on Sunday, it would be a Christian thing to reserve eating out for the other days of the week. It seems very hypocritical to me for a Christian to eat out or shop on Sunday. If you want to have the food for Sunday… do take out for Saturday and put it in the refrigerator until the next day. When you eat out on Sunday you are really telling God and society that its ok for you do rest on that day and that you have the right to take advantage of their loss and ignorance since they do not belong to the faith. Only doctors, priests, nurses, police and other duties that are necessary for society should be working on Sunday.

Just because 90% of the church may do a thing, it DOES NOT mean it is ok with God. God’s law never changes, and Jesus Christ FULFILLED that law, not abolished it. Read God’s Word.

I understand what you are saying.
I liked working Sundays because in my circumstance, it gave people a place to go, who would otherwise have no one to see, very lonely people. I felt I was working for Him on Sundays. Sundays are a family day, too; I became their family because they otherwise had no one. It made their life a bit more bearable.
And people will work on Sunday regardless, for many reasons including mine.
The Lord’s Day is about resting and giving thought to Him, which I do in many ways, including through friends. At a good restaurant. Which might be open for lonely people, too…

So the Catechism of the Catholic Church is in error then?


1 Like

I think THIS kind of work is great, and full of christian love. I have a lot of respect for people who work to give people in a worse situation a place to feel good and beloved…For this people sunday can be the worst day of the week, when all the others spend their time with fiends and family and they don t have anyone carinf for them. But this is not the ordinary sunday work most people have to do…most people- let us forget all the doctors, farmers, policemn for a while- are working in sales/ trading business, in restaurants, in general in “service business”. This has nothing to do with making people happy, just with making money as always. I don t think that this is a good work for a sunday…

This is not my word, but word from a Catholic book “My Catholic Faith” page 204-204, regarding the 3rd law of the 10 Commandments that we are to keep the Sabbath 'HOLY", that means, set apart from other days. Here are just some excerpts that I found that might pertain to the OP’s question.

…""The trial of lawsuits and public buying and selling are also forbidden. Catholics should make provision on Saturday for their food and other necessities of Sunday , so that no store may be forced to keep open. "…

… " 3. Some people seem to take advantage of Sunday to indulge more freely in useless or sinful pastimes. It is a scandal to see people engaged in excessive eating, drinking, dancing, and vanity on Sunday, of all days. It is an abuse of a sacred institution: the Lord’s Day. “The Kingdom of God does not consist in food and drink” (Rom. 14:17).

To many the Lord’s day and holy days are nothing more than days of enjoyment. What was intended as an accompaniment becomes the main theme. Not infrequently Sunday is taken as a favorite day for gambling, drinking and other vices. Then indeed is God’s day desecrated, and God robbed of the honor due to Him.

  1. When Sunday is desecrated by vice and unrestrained pleasure, we can expect by this loosening of morals the gradual dissolution of family ties and the final disintegration of society.
    Neglecting common worship, members of the family become indifferent to each other. Children turn stubborn and disobedient . The father hardly stays home, and now strangers better than his own children. Since the children lose respect for their parents, it is an easy step to loose respect for all authority, including the secular power. Thus by forgetting God’s day, men live like heathen and will die outside God’s grace. "…

The main concern I have is that doing this on Sunday gives scandal- even though most don’t even consider it ‘scandal’ now, it still is not advocating the correct mode of Faith from what I know. Its the same how hardly anyone in society bats and eye at premarital sex, but ignoring the fact that hardly any one considered it scandalous does not mean that we should not think anything of its occurrence anymore. It is still sinful if everyone does it.

Give your quotes… Let’s see them. I’d be happy to be educated.

Post #11 and #12 on the previous page.

I truly understand your way of thinking. Yet the same question can equally be applied to eating at home. Momma is gonna have to cook and serve dinner. We could declare Sunday a strict fast but we haven’t. So someone has to cook and serve and clean up.

Though in the end I defer to the Church and its wisdom and leave my protestant “but I think it should be this way” on the other side of the easter vigil.

So now answer my question AnneEliizabeth - are you saying that the Catechism of the Catholic Church is wrong?


Thanks… I missed that, however, I still don’t see how 2187 would mean its ‘ok’ or I don’t get the feeling : ‘sure, go ahead and do it without scruples’. How is it a good example of a mindful Christian fulfilling his or her duty of the 3rd commandment? How is it making it a holy day, set apart? How is it setting a good example, and not causing scandal. I’m scandalized by the laxity of the suggestion its ok. I guess I don’t count?

Speaking of Catechism… to quote more…

2195 of the second edition of the Catechism of the Catholic Church states:

“Every Christian should avoid making unnecessary demands on others that would hinder them from observing the Lord’s Day.”

That to me means, don’t eat out at restaurants on Sundays. :confused:

Perhaps the word "others" means only other Catholics/Christians?   Or does it mean everyone?   I"m assuming since God wants everyone in heaven, the word 'others' here really means everyone.

If I’m a customer, I am making someone else work to serve me… Well, first they are serving their boss, but their boss is serving me by sending their servants to serve me.

I believe that 2187 is speaking about those who* work** on Sundays*… should make sure they get adequate time for rest. Meaning, don’t work the whole day. I don’t know if I quoted the part from the book “My Catholic Faith” but it said that if people have to do servile work on Sunday it shouldn’t be for more than two hours. I would suspect that is what 2187 is talking about.

No I’m suggesting that you are mistaken in what it says and have interpreted it wrong.

Also, it would be wise to read and quote the whole section of the Catechism about the Sabbath. I don’t think the whole thing was quoted here.

I've got my book (second edition JPII Catechism of the C.C) in front of me.  Do you have yours?  Did we just read the same thing?  Because I don't see it as saying its ok.

Catechism of the Catholic Church:

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.
by the way “violence” means violation- of the law… the law of the Lord. *

Key word here is also ‘unnecessary’.

How is it unnecessary demand by me as a customer going into a restaurant? I’m not forcing them to work 24hrs. If that is happening then it is their employer who is doing that.

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.

This is on the onus on the person who has to work on the Sunday, not on the person shopping from them.

With temperance and charity the faithful will see to it that they avoid the excesses and violence sometimes associated with popular leisure activities.

So taking the family out for fried eggs and pancakes on a Sunday morning is “excessive” and “violent” - according to you??? :confused:

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.

This in no way implies that it is wrong for the faithful to go out to eat on a Sunday. No matter how you try to twist this.

You are trying to twist the Catechism to your own will - that is not spiritually healthy.


I do defer to the wisdom of the Catholic Church. I’ve quoted it here and have posted my concerns taking in consideration what it says.

The Catechism states that there are such things as necessary service. Momma cooking dinner for an hour or two goes under that category. No one would be scandalized by that. It also state that if people are going to do servile work that it shouldn’t be for too long, meaning, not the whole day and that most of the day goes to observing the Sabbath, setting it aside, making it holy and a day of rest.

But eating out on Sunday? Its not a cut and dry answer to 'is it okay" which is all of what I am hearing from posters here. and I want to say, it is not as cut and dry as that answer. The question a Catholic should ask themselves is “is this necessary” ?

Obviously, if you are away from home and driving home from visiting a sick relative in the hospital and you need to get home before Monday morning to go back to work, it would be necessary to eat out on a Sunday.

But if you are doing it just because you want to or feel like it, it seems to me that the catechism is clear that you shouldn’t just for the sake of keeping the Sabbath Holy and not putting people through the work when they too need rest. It also causes scandal, meaning you have no scruples about not observing the Law of the Lord and having others see you do it, thus giving bad example.

Also would like to explain that this does not mean people have the right to judge if they see someone working or eating in a restaurant on Sunday. It is only for the person making the decision to ponder: "Is this necessary? " and then make the choice that God would desire.

Post #12 has the link to the whole section.

I don’t see it saying its prohibited either. 2184 quotes that family, social and cultural activities may require some people to work on Sundays.

If it were according to me and me only, I would say no one has to listen to me. But I feel confident that I have explained here how it is not always ‘okay’ according to the Catechism.

According to it, there is a demand placed on the Catholic to make the judgement of it being 'necessary or not. You seem to ignore that part. Nothing said in the CC exclusively says flatly “its ok”. I am trying to point out to you and others that there is a demand placed on the Catholic to judge the situation. Just saying “its ok” states there is not and I am objecting saying that is not true if you read the Catechism on this topic.

In my eyes, I’m not the one twisting it. Just because something is popular habit or feels good and is a ‘nice’ and enjoyable thing to do does not mean it is good or right. How do you make the Sabbath set apart? I ask you in all seriousness.

Violence means to violate God’s law. It does not always mean fist to face fighting like it means in popular culture’s usage of the word. Excessive means goes over the top, or is not necessary to meet a demand. These are things -according the the CC- that the Catholic has to judge in their actions regarding this topic.

As far as the family taking their family out for pancakes on Sunday, that is their judgement alone.   They would have to decide according to the Catechism if it was really necessary to demand others to work for them.

And for the servant who decides to work all day Sunday, that is their prerogative, but for me: I am to set a good example as a Catholic. I don’t understand how that wouldn’t ‘read wrong’ to a non-catholic or non-christian if I mosey on in a restaurant asking others to serve me knowing that Catholics believe it should be a day of rest for everyone. Kind of hypocritical if you ask me and that would not shine the Glory of God to others. It would rather say, I don’t really give the 3rd Commandment of God a thought or have concern for the spiritual welfare of others.

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