Is it true the church changed the Sabbath?


The Sabbath, the day of rest in order to bring our attention to the Lord, was instituted on last day of the week because that was the day in which God finished the work of his creation.

But, in the new covenant, the work of new creation was completed on the first day of the week in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the firstborn of all creation. So it is now more fitting to observe Sabbath on Sunday.

Christi pax.


Hi Titivillus,
If it were truly sunset Saturday to sunset Sunday, then a 10pm Mass on Sunday evening wouldn’t fulfill our Sunday obligation. But it does – so what you are saying is flat-out untrue. (Unless you have a source? …)

FYI, if you’re ever near a college town they tend to have these late-night Masses. I myself recall dragging my feet when I attended good ol’ U of Michigan.

Something that might help, from another thread on the forums:

Most of the Church’s liturgical days run concurrently with the calendar day, i.e. midnight to midnight. There a three exceptions:

Sundays - includes the whole calendar Sunday and the previous calendar Saturday evening;

Solemnities - includes the whole calendar day on which the solemnity falls and the previous calendar day’s evening; and

Feasts of the Lord in the General Roman Calendar that fall on Sundays in Christmas or Ordinary Time - includes the whole calendar Sunday and the previous calendar Saturday evening.

Therefore, calendar Saturday evenings are liturgically part of Sunday and if Mass is celebrated on Saturday evening it is the Sunday Mass and it fulfils the obligation.

Any Mass celebrated at any time on the calendar Sunday is the Sunday Mass and it fulfils the obligation.

Further comments on this can be found at:


You misunderstand me. I do not object to the midnight :clock12: part ending the day – I object to the sunset :city_sunset: part beginning the day.

If, as you said

Then when we consult Canon Law, specifically Canon 1248.1, we note that the obligation to assist at Mass may be satisfied “either on the feast day itself or in the evening of the preceding day”. According to you, there is no evening of Saturday, so the evening of the preceding day can only be Friday evening, no? Which, we may agree, is plainly not the practice.


If you doubt my credentials as a Canon Lawyer, please consult my biography, where you will note that I Am Not A Canon Lawyer
Now that I have included that disclaimer there, hopefully I can be excused from including it on seemingly every other post in these new fora.


First, sunset doesn’t literally mean sunset, but that’s the common term based on old Judaic custom regarding the Sabbath. Obviously the true sunset time changes from day to day. In most dioceses of the USA, the time decreed as the start of the Sunday celebrations is 4pm. Otherwise we’d have chaos (though the Farmer’s Almanac would sell a lot more copies). Sorry for any confusion; I was using the term sunset because it was used in a previous post.

As for your second comment referring to Canon Law, I suspect you’re trying to play word games with me. (Do you REALLY think I meant that Sunday Mass can be fulfilled on a Friday evening?)

When I said that Sunday Mass may be fulfilled from sunset (after 4pm of course) of the previous day, I was obviously counting Saturday’s sunset as that previous day (calendar day). So my comment was echoing Canon Law perfectly: The Lord’s Day begins at sunset (4pm Saturday) to midnight of the following day (the following literal day, which of course is Sunday). Now, you knew that all along, right? So I can’t fathom why you jumped in with the post "Oh no it’s not."
Peace, out.


Is it true that the church changed the Sabbath day?


Why did they do it?

Because Jesus Christ is Lord of the Sabbath and Jesus Christ rose on the 1st day of the Week, being Sunday.

Matthew 12:7 If you knew what this meant, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned these innocent men. 8 For the Son of Man is Lord of the sabbath.”

In the New Testament Jesus went to the Synagogue because it was “his custom” (Luke 4:16). Doesn’t that mean the Sabbath wasn’t supposed to be changed?


Also, did they have a right to Change it?

Yes. The Church acts with the authority of Jesus Christ:

Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.


Of course I do not think that is what you meant. But that is what you and others are saying when you claim that Sunday is a super-extended day beginning with the previous sunset.

If Sunday begins at sunset (or “sunset”, if you will), then the preceding evening can only be Friday evening.
That is the way clocks and calendars work.

The celebration of solemn feast days may begin (and an obligation to assist at Mass may be fulfilled) with the preceding evening, but the day itself (solemn or not) still runs from midnight to midnight.


[quote=“ComplineSanFran, post:6, topic:449349, full:true”]Do you think keeping the Sabbath is part of the Mosaic Law that Christians no longer follow? It’s pretty high up there in the Ten Commandments. So perhaps we should call them the NINE Commandments then.

Yes, and we ARE called to keep the Sabbath Holy, just as we are called to keep every other day of the week holy.

What the Church removed the any obligation to follow Judaic customs, as any prohibition on cooking, using transportation other than walking, or say, picking kernels of wheat on the Sabbath. (Luke 6:1-14)


When we think of the Sabbath being on the 7th day how do we know with certainty that Sunday is the first day of the week so that Saturday becomes the 7th day so becomes the Sabbath? In Gen. it does not say what the first was; that is a Sunday nor did it say when the Sabbath was to be on a Saturday. It seems to me it was only after the Jews returned from their exile that they decided by the use of a calendar their had learned while in exile what day the sabbath would be. If I remember correctly from a historical point of view the Jewish people used a lunar calendar and not a solar calendar. According to Gen what was the purpose of the Sabbath? Was it not for man to rest from his labors and give time to God and his fellow man?

So far as I know and understand, the catholic Church never changed the Sabbath day. The Apostles while they did go to the Temple on the Sabbath because they were Jews after all, they worshiped Christ on Sunday because that was the day Christ rose from the dead. it was several years later that the Jews bared early Christians and the Apostles from going to the Temple and Synagogue’s. We as Christians following the teachings of Jesus the Christ are not bound by the old Covenant (OT but but the New Covenant (NT) as Christ proclaimed at the Lat Supper.


The problem here is Jesus rose on Tuesday (the third day).


Recall that in Matthew 28 it clearly says that he rose on the first day:

28:1. And in the end of the sabbath, when it began to dawn towards the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalen and the other Mary, to see the sepulchre.

28:2. And behold there was a great earthquake. For an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and coming rolled back the stone and sat upon it.

28:3. And his countenance was as lightning and his raiment as snow.

28:4. And for fear of him, the guards were struck with terror and became as dead men.

28:5. And the angel answering, said to the women: Fear not you: for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified.

28:6. He is not here. For he is risen, as he said. Come, and see the place where the Lord was laid.


The eight day is very significant
The Transfiguation which is a foreshawodowing go the resurrection takes place on the eight day.
The third day is also used continually
Jesus found in the Temple
The wedding feasts Cana
Sunday is the Lords day
The resurrection , the Road to Emmaus ,Jesus appears in the Upper room, then a week later appears to Thomas .
The New Testament is full of Loards day being the time we gathered to break break
Yes Jesus who is the Lord of the Sabbath changed the day for us


For Friday to be the “preparation day” Passover would have to be either Saturday or Sunday.
We can rule out Saturday because it was a High Sabbath indicating Passover was Sunday.
The women gathered and prepared the herbs and spices prior to going to the tomb. This was done in the daylight and could not have been done on the Sabbath. This leaves Sunday. That evening started the first day of unleven bread which is an annual Sabbath.
So we have the following:
Friday, The preparation day, Jesus died and is buried ( At sunset)
Saturday the weekly Sabbath
Sunday the Passover, the women make their preparations
Monday; the first day of unleven bread an annual Sabbath.
Tuesday the resurrection.
Thus you have Jesus fulfilling the 3 days and 3 nights and rising on the third day.


I’m confused, then why does it say in Matthew 28:1 " And in the end of the sabbath, when it began to dawn towards the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalen and the other Mary, to see the sepulchre."

Are you trying to tell me the Gospel got the date wrong about when Jesus resurrected because after that it says in 28:5-6: “5 And the angel answering, and said to the women: fear not you: for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here, for he is risen as he said. Come, and see the place where the Lord was laid.”


I believe the literal translation would be " the first (day) after the Sabbath". I will double check over the weekend and get back to you Monday.
I would recommend you look at Mark16:1 & Luke 23:56. In Luke the women buy spices and ointment the day after the Sabbath. In Luke they prepared the spices and ointment then rested on the Sabbath. Could they prepared something before buying it? Or are we looking at two Sabbaths?
Another question; where would you place the first day of the week of unleven bread in your Sunday resurrection story.


Calendar Sunday begins at midnight when Calendar Saturday ends.
Catholic Liturgical Sunday begins at sunset (or 4 pm) on “the previous day”–meaning the day previous to Sunday. Which is Saturday.


According to Luke’s Gospel the third day is the first day of the week.

Luke 24:1, 2, 6, 7, 13, 19-21
“1. But at daybreak on the first day of the week they took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb.
2. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb …
6. He is not here, but he has been raised. Remember what he said …
7. that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners and be crucified, and rise on the third day.” …
13. Now that very day two of them were going to a village seven miles from Jerusalem called Emmaus …
19 … Jesus the Nazarene …
20. how our chief priests and rulers both handed him over to a sentence of death and crucified him.
21. But we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel; and besides all this, it is now the third day since this took place.”


Time was usually measured by one of three units. The Jews measured by

  1. Days, or Day - Night cycles, or by
  2. Months or Moon cycles, or
  3. Yearly, or seasonal cycles.
    The phrase “three days and three nights” is another way of saying three days. …

When days were counted even a portion of a day was counted as one.
Read a full proof of this at

God bless,


In post#35 I asked 3 questions. If you would respond to them I will respond to your’s.


Does it matter?
Jews take the sabbath on a Saturday.
Christians take the sabbath on a Sunday.
Paul Merton once said that the history of the world started on a Wednesday, putting the sabbath on a Tuesday.
So long as you take at least one day of the week as a sabbath, it shouldn’t matter.


The use of “night” in contrast to “day” gives us two intervals.
The day; from sunrise to sunset.
The night from sunset to sunrise.
Assuming the stone was in place prior to sunset Friday we have:
Daytime Friday is day #1
Sunset Friday to sunrise Saturday is night #1
Sunrise Saturday to sunset Saturday is day#2
Sunset Saturday to sunrise Sunday is night#2
Sunrise Sunday to sunset Sunday is day#3
After sunset Sunday is the start of night #3 (Monday).
If we start the clock when the tomb is sealed, after sunset, then we have:
Sunset Friday to sunrise Saturday is night#1
Sunrise Saturday to sunset Saturday is day#1
Sunset Saturday to sunrise Sunday is night#2
Sunrise Sunday to sunset Sunday is day #2
Sunset Sunday to sunrise Monday is night#3
Sunrise Monday to sunset Monday is day#3
The seal is broken, the stone is rolled away and Jesus rises on Tuesday; the third day ( of the week); the first after the Sabbath (the first day of the week of unleven bread, an annual Sabbath).


This web site is accurate in how the 3 days and 3 nights were used. It is an idiom not meant to be taken literally. Three Days and Three Nights

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