Keeping the Sabbath

I’m learning that one of the benefits of joining a “traditional parish” several months ago, is being able to add to my list of friends, families who not only attend the TLM, but live what I would call a “traditional catholic” life.

For instance; during a visit to one of our parishoners homes last Sunday afternoon, where several families had gathered, I commented that I had to leave early in order get home in time to mow.
I was a little surprised when a few looked at me funny, and one said with a smile;
“Ooo,…you wouldn’t have wanted to say that in front of Father so-n-so.”


He explained;
“It’s Sunday,……the Sabbath.”

What followed was a wonderful light discussion of what might and might not be acceptable activities on Sunday.

While I for one have always agreed that it was not right to work for a wage on Sunday,…mowing the lawn, going shopping, washing the car, and doing laundry was ok.

Well, during this discussion I found that most of my new “traditional” friends refrained from doing anything of the like. Some went so far as to get all the cooking done on Saturday and only “ate” on Sunday. A lot of opinions were shared, some I had not thought of,…for instance; although a few of the men enjoyed washing the car and found it relaxing, they even tried to refrain from that,……most of the time.

It was a most enlightening visit.

Well,…I went home and told my wife about the great time I had and some of the things we had talked about,…and then lit up a cigar and went out to mow.
(a four hour job at my house on a riding lawnmower!)

While mowing I got to thinking about how nice it just might be,… to re-arrange my week so that I didn’t have to do anything on Sunday.

When I got finished, I went back in the house and told my wife what I’d been thinking and asked her if she would mind if I tried it. She said; “Of course not, I remember when we were little, Mamaw and Papaw observed the Sabbath that way, when we went to their house on Sunday, we just ate and visited the whole day. I think it’d be a great idea.”

So this week, I did just that, I got all my chores done Thursday and Friday, and have nothing to do today.
After Mass this morning I plan on coming home to spend the rest of the day reading and relaxing.

Out of curiosity, I was wondering how most of you spend your Sundays.

Driving to Hockey practice! :smiley:

We try to do family things on Sunday (I work Saturdays) and a few things around the house.

Sometimes, though, a fixer-upper project needs to be done on Sunday, and that’s when we do it. Today, I’m felling a dead tree and cutting it up; can’t do it on the weekday, and we’ll get the whole family involved stacking wood.

Although some would consider this “work”, it’s something we enjoy doing together, and my parents will come over to see the tree come down (hopefully where I aim it :wink: )

During the school year, I’ll spend a good part of the afternoon studying (next term…Synoptics).

I must admit I used to spread out leisure and work (e.g. chores, shopping, etc.) across both Saturday and Sunday. However, after listening to an excellent sermon “Keeping Sunday Holy” (FSSP, St Philippine Duchesne), I now try and do all the “work” on Saturday and to do spiritual/leisure things on Sunday.

Of course that doesn’t preclude doing things out of charity. The Sermon really explains it well. :thumbsup:

It comes down to time management and a priority given to God on Sunday. Most things could be taken care of on other days if we had foresight.

I didn’t study on Sundays all throughout dental school (even if there was a test on Monday). I’d get it done Friday and Saturday, and then I’d coast on Sunday.

I attribute my graduating Magna Cum Laude from the top dental school in the country as solely an act of God’s grace - not my abilities. He will not be undone in generosity, and the time, prayer, and attention you give Him on His day will come back to bless you tenfold.

I have issues with Calling Sunday the Sabbath, which has particular Jewish meaning…I prefer to call it the Lord’s day…and I do agree that we need to, as much as possible, observe Sunday as a day of rest and relaxation free from menial labor, I’d hate to see people get legalistic about it.

I agree it has a particular meaning for Jews, but equally it comes from the Hebrew shabbāth, rest. I think we’re saying the same thing, realistically. Though I will admit I have been taught to view it as sinful if I deliberately do worldly and servile tasks on a Sunday.

I was thinking along similar lines this weeks! My mother has been saying for years that it’s sad that our society has gotten so “driven” that we can’t take one day for God, self, and family anymore. Here in Texas in the 70s and 80s all the stores were closed on Sundays by law. All you could buy was milk, bread, and gasoline. We complained about it then, but now I think it might not have been such a bad idea.

Now that I run my own service business, I find myself working at all times of the night and day. I used to schedule meetings with Muslim and Jewish clients on Sundays. Then I realized…they are trying to be true to their own Sabbath, why should I not do the same?

So I’m trying to turn over a new leaf. I still do housework on Sundays but I find that relaxing in that it makes the rest of my week less stressful. I consider it “necessary” I suppose. But no more meetings on Sunday for sure, and I’m trying to schedule my home office work so I can take all of Sunday off.

God is smart…he not only wants us to praise Him on Sunday, he knows we need someone to say “hey, take a day off and put your feet up already, you crazy workaholic!”. :smiley:

I try to get everything done so that my husband isn’t doing necessary home repair work on Sunday. We go to Mass and then we usually do something with the family. Last week was an amusement park and today we are just loafing.

I quit my job a few weeks ago because they could not undersend that I was obligated to go to Mass every Sunday. So far so good. God will provide.

markadm, I’m going to listen to that sermon in just a few minutes, I look forward to it.
Thanks for the link.

What a great post Windmill, if you were in my area, I’d start coming to you as a patient.:slight_smile:

I’m old enough to remember the days when almost everything was closed on Sunday with the exception of the Bakery!
Those were the days!

I have to admit I used the word Sabbath without thinking about it. Perhaps “Lord’s Day” would have been more appropriate.

The more I think about this new change in my life, the better I feel about it,…kinda like what happened after I read in my new 1962 Missal where it recommended that Friday still be observed as a day of abstinence and started eating fish instead of steak.:smiley:

Sabbath means rest, regardless of which day of the week it is.
Scripture says we are to work 6 days and rest on the 7th.
Our bodies need to rest.
I used to have a description of what is meant by the Jewish rest.
It is a time of quiet reflection, meditation, and reading.

There are times when I have worked because of necessity–my job required it.
Right now I am in the library. I read for pleasure or maybe work on a hobby. If I exercise, it will be a stroll or gentle yoga stretches. I might do something just for the fun of it, like Zumba.
When I say my rosary, it will be the 20 decades instead of 5. I do that on Saturdays as well.

Well personally last Sunday (yesterday) I went to a pet shop, went to Target, saw some new houses, visited my grandparents, and went to Kohl’s - then I went to Mass. I, honestly, don’t know how to view Sunday. I mean - while my mom is on vacation for a bit now she usually works on Saturday so it seems that Sunday is the only day we can do any shopping or anything. I also feel that there are things that I want to do. I’m not trying to be prideful, but I feel that attending Mass is pretty much observing the Lord’s day.


Thanks for the link…I really did enjoy it. Sundays (around Mass) are usually spent reading and watching the Bible-themed documentaries on the Discovery Channel. (They really have a great lineup on Sunday mornings.)

If we do errands, it’s in a leisurely pace. If we feel obligated, rushed, or hurried, we put it off. Of course, until my husband goes to his shift at the volunteer rescue squad at 6pm until 6pm Monday morning. That’s another reason I try to maintain a relaxed atmosphere: he may have a busy night!

What does it really mean to “Keep holy the Sabbath” nowadays?

It is kind of interesting note that in many European Cities, stores are closed on Sundays. Yet the common estimate seems to be that the Christian Faith in Europe is severely ignored. Yet in “Christian America” every store is wide open on Sunday. That was not so until after WWII when the Blue Laws started to disappear on the East and West Coasts and parts of the Midwest.

There was a time 30 years or so ago when my wife and I and the kids went to Mass, came home for breakfast and got to work. We always said that when we caught up that we would relax on Sunday. About the time the eldest was 14, it became apparent that “work” would never get done. There was always more to do. At that point we decided to make Sunday truly a day of rest. Today the kids still talk about how fun and relaxing Sunday became. :thumbsup:

You’re welcome. :slight_smile: I still think there has to be an essence of not doing the servile (i.e. not doing things that are run-of-the-mill and “usual”) and of doing things out of charity. For example, if I forget to do my ironing and do it on Sunday I feel bad, but if it ends up that Sunday is the only day I can get to mow the grass for my mother, then I feel the opposite. Does that make sense?

We have truly been losing our “sense of sin” in modern times, so I think this really does have to be evaluated without the politically correct laissez-faire attitude of our modern time.

Perfect sense to me.

Well, my first attempt at “keeping the Lord’s day” went fairly well, right up to the point when it dawned on me that fixing that sticking door-knob to the garage was one of the things I was probably not supposed to be doing,…(I already had it in about six pieces when the “dawning” came)

Old habits die hard, I suppose…:blush:
I’ll do better this week.

markadm, do you know a great big piper by the name of John Wilson, by any chance?:slight_smile:

I work all morning, RCIA, sometimes have breakfast with friends, sometimes just go home and take a nap. If there is no ballgame DD and I take a walk or drive. if he is watching football (during what has become an interminable season) I go birding in the evening, or swimming or just walking. I catch up on email and snail mail, read, call the kids, and keep up my mother’s tradition of no cooking. Eat sandwiches, cold salads, or lean cuisine. Yes I am guilty of shopping sometimes, at the bookstore, but browsing a bookstore, new or used, is a recreation for me.

I am a stickler on that whole ‘Sabbath’ thing - as the Sabbath is still Saturday, but we (Christians) have the Lord’s Day

I start with mass. Actually, I start with the Rosary before mass, then mass itself. Then I go to my parents’ house for breakfast.

I don’t work unless I have to, but I do like to go to the supermarket with my father. It’s very relaxing, and it is our time together, away from all other distractions (other than which is the better bargain) and talk with each other.

Some days, it takes 20 minutes, other days, several hours. But it’s OUR time

After the supermarket, it’s nap time for me. Then we play cards while we eat dinner.

I’m sure that I should learn to really relax, but I’ve found that when I try to ‘relax’, I’m more stressed out.

These little activities put me in the vicinity of my parents, we we chatter for hours on end.

I know that some day I won’t have them, and I’m going to miss this time!:frowning:

I don’t know. I know some pipers through work, but I don’t know any names. Why?

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