Question about sports on Sunday

I have recently re-connected to the Catholic Church after being away for a long time. I enjoy playing flag football in a league that plays mostly on Sunday afternoons and evenings. I am wondering what my Christian brothers and sisters think of this. Is it something I should stop doing or find a different league that plays on other days? I do enjoy it quite a bit. The nearest league I can find that plays on Saturdays is even further away and I’ve made some very good friends. However, I do want to make sure I am doing the right thing.

Thanks and God bless you all.

Sports are not servile work, as long as you still are able to go to mass the same day you are fine to keep playing.

It is really only working for a wage or taking part in commercial activity that is forbidden, and even those can be dispensed with if a greater evil would arise from not doing them.

The Church at one time in the UK even arranged sporting events between Catholics on a Sunday after morning mass.

As long as it’s not preventing you from meeting your obligation to attend Mass on Sunday, then enjoy! :thumbsup:

Playing sports is recreational. That’s a perfectly acceptable Sunday activity.

Thanks for the simple explanations. I feel a little “duh”. You did mention servile work. Now this past Sunday, a database server broke down and I was asked to get it fixed – they needed the data because of end-of-month reporting and processing. I helped them out. Normally I’d think that was ok to do since it was my job. Any thoughts on that? I do get paid overtime for doing that sort of thing.

That would depend on whether you had the option to refuse without there been bad consequences, and if not just how bad those consequences would be. If you had the option to refuse or delay it till Monday and just did it for the money or to give them an extra day then you shouldn’t have. If you would have got fired on the other hand, or its already part of the agreement you have with them that’s different.

Anything else and it gets complicated, the Church doesn’t expect you to quit your job over it but it does expect you to avoid working on Sundays if at all possible.

Best to discuss it with your priest, but maybe try and make an agreement with whoever you work for that you wont be on call on Sundays any more in future, or if your self employed make it clear to your customers.

It would probably be a greater evil for you to lose your job especially if you have dependents.

That’s different than being a shop owner and deciding to open on Sundays to make extra profit.

Of course if you told me it was a database server for a hospital medical records system and they needed it fixed in order to be able to continue treating patients in the ER, and on the wards, then you’d even be justified missing Mass to fix it.

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