I am catholic and I had heard at one time that you should not have sex on Sundays, because it was a holy day is this true?
What better way to be Holy than having Holy sex?
Why do you think that the Church really would have said that one day a week you cannot have sex? Where did you hear this from?
I don’t know where I heard it from it has just been on my mind and wanted to get clarity
This restriction can be found in the Summa Theologica (see here):
Just as certain places are holy because they are devoted to holy things, so are certain times holy for the same reason. But it is not lawful to demand the debt in a holy place. Therefore neither is it lawful at a holy time.
Well in that case. No it is not wrong. My wife and I do it often…
Why would you think it was wrong? Are you thinking logically about this?
Though that is not church teaching. It is correct that if sex were to say, keep you from prayer or mass then one would not engage in it…:shrug:
Would the Summa also then forbid watching football on Sundays?
Okay, let’s not just guess on this, folks.
In the early Church, and in many times and places since then, it was often the case that days of abstinence and fasting were also supposed to be days of abstinence from sex; or that people had that option, especially if they were planning to do something like stay up all night doing a prayer vigil. Paul talks about couples fasting from sex for the sake of prayer. Christian fasting from sex came from similar Jewish customs and laws; we didn’t make it up.
Fasting rules differed in different times and places. Pastors and bishops could soften some fasting rules for individual health and spiritual welfare, and they could do the same thing with the other kind of fasting. There is some discussion in period sources of couples who defiantly didn’t keep the fast on purpose, just as there is discussion of people who would eat steak on Friday if they had to eat fish all week just to do it.
Some people at some times felt that you should “rest” from sex on the Lord’s Day, Sunday, in order to do more prayer. Others were more concerned that you should fast from sex at the same time you fasted before Mass, which was from midnight until the end of Mass. The other common fasting days of early and/or medieval Christians were Friday (of course!) Saturday (as preparation day for Sunday), and Wednesday. In the days when all of Lent and Advent and Ember Days were fasting times, that sometimes applied to sex too.
If you kept all the fasting and abstinence days plus Sunday as fasts from sex, it seems to have made the other days of the week pretty active and fun for Christian couples. Some medievalist scholars have believed it worked as a sort of rough NFP as well.
Today, Latin Rite Catholics are not bound to sexual fasting and haven’t been for several centuries, although voluntary fasting did still happen until recently as a devotional tool, and may still be done by some. I believe this form of fasting is still followed formally in some Eastern Catholic rites, particularly by married priests and deacons.
So now you know.
where is the world did you “hear” that from? Do you always believe everything you hear?
I think what you have heard might be to do with some of the church rules in medieval times. I’m not sure when they were invented or when they were forgotten:
Much of the church’s efforts were put toward controlling what was going on sexually in a marriage, especially regarding when a married couple could have sex. Sex was not allowed during pregnancy or menstruation, after a child birth, on Sunday, Wednesday, Friday, or Saturday, during each of the three Lents, feast days, quarterly ember days, or before communion. (Also, upon marrying, a couple could not enter a church for thirty days and a woman had to be ‘churched’ after childbirth.)
Quite how they ‘policed’ these rules is another matter! I guess they relied on people’s consciences to confess - quite some control to have over people!
thank you mintaka,
I guess if you consider sex as work…I’ve just never viewed it as a chore!
The rule is that one cannot ask for a debt in a holy place or at a holy time. The marital act is often known as a debt, and thus cannot be asked for at a holy time. One can though offer the payment of a debt at a holy time, so it is technically possible to fulfil the marital act on Sunday but only if it is offered rather than asked. I believe St. Thomas Aquinas writes about it, you will find more there.
It is also practice to not have marital relations on days of abstinence.
I’m certainly glad I didn’t live in medieval times!
That is a good post.
What were the Church’s rules on this in medieval times? Can you cite them? Or do we just pick on them because of the reputation they have…?
LOL says the guy with the St. Francis Quote as a sig!
Probably bad of me, but when I read the title, the following popped into my mind:
For those of us old enough to remember, a fun bit of nostalgia. For those not old enough…darn kids, get off my lawn.
Wasn’t the movie “Never on Sundays” based on this old legacy?
I remember hearing that among the Jewish Orthodox, the sabbath is regarded as a particularly good time for marital intimacy. (And a good thing, too, with all the prohibitions on stuff like using electricity, driving, etc on the sabbath.)
This was very interesting. Thank you.