We are a young family and tying to serve the Lord as best we can. The question has come up whether certain activities are appropriate for Sundays (housework, yardwork, shopping, eating out, going to the movies, the zoo, etc.) I guess we don’t really have to do these things on Sundays, but it makes the rest of the week much easier and gives us something meaningful to do together as a family. Would these activities violate the command to rest on Sundays?
Here is the link to the Catechism of the Catholic Church on keeping the sabbath holy…
Our rule is that we do traditional family activites on Sundays but try to avoid chores. So we might go out to eat after Mass, but would avoid the grocery store. We’d go walk around the zoo, but wouldn’t do yardwork like weeding or mowing (we might do something like plant a tree which would be a fun family project).
Here’s the section of the CCC that we look to for guidance:
On Sundays and other holy days of obligation, the faithful are to refrain from engaging in work or activities that hinder the worship owed to God, the joy proper to the Lord’s Day, the performance of the works of mercy, and the appropriate relaxation of mind and body. Family needs or important social service can legitimately excuse from the obligation of Sunday rest. The faithful should see to it that legitimate excuses do not lead to habits prejudicial to religion, family life, and health.
The charity of truth seeks holy leisure; the necessity of charity accepts just work.
Those Christians who have leisure should be mindful of their brethren who have the same needs and the same rights, yet cannot rest from work because of poverty and misery. Sunday is traditionally consecrated by Christian piety to good works and humble service of the sick, the infirm, and the elderly. Christians will also sanctify Sunday by devoting time and care to their families and relatives, often difficult to do on other days of the week. Sunday is a time for reflection, silence, cultivation of the mind, and meditation which furthers the growth of the Christian interior life.
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.
I would love to keep Sunday a holy day however,working retail does not offer much in the way of choosing .
If you would be discharged from work from taking the day off, then it is excused by necessity. But, Then, your obligation is to find another time to observe in honor of God’s rest. The purpose of the sabbath and of Sunday is to free man from the servitude of money and the temptation to seek wealth or temporal things to the exclusion of the other purposes man was made for. Eg:worship, and friendship;
Eg: If you are married, you may need to set apart a few hours each week to nourish your relationship; be that watching a movie together, a date as a walk somewhere mutually pleasing, or writing love notes (men think it silly, but just remind them it wasn’t silly when the courting years were in force.) And there are charts of feelings, that one may share with their spouse – men being a little more stiff sometimes (well – let’s face it – often) are helped by charts describing the meaning of different feelings. I am not being silly – for my sister’s eldest son was having serious depression issues because his father has reversed oragans and is fragile – and Nathan fears that he will loose him every time my sister and him chafe (which my sister is expert at.). The doctor gave his prognosis – Nathan will be in the hospital soon if you two don’t do things to relieve his fears; then his prescription – you must go out on a date with Steve once a week – whether you want to or not.
It was not easy for her (she is the type A) – but the good which has come from it is the very purpose of the sabbath. Man is not a machine, nor a tyrant, nor a slave – nor does s/he control everthing.
I don’t know how the support which is mention in the CCC is supposed to come about, but it requires a supportive community of Catholics or at least Christians that can aid those in difficult straits to have some time to relax; but I do know that those who have the liesure money to spend, ought to consider the mercy that they owe in justice to thier neighbor who is in difficulties.
I wish you well.
None of the things you mention appear to be oriented toward profit making, increasing your status in the world, or other temporal gain.
The only thing that you might violate is the rest of the body with regard to housework and yardwork – that is not to say you ought not do these things; but be careful that some of the family is not overly displeased with the activities – unless they are perhaps doing charitable yardwork for an elderly neighbor, etc.
I have been told, that when it comes to manual labor – pulling, lifting, pushing, trimming, that the recommendation is that is be limited to no more than an hour on Sunday. Again, if it is being done to aid someone in great need, charity supersedes the law.
Somehow, I seem to recall that sports too, are considered relaxation for many – but then sports are not for a gain in status if they are truly just playful interaction.
Peace be with you,
And may God bless you especially for considering this oft overlooked gift and command of his.
This is the one, I have wondered about…
2195 - “Every Christian should avoid making unnecessary demands on others that would hinder them from observing the Lord’s Day”.
Does this mean… that we should refrain from eating out at restaurants on Sunday? Because when we DO… aren’t we are necessitating the “WORK” of others on the Lord’s Day? Seems a logical conclusion, to me.
Am I right or wrong? I humbly accept your knowledge on Church Teaching, regarding this question. Thanks and God bless.
I have that same question. I originally understood this to mean that those in power should not require work. So for example, if I was a resturant owner, that I would close my business on Sunday rather than requiring my workers to come to work (think Chik Filet).
I choose not to run errands on Sundays mostly because it is stressful and annoying for me rather than relaxing. But I do also think that then the stores would not require so many workers and a Catholic (or other Christian) might be able to get the day off. The same logic would apply to resturant workers.
I will say though that we often go out to eat on Sundays after Mass. You will appreciate the reason why. It is because my mother loves it. We take her with us to Mass and then out to lunch. She has always enjoyed eating out. Now of course it is more difficult for her to do so. This is a treat for her and she really appreciates the time with my whole family. Of course, we could go out another day of the week, but with everyone’s schedule it is more convenient on Sundays
Just read a few lines above the paragraph that you quoted:
**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. **
Note that eating out at restaurants is explicitly listed as a traditional activity that can legitimately be practiced on Sunday…
Thanks both, for your response to my question in this thread.
“ack” We are each quoting different sections and they seem (to me) to contradict one another. The section you quote (2187) clearly lists restaurants as one “traditional Sunday activity”. I don’t argue that. It’s there!
But the section I quoted (2195) uses language which is confusing to me. :shrug:
It seems to me, that eating out at a restaurant… would fall under “making unnecessary demands on others”. We don’t HAVE to eat out on Sunday, after all.
Maybe I’m nit-picking? Hmm.
It is the same as I mentioned before. Let us say that a worker can’t make enough money to support their family unless they work the only shifts left over at the restaurant – eg: Sunday. If she did not work Sunday, she would be in poverty.
In that case, it is not an un-necessary demand – but a blessing – it is her who has an obligation to find another time to honor the Lords day and the Sabbath rest.
It is only if you know that she is required to work all week, and also has a second job such that she is cut off from gift of the sabbath rest where an injustice occurs – and that is really the restaurant owners fault. I am not sure how one determines these things, or what one can do about them — only the relatively wealthy, governmental, or owner of a prosperous business can really be responsible for such a failure.
Also, something which bothers me, is that many of those Sunday workers choose to work for money and things – and the reject the Sabbath rest not because they must but because they choose to. I sometimes wonder if my payment to them on Sunday is in fact worsening (enabling) their vice. But I am ignorant of individual cases, and I know that if I would ask – the truth would be hidden in most cases.
I am curious how ack thinks about this…
Thank you! This “argument” makes sense to me. I appreciate your input. That last part does make ya think. It could be problematic for a scrupulous soul (aka yours truly). Although it’s probably OK to eat on Sunday, now and then… I will probably still tend to “err” on the side of NOT eating out on Sunday. God bless.
I usually do not work on Sundays (I am a waitress) because I attend the Tridentine Mass in my area and if falls right into the middle of the shift, so I usually get Sunday off. However, there have been times where for one reason or another I am working, either to help someone out or because I need to make rent (school sometimes makes me fall short if I’m not careful).
I do enjoy spending the day at home, otherwise. I wonder if doing homework is considered real work? I enjoy learning, so it can be fun, but I also need to get it done. Am I breaking the Sabbath by doing so? Is working at the soup kitchen or helping out at the zoo also wrong?
So far, I’ve just gone along reasonably, but this thread is really making me think!
As you enjoy your Sunday rest, be sure to thank all the people that do not get to rest on Sunday - like the CCD teachers and the musicians, the people who set up and clean up after coffee and doughnuts in the Parish Hall, the waitstaff at the restaurant, the people who work at the zoo…
[quote="MarieVeronica, post:7, topic:169240"]
This is the one, I have wondered about..
2195 - "Every Christian should avoid making unnecessary demands on others that would hinder them from observing the Lord's Day".
Does this mean.. that we should refrain from eating out at restaurants on Sunday? Because when we DO.. aren't we are necessitating the "WORK" of others on the Lord's Day? Seems a logical conclusion, to me.
Am I right or wrong? I humbly accept your knowledge on Church Teaching, regarding this question. Thanks and God bless.
I see what you are saying, and part of me would say that yea. . it does put a little bit of a demand on others--the restaurant workers. .
But. . Having been a busperson--it was my first job--I have a little bit of insight for you. .
Firstly, please don't forget that some people choose to work on Sundays, and holidays. From my experience, many Christians do not observe the Sabbath. Er, I mean, the whole, "No work on Sundays, unless the ox needs to get out of the pit," thing. Please keep in mind that if a worker is not Christian, they most likely wouldn't even care they were working on a Sunday at all, simply because they are not Christian, and wouldn't observe the day otherwise.
Now for the restaurant worker perspective. From my experience as a busperson, no customers--or few customers--meant a really long, boring, grueling day of work for me. Having less customers to serve was agonizing. Why? Because there wasn't a lot to do. If there weren't many customers to serve, I would have to sweep, clean toilets, and things like that. Then, when I finished that work--I'd have to say I was fairly efficient : )--I had nothing else to do *but *sit on my butt. Thus, I enjoyed having at least a moderate crowd come into the restaurant because it made the work a little more enjoyable, and made my day go by faster. It was more tolerable.
Now, I didn't get to choose my schedule. My schedule was at the beck and call of my employer and supervisor. So, if I had a lot of customers that day, great. If not, well okay. Boring day. :-P
I think the idea that one shouldn't hinder another's rest on Sunday is extremely applicable to family. If you make a family member do chores during the week, and expect him/her to do it/them on a Sunday as well, I think that's a heck of a lot worse than going out to eat on a Sunday.
I don't know if my input helps at all, but I hope that it does.
Haves v. Needs:D
I've been meaning to take a cue from the Orthodox Jews and prepare everything the day before so I don't even have to cook on Sunday. Ladies, doesn't it sound great not to even COOK on Sunday???