Sunday Worship

I’m sure many of you have been asked this before, so let’s begin.

We all know that one of the Commandments tell us to observe the Sabbath and keep it holy. In genesis it tells us that God rested on the Seventh day and deemed it holy. The Seventh day is Saturday and Jews still observe Sabbath on that day. The first day has very rarely been mentioned, much less blessed in the NT. So why not observe the day that has been kept holy?

From what I understand, the early Christians moved it to Sunday to commemorate the Resurrection of Jesus, as well as to establish the difference between the Old and New Covenants.

A good book that hits that matter very well is “Why is that in Tradition,” by Patrick Madrid. It is a easy read, and has a lot of strong info. It even cites many of the early church theologians.


The first day of the week is the Lord’s day. It is the only day in the week which can properly be called the “Lord’s day.” When one remembers some of the important things which transpired on that day, he can see why the day came to be called the “Lord’s day.” On the first day of the week, Jesus arose from the dead (Mk. 16:1-9). On that day, he appeared to Mary Magdalene (Mk. 16:9); to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus (Lk. 24:13-35); to the apostles with Thomas absent (Jn. 20:19-25); to the apostles with Thomas present (Jn. 20:26-29); etc. Inasmuch as Pentecost always fell on the first day of the week (Lev. 23:15), these important events with reference to the early church occurred on the first day of the week: the coming of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-4), the first gospel sermon and the obedience of three thousand whom the Lord added to the church. Hence, the first day of the week was an important day for the early church.

The early church met habitually on the first day of the week to worship the Lord.

That this assembly occurred on the first day of the week is evident from the Scriptures as well. In 1 Cor. 16:1-2, Paul wrote, “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I directed the churches of Galatia, so do you also. On the first day of every week let each one of you put aside and save, as he may prosper, that no collections be made when I come.” Notice several things from this verse. The instructions were given to a number of churches; these were not limited to Corinth. The instructions enjoined were to be observed on the first day of every week. Too, the instructions are not “come together to give” but “give while you are come together.” Hence, this passage is conclusive evidence that the early church worshiped on Sunday, the first day of the week, which day came to be known as the Lord’s day.

Furthermore, Acts 20:7 shows that the early church worshiped regularly on the first day of the week. Paul was on his way to Jerusalem on an urgent trip to take funds gathered for benevolent purposes for the saints in Jerusalem. However, he wanted to worship with the saints at Troas. Apparently, he arrived on Monday for he tarried seven days (Acts 20:6) to await the assembling of the saints. The Scriptures say, “And on the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul began talking to them, intending to depart the next day, and he prolonged his message until midnight.” Notice, that Paul expected the church to assemble on the first day of the week and, for that reason, waited seven days to meet with them. Too, the early church usually met on that day to “break bread,” to observe the Lord’s supper.

Therefore, when we read that John was in the Spirit on the “Lord’s day,” we should properly understand that this was the first day of the week, the day set aside to worship and adore God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. The Scriptural evidence is quite clear that the early church worshiped on the first day of the week. The change in the days of worship from the seventh day of the week to the first day of the week occurred by divine decree.

We do. I have a question for you that I think you should think about. It sounds stupid obvious at first, but think about it - where in scripture does it say that we must worship/attend church on Saturday? It says to keep the Sabbath holy. It says to rest. I’m not talking about that. Where does it say that the Sabbath must be our day of worship?

Keeping the Sabbath on the 7th day is part of the old law binding on Jews. This law was fulfilled by Jesus. The natural law moral imperative to worship the Lord is fulfilled by 1st day worship. The exact day does not matter under the new convenant, but the early church appropriately worshipped on the day of the Lord’s resurrection. Jesus gave the apostles (bishops) the power to create holy laws (“what is bound on earth shall be bound in heaven”); this was what they chose and taught.

Initially, the church worshipped in the synagogue on Saturday as well (since they were Jews) until they were thrown out. But as described in the Book of Acts, it was revealed to the apostles by God that following the Jewish law (circumcision, dietary restrictions, etc) was no longer necessary.

Read Four Witnesses edited by Rod Bennet to learn more about the early Church and what was taught.

First and foremost, welcome to the forums! Now, being a Seventh Day Adventist, please understand that nearly everything that you have been taught about the Catholic Church (the “whore of Babylon”, Pope as the antichrist, changed the Sabbath, etc. etc. etc.) is wrong. From that basis, we may have an intelligent discussion.

In any discussion of the Jewish Sabbath, (which remains sundown Friday to sundown Saturday), we must not overlook the actions of Jesus Christ, the practice of the Apostles, and Sacred Scripture, right? Jesus was crucified on Friday, correct? Why not on Thursday, so that He could rise on the Sabbath? Everything He did was for eternal purpose. Did He rise on the Sabbath? No. Jesus Christ, God Incarnate, chose, from all eternity, to rise from the dead on Sunday, the first day of the week. He, in His Risen and Glorified Body, could have appeared to the Apostles on the Sabbath. Did He? No. He chose to appear to them, thus fulfilling prophecy, on Sunday - the first day of the week. After His ascension, He could have chosen to send His Holy Spirit upon the Apostles on any day of the week, including the Sabbath. Did He choose the Sabbath? No. He chose Sunday, the first day of the week. Pentecost Sunday is known as the birthday of the Church. The Apostles, being good Jews, could have begun meeting on the Sabbath to celebrate the Lord’s supper. Did they? No. They met on the first day of the week - Sunday. The early, Apostiolic Church met consistently on the first day of the week - Sunday. Remember that they were ejected from the Temple by the Jews. Thus, they could not spend the Sabbath in the Temple. John could have received the revelation known as the Apocalypse on any day of the week - especially the Jewish Sabbath, correct? Did he? No. He was “in the Spirit” on the “Lord’s day” - Sunday, the first day of the week (Revelation 1:10).

Based upon all of this, and so much more that is not written in the bible, the early, Apostolic Church, as authorized by Jesus Christ, began worship on Sunday. Saint Paul taught the early Christians, as well as you and I, that we must not let anyone judge us based on the meat we eat, a new moon, a festival day or a Sabbath (Colossians 2:16). Saint Paul also teaches that the collection for the Saints is to be taken up on the first day of the week (Sunday - when the early Church gathered) (1 Corinthians 16:1-3).

Since Jesus Christ established a single Church to exist until the end of the age, and gave her power over all things (Matthew 18:18), we must look to the earliest days of that Church for our teaching on just what constitutes proper practice. Christians, since day one (Easter Sunday), have met on the Lord’s day. Some 1,844 years later, based upon their personal opinions, a group in America decided to change it all back to pre-Christian practice. Let us ponder that.

And why start a new denomination in the township of Washington, New Hampshire, in 1844 (according to the official SDA website), when Jesus Christ founded His Church – the Catholic Church – in A.D. 33 in Jerusalem, and promised to be with the Church until the end of time (Mt 28:20 KJV)?

Seventh-Day Adventists are very big on the Sabbath, but ignore the rest of the 613 mitzvoh (commandments) in the Old Testament.

For example: Not to walk outside the city boundary on Shabbat – Ex. 16:29 (Shabbat is Hebrew for the Sabbath). SDA’s don’t obey the commandment to avoid the use of automobiles on the Sabbbath, period. Nor do they obey the rule to avoid of the use of electricity on Shabbat.

Here’s another commandment: Not to listen to a false prophet – Deut. 13:4 - Ellen Gould (Harmon) White, one of the founders of the SDA’s, is one of many false prophets in Christianity.

Many posts here, some a little more argumentative than others. I will post what I think in this post when I have time (they’re coming!).

Hello everyone it’s been a busy week, but I have some time now to continue to conversation.

Please continue the conversation, I’ll look at the other comments and read responses in time. I hope to learn a lot more about the other viewpoints.

did you miss the part where Jesus rose early on the first day of the week? Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath, it is he who consecrates Sunday and makes it the Lord’s Day, and makes the new commandment which obligates we Christians to keep this day holy.


Not to mention the following passages of scripture.[/FONT]


]1] Now after the sabbath, toward the dawn of the* first** day of the week, Mary Mag’dalene and the other Mary went to see the sepulchre.

]2] And very early on the* first** day of the week they went to the tomb when the sun had risen.
]9] Now when he rose early on the* first** day of the week, he appeared** first** to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons.

]1] But on the* first** day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices which they had prepared.

]1] Now on the* first** day of the week Mary Mag’dalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.
]19] On the evening of that day, the* first** day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”

]7] On the* first** day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the morrow; and he prolonged his speech until midnight.

][FONT=Palatino Linotype]2] On the* first** day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that contributions need not be made when I come. [/FONT]
Notice that the last 2 show that believers already were meeting on Sunday to worship and celebrate the Eucharist.

What is St. John speaking of in Revelation when he says in Revelation 1?
10] I was in the Spirit on the** Lord’s** day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet.”

[FONT=Arial][size=3]St. Paul has something to say about different days in [/size][/FONT]

*]6] He who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. He also who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God; while he who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God.

The reason we worship on Saturday is because it is a day for us to let go of our earthly desires and take pleasure in God (Isaiah 58:13). We worship him because we enjoy being with him and that we love him for what he has done for us. The sabbath isn’t some kind of burden that we stop what we’re doing and just wait until Saturday night. The sabbath is a gift that God has given us so that we can take pleasure in being with him (Mark 2:27). It was the custom of both Jesus and Paul to worship on Sabbath (Luke 4:16, Acts 17:2). In the new heaven and new earth, the Sabbath will still be kept (Isaiah 66:22, 23).

That in no way whatsoever answered my question. Try again. Where does scripture prescribe that we must worship on the Sabbath?

Hey, use the “quote” function! It makes responding so much easier. :wink:

As to your Jesus and Paul analogy, did Jesus do anything special at the last supper, like offer His Body as the paschal lamb? Did he offer His Blood as the “new covenant”? A new covenant does not mean the slavery of the old law, or of any of the Jewish practices. Paul wrote extensively on this to the early Church. Remember that Christianity began with continuing temple worship, but the increasing rejection by the Jews forced the early Christians out. All of them - all - turned to the Lord’s day. Paul specified that the collection be taken up on the Lord’s day. If no one gathered to worship, who to collect from?

Everything that you do on the Jewish Shabbat, the Apostles and every Christian since then (except the tiny SDB groups in 1650s England and the SDA in 1800s America) do on the Lord’s day. This is proved by the incontrovertible biblical evidence as well as the continuous history of the Church.

However, the SDA, as with all bible Christians, reject Church authority. And, the Apostles had the authority to observe the Lord’s day. Matthew 18:18. “Whatever” includes the Shabbat, right? Do you judge the Apostles wrong, since they observed the “Lord’s day”?

Isnt the sabbath the day of rest though so maybe thats why he didnt rise from the dead then but it doesnt say anything about changing the sabbath

The Sabbath is the center of the Mosaic law, and Jesus taught that Moses wrote of Him (John 5:46). Jesus said the Sabbath is made for man, and not man for the Sabbath, and therefore, He is Lord also of the Sabbath (Mark 2:27-28). Jesus not only broke the Sabbath, He allowed and justified His followers in doing the same (Matthew 12:1-8). As Jesus was the fulfillment of the Mosaic law, He is also instituted the Lord’s Day as the fulfillment of the OT Sabbath. From the catechism:


2168 The third commandment of the Decalogue recalls the holiness of the sabbath: "The seventh day is a sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the LORD."92

2169 In speaking of the sabbath Scripture recalls creation: "For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and hallowed it."93

2170 Scripture also reveals in the Lord’s day a memorial of Israel’s liberation from bondage in Egypt: "You shall remember that you were a servant in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out thence with mighty hand and outstretched arm; therefore the LORD your God commanded you to keep the sabbath day."94

2171 God entrusted the sabbath to Israel to keep as a sign of the irrevocable covenant.95 The sabbath is for the Lord, holy and set apart for the praise of God, his work of creation, and his saving actions on behalf of Israel.

2172 God’s action is the model for human action. If God “rested and was refreshed” on the seventh day, man too ought to “rest” and should let others, especially the poor, "be refreshed."96 The sabbath brings everyday work to a halt and provides a respite. It is a day of protest against the servitude of work and the worship of money.97

2173 The Gospel reports many incidents when Jesus was accused of violating the sabbath law. But Jesus never fails to respect the holiness of this day.98 He gives this law its authentic and authoritative interpretation: "The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath."99 With compassion, Christ declares the sabbath for doing good rather than harm, for saving life rather than killing.100 The sabbath is the day of the Lord of mercies and a day to honor God.101 "The Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath."102


This is the day which the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.103
The day of the Resurrection: the new creation

2174 Jesus rose from the dead "on the first day of the week."104 Because it is the “first day,” the day of Christ’s Resurrection recalls the first creation. Because it is the “eighth day” following the sabbath,105 it symbolizes the new creation ushered in by Christ’s Resurrection. For Christians it has become the first of all days, the first of all feasts, the Lord’s Day (he kuriake hemera, dies dominica) Sunday:

We all gather on the day of the sun, for it is the first day [after the Jewish sabbath, but also the first day] when God, separating matter from darkness, made the world; and on this same day Jesus Christ our Savior rose from the dead.106
Sunday - fulfillment of the sabbath

2175 Sunday is expressly distinguished from the sabbath which it follows chronologically every week; for Christians its ceremonial observance replaces that of the sabbath. In Christ’s Passover, Sunday fulfills the spiritual truth of the Jewish sabbath and announces man’s eternal rest in God. For worship under the Law prepared for the mystery of Christ, and what was done there prefigured some aspects of Christ:107

Those who lived according to the old order of things have come to a new hope, no longer keeping the sabbath, but the Lord’s Day, in which our life is blessed by him and by his death.108
2176 The celebration of Sunday observes the moral commandment inscribed by nature in the human heart to render to God an outward, visible, public, and regular worship "as a sign of his universal beneficence to all."109 Sunday worship fulfills the moral command of the Old Covenant, taking up its rhythm and spirit in the weekly celebration of the Creator and Redeemer of his people.

Although these are definitely important things that happened on the first day, I don’t see how this permits a change. None of the gospel writers say a word about the first day being holy because Jesus rose from the grave on that day. Simply because special things occur on certain days, that doesn’t mean it makes that day holy, otherwise someone would have said such a change clearly.

The Gospel accounts end at the Resurrection. The actions of the Apostles, after Pentecost, when all things were made clear by the HS…we see what Jesus instructed them to do.

The early church met habitually on the first day of the week to worship the Lord.

That this assembly occurred on the first day of the week is evident from the Scriptures as well. In 1 Cor. 16:1-2, Paul wrote, “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I directed the churches of Galatia, so do you also. On the first day of every week let each one of you put aside and save, as he may prosper, that no collections be made when I come.”

The instructions enjoined were to be observed on the first day of every week. Too, the instructions are not “come together to give” but “give while you are come together.”

That is interesting. Would you mind telling me what you read that implied:

the instructions are not “come together to give” but “give while you are come together.”

It means do not come to just to donate or give alms, but come together and gather to worship, then pass the collection basket to give alms.

That is why Paul is saying, when he arrives, which may not be on the Lord’s Day…the collection is ready for him to take to wherever he wants to take it.

As I read that chapter, it seems what’s happening is that there are needy people in Jerusalem and Paul is asking the Corinthians to donate. Paul is asking these people to individually set aside money to keep track of how much they will give according to their income. I personally don’t really see anything about worshiping though. This isn’t a public collection nor is any church service mentioned here. To me it seems more like they are setting aside the money so they will be able to donate it when the time comes. Hmm…

You have it the other way around. Paul is also not asking them to keep track…he says give as you are able to…on the first day of each week…this is the time of gathering…of worshipping…and have it ready.

Hmm, now this is definitely a worship service held on Sunday. However, to say that this happened regularly is a little bold of a statement in my opinion. Paul left the next day and in Acts it does say it is Paul’s custom to worship on the Sabbath. (Acts 13:14, 44; 17:2; 18:4). While it says it’s custom for Paul to worship on Sabbath, I can’t see where it says it was his custom to meet on the first day.

This is just one account…there are many others not included in the Bible. From this, you can infer that the new Christians were already gathering on the Lord’s day, even before Paul arrives. What you do not see is why is not Paul telling those at Troas to gather on the Sabbath instead of the Lord’s Day? Instead, Paul waits for the day of worship…and because the new day of worship has already changed to the Lord’s Day.

To be honest though, I am not sure why he met with the Troas on Sunday, but when people go to a mid week service on Wednesday, that doesn’t make Wednesday a blessed day of worship. Still, I think saying this text implies that this was the regular practice when it was never stated that such an important change was made is weighing quite heavily on the text.

The CC has mases everyday…but the regular day of worship is still Sunday.

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