What kind of work is prohibited on Sundays?


#1

I’ve read the part of the Catechism of the Catholic Church that deals with no work on Sundays, but what kind of work? Does this imply on homework, recreational work (for example building a tower of toothpicks if that was your hobby), chores, or is it just jobs? Do the people that work on Sunday sin?

Thanks. :slight_smile:


#2

Perhaps someone will have further information, but according to the Baltimore Catechism:

358. Q. What is forbidden by the third Commandment?

**A. **The third Commandment forbids all unnecessary servile work and whatever else may hinder the due observance of the Lord’s day.

359. Q. What are servile works?

**A. **Servile works are those which require labor rather of body than of mind.

360. Q. Are servile works on Sunday ever lawful?

**A. **Servile works are lawful on Sunday when the honor of God, the good of our neighbor, or necessity requires them.


#3

This is an interesting question. I have heard that we are not allowed to shop on Sundays, go out to eat at restaurants, etc. Does anybody know about this? Thanks!


#4

This is an interesting question. I have heard that we are not allowed to shop on Sundays, go out to eat at restaurants, etc. Does anybody know about this? Thanks!

I have heard the opposite.


#5

The catechism says:

2185 “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.123 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.”

One thing we see here is the emphasis on relaxation of mind as well as body. From the time of initial passing on of the law, most all work was physical. Now days many work in a profession the whole work week is free of “servile” work if viewed as stricly physical labor. FOr such people the need to rest the mind is of greatest import.

In any case, activity must not interfer with the worship due God on this day. I have to work many Sundays and it is a challenge to find time to sanctify this day when I do.


#6

[quote=Stephen T]This is an interesting question. I have heard that we are not allowed to shop on Sundays, go out to eat at restaurants, etc. Does anybody know about this? Thanks!
[/quote]

All your shopping on Sunday, eh??? :hmmm: But going out to eat or recreational family/friends both help honor Sunday as long as the activites are wholesome. For many, Sunday is a family day:) Thanks and God Bless.


#7

[quote=Ronnel Abrigo]I’ve read the part of the Catechism of the Catholic Church that deals with no work on Sundays, but what kind of work? Does this imply on homework, recreational work (for example building a tower of toothpicks if that was your hobby), chores, or is it just jobs? Do the people that work on Sunday sin?

Thanks. :slight_smile:
[/quote]

Hi Ronnel Abrigo,
I am not a Roman Catholic. Please bear that in mind as you read my reply. I say this as I assume you are a younger member.
Mark 2:28 "Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath."
Christ is Lord of everyday. He is not someone to be honored one day a week. Treat Him the same everyday. Worship Him everyday. He has given you victory over everything in the world, everything, all you have to do is believe and then act on this belief. This is no trivial matter though. An example, we are told that those who believe will have works as the apostles but as yet none have believed to that extent. Obey Him every moment of every day, 7 days a week. It is that simple. If you have to go to work, go, or study, study. If He has other work for you He will tell you. Just keep communicating with Him. You can only obey Him if you keep asking Him to help you submit to His will. In His will the days dont matter. Christ is Lord of the Sabbath, of every day.
walk in love
edwinG


#8

I must sort of chuckle at this dilemma. My partner is SDA and I am Roman Catholic. He doesn’t work Saturdays and I don’t work Sundays, so there is no day for us to get any work done! Yesterday however, we had major yardwork to do, so as we went about the task, I found myself praying the Our Father and finding things to "talk " to God about as we enjoyed the sun. It was “relaxing” for me as I think enjoying nature pleases God also.
~ Kathy ~


#9

[quote=Ronnel Abrigo]I’ve read the part of the Catechism of the Catholic Church that deals with no work on Sundays
[/quote]

Not just Sundays, but all Holy Days of Obligation. So, for example, this Thursday is a Holy Day of Obligation in many dioceses throughour the world, so faithful Catholics in those dioceses are to refrain from unnecessary labor on that day! To fail to do so is a sin!


#10

I checked my old Baltimore Catechism. Here is what it says:

Q: When is servile work allowed on Sunday?

Servile work is allowed on Sunday when the honor of God, our own need, or that of our neighbor requires it.

For Example: Policemen, nurses, bus drivers, etc. may work on Sundays. Necessary work at home: cooking, dishes, etc., is all right.
**
Examples of work that should not be done on Sunday without necessity are: scrubbing floors, painting the house, keeping stores, factory work, etc. Those who co-operate in such work are also guilty of sin, such as Sunday shoppers, employers making men work on Sundays without necessity, etc.
Hope it helps!

Pax Vobiscum

~Stephen


#11

Thanks, you guys answered my questions, the thing that puzzles me is that when it says Sunday Shoppers. So does that mean I shouldn’t go to the mall on Sundays?


#12

I read that servile work means work that would be done by a servant. It is that type of labor that should not be done on Sundays.

My job requires that I work on Sundays (and Saturdays as well). I have to go to Mass on Saturday nights (or very early Sunday mornings).

However, my job is in the mental health/social services field, and that is permitted.

As far as going to restaurants, it is allowed. It isn’t wrong for people to work on Sundays at restaurants. I used to work at a restaurant and wouldn’t work Sundays and they wouldn’t make me a food server unless I agreed to work on Sundays (which are one of the busiest days for restaurants).

I think the rule is very well said in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

I also think that some Catholics are a bit Pharisaical about the whole working, shopping, and eating out on Sunday thing.


#13

:wave:

[quote=Katie1723]I must sort of chuckle at this dilemma. My partner is SDA and I am Roman Catholic.
[/quote]

:bigyikes: :rotfl:
i think that’s the first i’ve heard about that kind of relationship. have you ever tried the seventh day instead of the first day?


#14

Dear Michael T,

I have often been anywhere from amused to intimidated by people who argue a lot about the Sunday thing. If I need rest on Sunday I take a nap. If I finally have a chance to get something done on the house, I do that. If I’m asked to work, I do if I can. If my family needs me or wishes me to do something with them, I will place that high priority.

That goes for every day, not just Sunday. I think the command to rest on the Sabbath was to guarantee that servants weren’t made to work every day without at least an occasional rest. Even if that’s wrong, that’s OK until somebody can come up with a better idea. The Ten Commandments are mostly relative anyway compared to strict behavioral interpretations, as Christ clearly tried to show us.

People spend a great deal of time fretting over whether they or others are sinning on Sundays. Here’s where I might sound like I am advocating an “individual conscience,” but what I am in fact advocating is each person figure it out for your own circumstance and don’t worry about if your situation is “approved” by others. (see quote from Romans below) If you’re breaking your neck every day seven days a week for months and running ragged and stranger to your family, then you have a problem. If you do a little work to feed yourself or to improve your shelter or whatever, then you are doing what Jesus let His followers do on the sabbath.

[quote=Rom 14:2-6]One person believes that one may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. The one who eats must not despise the one who abstains, and the one who abstains must not pass judgment on the one who eats; for God has welcomed him. Who are you to pass judgment on someone else’s servant? Before his own master he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand. (For) one person considers one day more important than another, while another person considers all days alike. Let everyone be fully persuaded in his own mind. Whoever observes the day, observes it for the Lord. Also whoever eats, eats for the Lord, since he gives thanks to God; while whoever abstains, abstains for the Lord and gives thanks to God.
[/quote]

Alan


#15

I work as a cashier and am required (by my bosses) to work sundays. Would I be sinning? If there is time for me to go to mass on sundays and then go to work. I work to get out of debt and pay for my tuition so I don’t get further in debt so which is the worst sin, being in debt or working on sundays (if mass is attended)???


#16

[quote=AlanFromWichita]…I think the command to rest on the Sabbath was to guarantee that servants weren’t made to work every day without at least an occasional rest. Even if that’s wrong, that’s OK until somebody can come up with a better idea…
[/quote]

how about these ideas from the CCC:
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."
2171 God entrusted the sabbath to Israel to keep as a sign of the irrevocable covenant. 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.” 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.
Daddy has a whole book of rules wherein He delt with the proper treatment of servants (as well as slaves and hirelings). the Sabbath commandment is different.

Christ is risen!!


#17

Shopping on Sundays doesn’t hurt my conscience at all, but is it in anyway wrong?


#18

[quote=Ronnel Abrigo]Shopping on Sundays doesn’t hurt my conscience at all, but is it in anyway wrong?
[/quote]

Again, in looking at the Baltimore Catechism, one of the discussion questions specifically says:

“Why is it a sin to shop on Sunday?”

Also, the catechism is explicit when it says, “Those who co-operate in such work are also guilty of sin, such as Sunday shoppers, employers making men work on Sundays without necessity, etc.”

I think it would be wise to double check with a priest to clarify these points brought up in the catechism.


#19

how/when did the seventh day sabbath keeping rules go to sunday? or how/when did the sabbath commandment change from the seventh day to the first day?


#20

[quote=yqbd]how/when did the seventh day sabbath keeping rules go to sunday? or how/when did the sabbath commandment change from the seventh day to the first day?
[/quote]

Almost sounds like we make this stuff up as we go, doesn’t it? :smiley:

Alan


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