Working on Sunday


#1

A discussion in another thread about findings sins that do not hurt anybody, the question was raised, whether working on a Sunday is a sin or not.
I am curious about your opinion.
(Poll option#2 includes policemen, doctors, nurses etc. who must work on a sunday to fulfill their duty.)


#2

Besides medical and poliece workers I believe that these are also not a sin:

  1. tempoary work…such as non scheduled part time or helping someone out
  2. household up keep
  3. support of a family

#3

Another poll where I could not choose any of them.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church expresses my view

#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. 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.


#4

[quote=T.A.Stobie, SFO]Another poll where I could not choose any of them.
**Family needs or important social service can legitimately excuse from the obligation of Sunday rest. **
The Catechism of the Catholic Church expresses my view
[/indent]
[/quote]

Isn’t that pretty much #2?


#5

Except that I would not use the term if you can not avoid it. Many times we could avoid it, but are obligated as Christians not to, so that others can avoid work on Sunday.

Likewise, some people could avoid it and improperly fulfill their family needs.

It is a matter of having our priorities straight and our lives in balance.

#2 is the closest to it. (I could just be nit-picking on terms.)


#6

I think there are legitimate reasons to excuse the Sunday obligation like the CCC states and all the reasons previously mentioned certainly seem to qualify IMO.
I wondered about this: If for instance I enjoyed gardening, I don’t need to do it on Sunday but it’s what my wife and I enjoy, would doing it be considered work if we thought of it as a leisure activity rather than work? Same could be said for carpentry, coaching a sports team, even shopping for that matter.


#7

If it is relaxation and leisure, I think it is okay. I garden on Sunday! I try to avoid shopping on Sunday if I think of it, because my shopping on Sunday contributes to other people having to work on that day, you know, sales clerks, etc.

There must be some prudent level of how hard you have to try to avoid working on Sunday. I mean, if you are nurse, you could always get another job, but it would probably be an undesireable one. It seems clear to me that you don’t have to go out of your way like that. Then Sunday would just end up being a huge burden the rest of the week.


#8

[quote=Poisson]I think there are legitimate reasons to excuse the Sunday obligation like the CCC states and all the reasons previously mentioned certainly seem to qualify IMO.
I wondered about this: If for instance I enjoyed gardening, I don’t need to do it on Sunday but it’s what my wife and I enjoy, would doing it be considered work if we thought of it as a leisure activity rather than work? Same could be said for carpentry, coaching a sports team, even shopping for that matter.
[/quote]

It has been my understanding that the purpose for honoring the Sabbath is to keep a day of reflection, prayer, and devotion to God. That said, Those activities that you have stated all have to do with enjoyment of family, or of nature, or of reflection. All of those activities allow us to, in fact, be closer to God, not just in a spiritual realm, but in a physical, real-world sense. You are not avoiding God by your actions, so it would not be a sin, IMHO. :slight_smile:


#9

From the Code of Canon Law, as printed on the Vatican website, including typographical errors:

Can. 1247 On Sundays and other holy days of obligation, the faithful are obliged to participate in the Mass.

Moreover, they are to abstain from those works and aVairs which hinder the worship to be rendered to God, the joy proper to the Lord’s day, or the suitable relaxation of mind and body.

This law has changed over the years. There used to be an explicit prohibition against “servile” work, which it seems was dropped from the latest version/edition/whatever of Canon Law.

One can very easily become very scrupulous about this. I work as little as possible on Sunday, given the constraints of real life. If it rains on Saturday and that lawn needs to be mowed, I have to trust in God’s mercy and go ahead and do it on Sunday.


#10

the way i understand it is that the church did not change the sabbath, just the day of worship. saturday is still the sabbath and sunday is when we gather to worship. we are no longer under the strict sabbath laws (as Jesus said, “the sabbath was created for man, not man for the sabbath.”) and therefore, anything that doesn’t hinder you from worshipping on sunday is permissible on saturday. no i am not a 7th day adventist or anything, this is how i have understood the day of worship vs. the sabbath. if i am wrong i would love some one to show me as i don’t like believing things that aren’t true. thanks and God bless.


#11

Likewise, I couldn’t choose any.

I’d like to emphasize that we are bound to refrain from “activities that hinder the worship owed to God, and joy proper to the Lord’s day.” Does mowing the lawn count? Doing the dishes? Laundry? I don’t think so. Yet some may differ in my opinion depending upon how it might, for them, hinder the “joy” of the Lord’s Day.

So, among these:

Working on a Sunday is…
…always a sin.
…only a sin if you could avoid the work.
…never a sin.

… I have to pick none of the above.

I can avoid doing the dishes on Sunday, yet I don’t contend it to be an activity that hinders worship owed to God or joy proper to the Lord’s Day.

The OT priests worked on the sabbath without guilt, because they served at the Temple. Well, Christians ought to be serving something greater than the Temple *every day of their lives. *The true sabbath is rest in Christ Jesus. Yet, we set aside a special day of worship, the Lord’s Day, to worship as a community together.


#12

[quote=bengal_fan]the way i understand it is that the church did not change the sabbath, just the day of worship. saturday is still the sabbath and sunday is when we gather to worship. we are no longer under the strict sabbath laws (as Jesus said, “the sabbath was created for man, not man for the sabbath.”) and therefore, anything that doesn’t hinder you from worshipping on sunday is permissible on saturday. no i am not a 7th day adventist or anything, this is how i have understood the day of worship vs. the sabbath. if i am wrong i would love some one to show me as i don’t like believing things that aren’t true. thanks and God bless.
[/quote]

I don’t think you are wrong. I believe the Jewish Sabbath to have been a sign of the Mosaic covenant. It believe the Jewish Sabbath foreshadowed a better sabbath rest, that is, a rest that faith in Jesus gives us now, to be fulfilled more perfectly upon glorification.

Sabbath was a sign for the people of Israel to remember their redemption from their bondage in Egypt. The Lord’s Day, likewise, ought to remind Christians of the more perfect redemption by recalling the day the Lord was resurrected from the dead.


#13

my husband has no choice but to work two Sundays a month as he is on shift work and that is just how it is scheduled at the factory where he works as this factory goes 24/7 we are just glad that he gets two Sundays to go to church. Sometimes it can’t be avoided but if a job as good as this came up with no work on Sundays he would gladly switch, we just pray for that and put it in God’s hands.


#14

kamz,

I’m in the military and at times have to work on Sunday as well. However, I’m glad my parish offers a Saturday evening Mass which fulfills my Sunday obligation.


#15

bengal_fan,

… anything that doesn’t hinder you from worshipping on sunday is permissible on saturday.

Perhaps I misunderstood you. The Church has no precept against any sort of work on Saturday. Yet, “there have always been groups within Christianity which observe both the Sabbath and Sunday as “two brother days”.” (Pope John Paul II, *Dies Domini, *1998)

Although God “blessed” the 7th day and made it “holy”, he more perfectly blessed the Lord’s Day and made it even more holy, setting it apart from all the other days. The OT was an incomplete revelation. With the NT, the OT is fulfilled and more fully realized.

"What God accomplished in Creation and wrought for his People in the Exodus has found its fullest expression in Christ’s Death and Resurrection, though its definitive fulfilment will not come until the Parousia, when Christ returns in glory. **In him, the “spiritual” meaning of the Sabbath is fully realized, as Saint Gregory the Great declares: “For us, the true Sabbath is the person of our Redeemer, our Lord Jesus Christ” **It was in the Paschal Mystery that humanity, and with it the whole creation, “groaning in birth-pangs until now” (Rom 8:22), came to know its new “exodus” into the freedom of God’s children who can cry out with Christ, “Abba, Father!” (Rom 8:15; Gal 4:6). In the light of this mystery, the meaning of the Old Testament precept concerning the Lord’s Day is recovered, perfected and fully revealed in the glory which shines on the face of the Risen Christ (cf. 2 Cor 4:6). We move from the “Sabbath” to the “first day after the Sabbath”, from the seventh day to the first day: the dies Domini becomes the dies Christi!" (ibid)


#16

I went with # 2.

I travel for work, and Sunday is usually my drive day getting from one part of my territory to another. In my VERY rural territory, each town that I may stay the night in may not have a Catholic church.(NM, Southern Co, W. Kansas, and W. Texas)

I don’t see it as strenuous or excessive labor(my kidneys might, I’m down to only 4-5 hours driving at a stretch, as opposed to just stopping for fuel, but that’s another story). :wink:

I never miss Mass, because I generally do the Anticipatory Mass on Saturday, unless I see a Mass on the way(thank God for www.masstimes.org), and I don’t deal with clients, so I 'm not technically ‘working’.

I certainly hope it’s not sinful, I can only do my best.


#17

Only a sin if it causes you to miss Mass, imo.


#18

I voted for #2 with this disclaimer: it may be only a venial sin.

For example, I work from home. I try not to work on Sundays, but occasionally, while not “required”, it makes everything a lot easier to get a little done on Sunday. I can do this without neglecting my family nor my obligations for Mass and prayer. I would say that this wouldn’t be “grave matter”.

Or my husband, who works the other six days a week, brings home a pile of mail to sort on Sunday. He could just stay later at the office during the week but then he would be giving up time with his children (and me). So doing it on Sunday seems, at best a venial offence.


#19

None of the above.

As a surgeon, I think it would be more of a sin for me not to go to work if I’m scheduled on a Sunday.

I still go to Mass daily through the week and on either Saturday or Sunday.


#20

I work in retail and unfortunately, Sunday is a workday for me. So is every major holiday, as we are open 24/7, everyday of the year . It is quite frustrating and makes me angry. I understand working if it is an essential service (police, doctors, nurses, etc).
I guess the only thing to do is pray.


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