Working Sunday

Dear Catholic Answers Members,

I am serving Police Officer and have to work a Sunday coming up. However this is not a normal policing shift. I will be rostered and engaging in a community crime prevention program with Fathers and Sons. Not front line policing as such.

Does this still count as ‘important social service’?

I guess what I am saying is what exactly is ‘important social service’?

Of course I will be attending Mass. I will be attending a Saturday Vigil or Sunday evening Mass.

God Bless.

Dutch H

CCC 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.

It is part of your job.

You belong to a profession that is not a traditional Monday through Friday job. God is much more understanding than we sometimes allow him to be.

You will be attending Mass and fulfilling your obligation. What is the concern?

I don’t see a problem. You are doing important work to better the community. It is better to teach someone to follow the law on a Sunday, then it is to arrest them for breaking it on a Monday. If you are teaching them skills to keep the community safe (like how to setup a proper community watch) that is also important. Whatever it is exactly that u r teaching, I am sure it is something important that will be beneficial to the community. I am pretty sure that it would fall under “important social services,” but if u r still concerned, I would suggest discussing it with your priest.

Also, I may be wrong, but I thought going to Saturday evening mass was considered the same as going on Sunday. If that is correct, then I think that you could also observe the sabbath on Saturday. If I am wrong, I would appreciate any corrections.


Thanks for the responses. I am a new Catholic and wanted to ensure I was doing the right thing. Thank you.

God Bless.

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