Yard work on Sundays?


#1

I have many neighbors who go to Sunday Mass and then start yard work. I always thought, that the whole day should be no wrk, no just half the day even though you go to church. I have a few Evangelical neighbors who spend 2-3 hours every Sunday at a service, but then come home and do yard work. If they are Bible only followers, why are they working on Sunday? Do they interpret the Sabbath Day differently?

Is yard work on Sundays allowed for all Christians ?


#2

This is a good question. In my case, as a single homeowner, working two jobs, Sunday is sometimes the only day that I have to mow the lawn, weed, etc. I may be wrong, but in my heart I feel that God understands.

Shannin


#3

Bear Fan did you mean to start a new thread as this seems similar to one??? But I also work six days a week and I love to mow the yard, weed and spray my roses. Nobody bothers me when I do this they think its work, I get to walk about and talk to GOD. We think and talk about the Mass. Yeh I’ll mow and edge my neighbor’s yard (old lady) - DON’T be a Pharisee doing things that are necessary or out of love are okay. PS as I stated else where I had a neighbor who was told not to sweat on Sunday thus as a child could not ride a bike, play basketball etc. nor could he watch TV or listen to the radio as it was the LORD’s day…and as an eight year old you must think about that and the sermon from the morning all day. YUCK


#4

I love Sundays and do no yard work. I love the peace and solitude and rest. And I really appreciate it when the neighbors are considerate and don’t start their noisy mowers and blowers.


#5

This is from the Catechism: “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.”

So, could one say yardwork is OK as long as you go to Mass and do the work joyfully?


#6

Three resources, from the most basic to the most comprehensive, may be helpful:

From the Baltimore Catechism:

234. What is the third commandment of God?
The third commandment of God is: *Remember thou keep holy the Lord’s day.

And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done.* (Genesis 2:2)

235. Why does the Church command us to keep Sunday as the Lord’s day?
The Church commands us to keep Sunday as the Lord’s day, because on Sunday Christ rose from the dead, and on Sunday the Holy Ghost descended upon the apostles.

**236. ** What are we commanded by the third commandment?
By the third commandment we are commanded to worship God in a special manner on Sunday, the Lord’s day.
Keep you my sabbath; for it is holy unto you. (Exodus 31:14)

237. How does the Church command us to worship God on Sunday?
The Church commands us to worship God on Sunday by assisting at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

238. What is forbidden by the third commandment of God?
By the third commandment of God all unnecessary servile work on Sunday is forbidden.
Six days shall you do work; in the seventh day is the sabbath, the rest holy to the Lord. (Exodus 31:15)

239. What is servile work?
Servile work is that which requires labor of body rather than of mind.

240. 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.

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

**A day of grace and rest from work **

2184 Just as God “rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done,” human life has a rhythm of work and rest. The institution of the Lord’s Day helps everyone enjoy adequate rest and leisure to cultivate their familial, cultural, social, and religious lives.

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.

**2186 ** 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.

Finally, JPII’s pastoral letter, Dies Domini:
vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_letters/documents/hf_jp-ii_apl_05071998_dies-domini_en.html


#7

I heard an apologist recently say that if something laborous gives us pleasure that it would be OK. Some people truly enjoy yardwork, so for them it would be OK.

'thann


#8

So if servile work is bodily work, then an accountant is not doing “servile” work, and there for could work for pay on Sunday?

How about sports…that is a very demanding physical labor, and many people make ALOT of money that way…so, can you play basketball on Sunday?

A professional horse trainer makes a living riding horses, and that is most definitely hard work. Can you go horsebackriding on Sunday? The Arabian horse trainer near me does not train on Sundays, and rightly so. I often ride on Sundays, and rightly so.

Basically, if you are performing an activity that you enjoy and are doing it as recreation, it is not servile work. If puttering in you garden is what you enjoy doing to relax, it is not servile work, it is recreation and is acceptible. If your business is landscaping, then maybe you should not garden on Sunday, and if you detest gardening or look upon it as a chore, then again, you should refrain from doing those garden chores on Sunday.

BTW, the Church recognizes the human need for recreation and encourages the proper utilization of recreational time. Even in cloistered monasteries there is time designated for recreation, often on Sunday.


#9

if the yard work is an excuse not to go to Mass and otherwise observe the Lord’s day, yes it would be wrong. If you cut lawns for a living 6 days a week, and come home and cut your own grass on Sunday, it would probably be wrong, because you are not giving yourself the benefit of the Sabbath rest God gave you. If you work a desk job, however, getting out in the yard may provide just that sort of refreshment and change of pace. If doing the yard work becomes a shared family activity, that could also be a good thing. If mom is outside cutting the grass while dad is watching the football game - ooooh boy, we better not even go there. Go Browns.


#10

I love Sundays because I stay home with my family and we work in the yard together or my kids just play while I work.

I have a Mary garden (first year). Sundays give me the pleasure and oportunity to go outside, knell down and pray whilst I garden and toil with my own two hands. I also have an MP3 player with the NT on it as well as the rosary and several religious songs like Mary’s Way of The Cross, etc.

I do try family activities too like going to the lake or visiting relatives. No matter what though, I try to keep the family together in some form of activity. Today for example we did no yard work but we did collect cloths, toys, etc. for the refugees at Camp Gruber from New Orleans. We then took the trunkload of goods to the church so that the Red Cross volunteers could pick them up after evening mass and deliver them tonight. My children learned to give things they wanted to others that had nothing left.

I also sometimes let my daughter mow her 77 year old grandmothers lawn (about 3 acres!). This helps her to learn to honor and take care of her elders.

Sunday is a time for family activity with God at it’s center. Yard work is OK as long as we do it for God and family. Somtimes yard work would be inapropriate if we left God and family out.


#11

[quote=puzzleannie]if the yard work is an excuse not to go to Mass and otherwise observe the Lord’s day, yes it would be wrong. If you cut lawns for a living 6 days a week, and come home and cut your own grass on Sunday, it would probably be wrong, because you are not giving yourself the benefit of the Sabbath rest God gave you. If you work a desk job, however, getting out in the yard may provide just that sort of refreshment and change of pace. If doing the yard work becomes a shared family activity, that could also be a good thing. If mom is outside cutting the grass while dad is watching the football game - ooooh boy, we better not even go there. Go Browns.
[/quote]

Wow, you are excellent, just excellent PuzzleAnnie! :thumbsup: You covered every possiblity, examining the relative morality of each scenario, and explained clearly your rationale. Bravo! :clapping:


#12

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.