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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," 121 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. 122

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.

The charity of truth seeks holy leisure- the necessity of charity accepts just work. 124

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.

2187 Sanctifying Sundays and holy days requires a common effort. Every Christian should avoid making unnecessary demands on others that would hinder them from observing the Lord's Day. Traditional activities (sport, restaurants, etc.), and social necessities (public services, etc.), require some people to work on Sundays, but everyone should still take care to set aside sufficient time for leisure. With temperance and charity the faithful will see to it that they avoid the excesses and violence sometimes associated with popular leisure activities. In spite of economic constraints, public authorities should ensure citizens a time intended for rest and divine worship. Employers have a similar obligation toward their employees.

2188 In respecting religious liberty and the common good of all, Christians should seek recognition of Sundays and the Church's holy days as legal holidays. They have to give everyone a public example of prayer, respect, and joy and defend their traditions as a precious contribution to the spiritual life of society. If a country's legislation or other reasons require work on Sunday, the day should nevertheless be lived as the day of our deliverance which lets us share in this "festal gathering," this "assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven." 125

IN BRIEF:

2189 "Observe the sabbath day, to keep it holy" (Deut 5:12). "The seventh day is a sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the Lord" (Ex 31:15).

2190 The sabbath, which represented the completion of the first creation, has been replaced by Sunday which recalls the new creation inaugurated by the Resurrection of Christ.

2191 The Church celebrates the day of Christ's Resurrection on the "eighth day," Sunday, which is rightly called the Lord's Day (cf. SC 106).

2192 "Sunday . . . is to be observed as the foremost holy day of obligation in the universal Church" (CIC, can. 1246 § 1). "On Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful are bound to participate in the Mass" (CIC, can. 1247).

2193 "On Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful are bound . . . to abstain from those labors and business concerns which impede the worship to be rendered to God, the joy which is proper to the Lord's Day, or the proper relaxation of mind and body" (CIC, can. 1247).

2194 The institution of Sunday helps all "to be allowed sufficient rest and leisure to cultivate their amilial, cultural, social, and religious lives" (GS 67 § 3).

2195 Every Christian should avoid making unnecessary demands on others that would hinder them from observing the Lord's Day.

NOTES:

1 Mt 22:37; cf. Lk 10:27:". . . and with all your strength."

2 Deut 6:4.

3 Ex 20:2-5; cf. Deut 5:6-9.

4 Mt 4:10.

5 Deut 6:13-14.

6 Cf. Ex 19:16-25; 24:15-18.

7 St. Justin, Dial. cum Tryphone Judaeo 11, 1: PG 6, 497.

8 Roman Catechism 3, 2,4.

9 Rom 1:5; 16:26.

10 Cf. Rom 1:18-32.

11 CIC, can. 751: emphasis added.

12 Cf. Deut 6:4-5.

13 Lk 4:8; Cf. Deut 6:13.

14 Cf. Lk 1:46-49.

15 Lk 18:1.

16 St. Augustine, De civ Dei 10, 6: PL 41, 283.

17 Ps 51:17.

18 Cf. Am 5:21-25; Isa 1:10-20.

19 Mt 9:13; 12:7; Cf. Hos 6:6.

20 Cf. Heb 9:13-14.

21 CIC, can. 1191 § 1.

22 Cf. Acts 18:18; 21:23-24.

23 Cf. CIC, can. 654.

24 LG 42 § 2.

25 Cf. CIC, cann. 692; 1196-1197.

26 DH 1 § 2.

27 DH 2 § 1.

28 NA 2 § 2.

29 DH 14 § 4.

30 DH 1 § 3.

31 AA 13 § 1.

32 Cf. DH 1.

33 Cf. AA 13; Leo XIII, Immortale Dei 3, 17; Pius XI, Quas primas 8, 20.

34 DH 2 § 1.

35 DH 2 § 2.

36 DH 6 § 3.

37 Cf. Leo XIII, Libertas praestantissimum 18; Pius XII AAS 1953, 799.

38 Cf. DH 2.

39 Cf. Pius VI, Quod aliquantum (1791) 10; Pius IX, Quanta cura 3.

40 DH 7 § 3.

41 Cf. Mt 23:16-22.

42 Ps 115:4-5, 8; cf. Isa 44:9-20; Jer 10:1-16; Dan 14:1-30; Bar 6; Wis 13: 1-15:19.

43 Josh 3:10; Ps 42:3; etc.

44 Mt 6:24.

45 Cf. Rev 13-14.

46 Cf. Gal 5:20; Eph 5:5.

47 Origen, Contra Celsum 2, 40: PG 11, 861.

48 Cf. Deut 18:10; Jer 29:8.

49 Cf. Lk 4:9.

50 Deut 6:16.

51 Cf. I Cor 10:9; Ex 17:2-7; Ps 95:9.

52 Cf. CIC, cann. 1367; 1376.

53 Cf. Acts 8:9-24.

54 Acts 8:20.

55 Mt 10:8; cf. already Isa 55:1.

56 CIC, can. 848.

57 Mt 10:10; cf. Lk 10:7; I Cor 9:5-18; I Tim 5:17-18.

58 GS 19 § 1.

59 GS 20 § 2.

60 GS 20 § 2.

61 Cf. Rom 1:18.

62 GS 19 § 3.

63 Cf. GS 20 § 1.

64 GS 21 § 3.

65 GS 21 § 7.

66 Deut 4:15-16.

67 Sir 43:27-28.

68 Wis 13:3.

69 Cf. Num 21:4-9; Wis 16:5-14; Jn 3:14-15; Ex 25:10-22; I Kings 6:23-28; 7:23-26.

70 St. Basil, De Spiritu Sancto 18, 45: PG 32, 149C; Council of Nicaea II: DS 601; cf. Council of Trent: DS 1821-1825; Vatican Council II: SC 126; LG 67.

71 St. Thomas Aquinas, STh II-II, 81, 3 ad 3.

72 Ex 20:7; Deut 5:11.

73 Mt 5:33-34.

74 Cf. Zech 2:13; Ps 29:2; 96:2; 113:1-2.

75 John Henry Cardinal Newman, Parochial and Plain Sermons V, 2 (London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1907) 21-22.

76 Cf. Mt 10:32; I Tim 6:12.

77 Cf. I Jn 1:10.

78 Jas 2:7.

79 Cf. CIC, can. 1369.

80 St. Augustine, De serm. Dom. in monte 2, 5, 19: PL 34, 1278.

81 Deut 6:13.

82 Mt 5:33-34, 37; Cf. Jas 5:12.

83 Cf. 2 Cor 1:23; Gal 1:20.

84 CIC, can. 1199 § 1.

85 Mt 28:19.

86 CIC, Can. 855.

87 Cf. Isa 43:1; Jn 10:3.

88 Rev 2:17.

89 Rev 14:1.

90 Ex 20:8-10; cf. Deut 5:12-15.

91 Mk 2:27-28.

92 Ex 31:15.

93 Ex 20:11.

94 Deut 5:15.

95 Cf. Ex 31:16.

96 Ex 31:17; cf. 23:12.

97 Cf. Neh 13:15-22; 2 Chr 36:21.

98 Cf. Mk 1:21; Jn 9:16.

99 Mk 2:27.

100 Cf. Mk 3:4.

101 Cf. Mt 12:5; Jn 7:23.

102 Mk 2:28.

103 Ps 118:24.

104 Cf. Mt 28:1; Mk 16:2; Lk 24:1; Jn 20:1.

105 Cf. Mk 16:1; Mt 28:1.

106 St. Justin, I Apol. 67: PG 6, 429 and 432.

107 Cf. I Cor 10:11.

108 St. Ignatius of Antioch, Ad Magn. 9, 1: SCh 10, 88.

109 St. Thomas Aquinas, STh II-II 122, 4.

110 CIC, can. 1246 § 1.

111 CIC, can. 1246 § 2: "The conference of bishops can abolish certain holy days of obligation or transfer them to a Sunday with prior approval of the Apostolic See."

112 Cf. Acts 2:42-46; I Cor 11:17.

113 Heb 10:25.

114 Sermo de die dominica 2 et 6: PG 86/1, 416C and 421C.

115 CIC, can. 515 § 1.

116 St. John Chrysostom, De incomprehensibili 3, 6: PG 48, 725.

117 CIC, can. 1247.

118 CIC, can. 1248 § 1.

119 Cf. CIC, can. 1245.

120 CIC, can. 1248 § 2.

121 Gen 2:2.

122 Cf. GS 67 § 3.

123 Cf. CIC, can. 120.

124 St. Augustine, De civ. Dei 19, 19: PL 41, 647.

125 Heb 12:22-23.

Notes:

121 Gen 2:2.

122 Cf. GS 67 § 3.

123 Cf. CIC, can. 120.

124 St. Augustine, De civ. Dei 19, 19: PL 41, 647.

125 Heb 12:22-23.

English Translation of the Cathechism of the Catholic Church for the United States of America © 1997, United States Catholic Conference, Inc.

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