Sunday is a Day of Rest

"'Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest" Matthew 11:28

I read a blog yesterday about keeping Sunday as a day of rest. I keep thinking about this and I think maybe I’m failing in my observance of the Sabbath.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (Second Edition) has this to say about the Sabbath:

2175 Sunday is expressly distinguished from the sabbath which it follows chronologically every week; for Christians its ceremonial observance replaces that of the sabbath. In Christ’s Passover, Sunday fulfills the spiritual truth of the Jewish sabbath and announces man’s eternal rest in God. For worship under the Law prepared for the mystery of Christ, and when was done there prefigured some aspects of Christ:

Those who lived according to the old order of things have come to a new hope, no longer keeping the sabbath, but the Lord’s Day, in which our life is blessed by him and by his death

2176 The celebration of Sunday observes the moral commandment inscribe by nature in the human heart to render to God an outward, visible, public and regular worship “as a sign of his universal beneficence to all “Sunday worship fulfills the moral command of the Old Covenant, taking up its rhythm and spirit in the weekly celebration of the Creator and Redeemer of his people.

After reading this I thought; my family attends Mass every Sunday, we almost always have at least one but sometimes two meals together and our activities are usually less than they would be during the week. My teenage boys have jobs over the weekend because it’s best they don’t work too late while they’re in school. Unfortunately more and more sports are being played on Sunday (to fit them in). I wish it weren’t that way but I don’t have the courage or conviction to have my children not participate in something they really enjoy because a coach or league has decided to play on Sunday. As I’m typing this my words “they enjoy” do hit me. I know it’s a choice, I know.

Further reading of the Catechism brings me to “A day of grace and rest from work” , this is it. I found what I was looking for. Above in 2175 and 2176 I was not doing anything I wasn’t supposed to do. I have a feeling I may not get the same from 2184 and 2185 that follow.

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 habit prejudicial to religion, family life and health.

I do think my family treats Sunday as a special day for the Lord. I do make every effort to limit the number of activities we partake in on Sunday and do feel we have our focus in the right place, on God. For now the best I can do is try to balance my rest and the lives of my family. This may just be one of those things that will remain between “me and God” for now. Are we perfect? No. Is anyone?

Please share your “Sabbath” traditions. I’d love to hear how you have been able to truly observe the Sabbath, the Lord’s Day, as a day of rest.


Cathi D.


About cathid

Catholic: daughter, sister, wife, mom of five, friend. I love to read, chat, drink coffee, take long walks, chat, watch movies and did I mention chat?
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