Radio Show

Are We Allowed to Work on Sunday?


A listener named Bill calls into the show and asks Father Dave, “Are we allowed to work on Sunday?” Bill shares that the line between working and not working on the Sabbath seems to be blurred.

Father Dave explains that while we draw on the Jewish notion of Sabbath, the Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “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 works of mercy, and the appropriate relaxation of mind and body.”

LISTEN: Shouldn’t the Sabbath Be a Saturday?

Father Dave points out that the Catechism also recognizes that family needs and important social service can legitimately excuse the faithful from the obligation of Sunday rest, but we should be careful that legitimate excuses don’t lead to habits that draw us away from our faith and family life.

The listener also points out that he’s confused about whether or not we are allowed to go out to eat on Sundays because the Bible says we should not exchange commerce on the Sabbath. Father Dave reiterates that the Catechism encourages families to spend time together on Sundays. “The idea is we are spending time with God, we are spending time with family. We allow our systems humanly to have a break from the work that we do … The Church is letting us discern rather than saying, ‘Do this,’ and ‘Do that.’ To discern, am I spending time with my family? Am I allowing enough time to worship God, and for us to be charitable to one another? … It’s up to us to honor the rhythm that God has built into creation.” (Original Air 3-07-17)