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Shouldn’t the Sabbath Be a Saturday?


A listener calls in with a question for Father Dave inspired by a conversation with a friend of hers who is a Seventh Day Adventist: “If the true Sabbath is Saturday, why do we [as Catholics] celebrate it on Sunday? My friend tells me, ‘You Catholics changed everything.’ So, how do I respond that we didn’t change the Sabbath? Did we?”

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Father Dave points out that it isn’t just Catholics who celebrate Sunday as the day of the Lord — in fact all Christian denominations do, with Seventh Day Adventists being the exception. He also explains that the Seventh Day Adventist idea of Saturday being the “true” Sabbath stems from the Jewish tradition, in which the Sabbath is observed from sundown on Friday through sundown on Saturday. But, Father Dave says, “The command of honoring the Sabbath [is] in the Old Testament in the Torah — the books of the law that even today Jews would hold up as the commandments from God. However, there are quite a few things in the Jewish laws that, because of the New Covenant, we don’t adhere to exactly. For instance, we can eat pork products, even though it’s prohibited in the Jewish laws.”

In brief, just because people of the Jewish faith celebrate the Sabbath on Saturday doesn’t make that day a more “authentic” or “true” Sabbath than Sunday.

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As to why Christians celebrate the Sabbath on Sunday, Father Dave says this: “The quick answer as to why do we take our day of rest on Sunday is because Jesus rose from the dead on Sunday — the day we call the Lord’s Day. … In the New Covenant, we honor Sunday because that’s the day that Jesus chose to rise from the dead.” (Original Air 10-03-17)