Remember the Sabbath Day…

free weekend

This ad, found in a local newspaper, raises all sorts of questions. The meeting place (the “upper room”?) is somewhat ironic too…

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21 Responses to Remember the Sabbath Day…

  1. Peregrinus says:

    Ah. But you will recall that, when Protestant England was duped by the perfidy of its leaders into accepting the Romish Gregorian calendar in 1752, twelve days were dropped to bring England into line with the mired-in-superstition Italians. The result is that the day commonly called Friday is in fact Sunday when reckoned according to the calendar set out in the King James Bible, which was good enough for Jesus Christ. QED.

  2. Joshua says:

    No, no, no – the hallowed and sacrosanct seven-day cycle was never broken!

    The 4th of October 1582 was a Thursday.

    Then, ten dates removed (5th-14th October), the next day was Friday the 15th; the 16th was Saturday, and the 17th was Sunday.

    When the Gregorian Calendar was brought in in October 1582 (on the night St Teresa of Avila died and went to heaven), though twelve days or rather dates were dropped out, the next day was still the next day of the week!

    So I think you may be in error, dear P.

  3. Joshua says:

    Seriously, how about the modern Catholic practice – which I follow at present – of counting a Vigil Mass on Saturday evening as fulfilling the obligation of worshipping Almighty God on Sundays? (I am aware of and entirely assent to what Vatican II says about this, BTW!)

    More oddly, how about a Catholic nursing home in the Glorious See of Melbourne, where – according to a rescript of a former Ordinary, Cardinal Knox, a 10 am Saturday Mass is counted as a Sunday Mass, and fulfils one’s obligation? This Mass is still said, and must be the earliest Sunday Mass on the entire planet! (Even in Kiribati and other Pacific isles, it would still be the early afternoon of Saturday.)

    I do seriously wonder whether the late Cardinal did in fact attempt to legislate ultra vires – it seems a bit much…

    • Tom says:

      I’m one of the ‘moderns’ then I guess – sat. night 8pm as counting the Sunday obligation. However Saturday day’s don’t. Feast days that fall on Saturday are celebrated in the morning, and then the 8pm still to be attended. It’s to do with Jewish tradition I believe: their passover starts Friday night @ 6pm, and goes until Saturday night @ 6pm – in much the way as our Sabbath begins sat. night @ 6pm, and goes until 6pm Sunday (as I understand there should not be any 6pm Sunday Masses). It’s still a 24 hour cycle, but there is some tradition that came from the west that said days begin at midnight instead of 6pm. Sunday is occupied with Lauds though, so it’d be hard to have Mass & Morning Prayer.

      • Schütz says:

        Saturday nights count as Sundays because of the ancient Jewish method of counting days starting with sundown on the evening before. You should know that, Josh. Of course, as the Cooees mob point out with their Vigil Watch each Easter, Vigils before sun-down do not really count.

        • Peregrinus says:

          The whole point about a repeating cycle, such as the day-night cycle, is that it doesn’t have any beginning or end point; that’s what makes it a cycle. Thus the division between any two days is an arbitrary point.

          Sunset-to-sunset is arguably a more natural and obvious division than midnight-at-a-point-not-too-far-from-where-I-happen-to-be-chosen-because-it-is-an-exact-multiple-of-fifteen-degrees-east-or-west-of-the-Greenwich-meridian-(and-adjusted-by-one-hour-for-daylight-saving-where-applicable).

          As it happens, ecclesiastical Sunday lasts more than twenty-four hours. It includes the Saturday evening, and the whole of Sunday, and canon law does not define either the start of Saturday evening (people seem to assume sunset, or 6p.m. as a proxy for sunset, but Canon 1248 doesn’t say) or the end-point of Sunday. (Midnight solar time? Midnight standard time? Midnight daylight Saving Time? Take your pick.)

          But we should bear in mind that the Gospels record when the resurection was discovered, not when it occurred, and that John and the Synoptics offer time-lines of the passion and resurrection which do not entirely agree. The important point is that, as a church, we celebrate the resurrection collectively, in our eucharist. As long as we do this together, exactly [i]when[/i] we start and end our celebrations is of lesser importance.

        • Joshua says:

          True, but recall the bizarreness of the little old lady who goes to Mass every day, except twice on Saturday – and never on Sunday.

          Until the 20th C., owing to wars and such, Mass was only said in the morning, from an hour before sunrise to an hour after noon: for it is the memorial of the Resurrection, and Christ is imaged by the rising sun (hence facing East all together, geddit?).

          The Sunday = Saturday evening plus Sunday morning plus Sunday evening equation is a very new thing.

          Dare we mock those who choose Friday evening “for convenience”?

          • Joshua says:

            In other words, I think the ideal and the norm should be Sunday morning Mass (hopefully not too early)!

          • Tom says:

            But that bizarre little old lady isn’t doing anything wrong. It seems like people think that going to Mass on Saturday night is an act of ‘convenience’ since it’s ‘hard to get up on Sunday,’ or whatever.

            You want to know what’s really inconvenient? That Saturday nights are when all your mates have their parties, that Saturday nights are when all the extra shift options at work are available (for impoverished students like myself). Saturday night is not a ‘convenience’ Mass: Saturday night is a full and rich night. The Mass is just fuller, and richer, this is why I go on Saturday nights.

            As for Vigil-Watch, we start the Easter Vigil at 11.30pm on the Saturday of the Triduum, with the Lumingentsium (spelt something like that: the ‘liturgy of light’), and conclude at 6am on Easter Sunday.

            I’ve nothing against Sunday morning Mass, if that is how you want to fulfill your obligation. But Christianity is ultimately a Jewish tradition, and the Jewish tradition counts sundown as the beginning of the day. I celebrate the same Mass every other Catholic does, with the same readings, and with the same Responsorial Psalm, a Priest ordained in the Roman Catholic Church giving the homily and the same Eucharistic sacrament and liturgy. It’s just Saturday night. That doesn’t mean I somehow don’t celebrate the “Sunday Mass.”

            Since there’s up to 24-hour disparity between locations around the world anyway, my celebrating the Mass at a different time should not preclude any communion with the Church. I will finish here, but Saturday night Mass is:

            a) not a ‘convenient’ Mass
            b) still just as much the Sunday Mass as Masses that begin after Midnight Saturday
            c) Ultimately, I, and I’m sure others who celebrate on Saturday night do not choose Saturday night ‘for convenience.’ If you want Joshua, tell all your friends that you will not be able to go out and socialise with them again on a Saturday night because you have Mass. See just how inconvenient it is. Look, I’m not a masochist, I don’t go to Mass on Saturday night because it’s an easy way to sleep in on Sunday (which I don’t anyway, cause I’m woken up at 8.30 for Morning Prayer). Mass on Saturday night is as valid and full a Mass as those on Sunday’s.
            d) Don’t compare me with someone who goes to Mass on Friday evening as fulfilling the Sunday obligation. They are being disobedient to the Church, I am not.

            • Joshua says:

              Please, take no offence – none was meant nor implied!

              I merely raise the issue – as I point out, I myself now customarily go to the Vigil Mass to fulfil my Sunday obligation.


          • Schütz says:

            Well, it is a new thing in relation to when the Sunday Mass is celebrated, but Saturday night has always been celebrated as the first Vespers of Sunday.

  4. PM says:

    Not to mention our own Br Tony Patterson FMS who has got to be the principal of a ‘Catholic’ ‘school’ without discovering the Third Commandment – see

    Buton the nursing home issue dear Joshua, I have an elederly and infirm reative in the same position. With the declining number of priests, the only tme they can find one to say Mass in the home is on Tuesday. Every priest within cooee (excuse the pun) is already celebrating the maximum number of Masses on Sunday, or even more.

  5. Joshua says:

    Obviously having a weekday Mass for the benefit of such shut-ins is great, even if unfortunately it cannot be a Sunday Mass.

    My issue is rather than it seems incredible to declare by fiat that Saturday morning counts as Sunday!

    Next we’ll have a decree making one’s Sunday obligation fulfillable on any day of the week… which rather makes a mockery of the word “Sunday”.

  6. Joshua says:

    Such attempts at legislating what is beyond anyone’s powers, even God’s (for even He cannot make a “square circle” or any other logical impossibility), put me in mind of one of that vile Bishop Hoadley’s low, sly, Erastian pronouncements that so outraged and angered the High Churchmen of his day: “The Church of England is Trinitarian, but by Act of Parliament could become Unitarian.” At least King Canute recognized that he couldn’t command the waves – his famous order to the incoming tide to stop was intended as a parable for his noblemen, that they realize a king’s power is not absolute, but bound by natural laws and so forth.

  7. Matthias says:

    This highwaychristian church is i think a member of the Apostolic Church that has a branch somewhere in the City of Knox

  8. Louise says:

    free weekend.

    Pathetic. Who would live for such a religion, much less die for it?

  9. Kiran says:

    There used, of course, to be the bizzarreness (in connection with the bizzarreness of having a Sunday Mass on a Saturday morning) of having the Easter Vigil Mass on Holy Saturday Morning. It was done, and it was not the right thing to do. People who did it weren’t disobedient, but I am glad we don’t do it any more.

    Maybe there are two ways of looking at this:

    On the one hand, there is the fact of the abandonment of certain traditional forms and actions. One for instance, is the traditional Christian abhorrence of cremation, which has recently been lost sight of. Another is Fish on Fridays. Now, this can be done without being disobedient, but the question of whether it should have been relaxed at all still remains. Very often modern analyses of things run along the lines of “One could very well have done things differently. Therefore, anything goes.” But the problem with this line of thinking is that, sometimes when we change the rules of a game, we change the game in very fundamental ways, to the extent, occasionally, that we are playing a wholly different game altogether.

    But this goes beyond that, I think. What is at issue here is the larger fact of trying to be in conformity with the world as opposed to trying to change it. The preservation of a day as devoted to the Lord is something which needs to be done. Unfortunately, with Sunday trading, we have lost that. And now, the proposal being considered goes even further: A day (or a couple of days) are being devoted not to the Lord, but to myself, the greatest person in the world. But the inevitable result of the worship of self, and the sidelining of God, will be the extinction of self.

    Ultimately also, the problem with this line of thought is the problem of Protestantism: God, from being the Jealous God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, becomes a dictator, who we placate by giving him some time.

  10. “But this goes beyond that, I think. What is at issue here is the larger fact of trying to be in conformity with the world as opposed to trying to change it. The preservation of a day as devoted to the Lord is something which needs to be done. Unfortunately, with Sunday trading, we have lost that. …”

    N.B. whatever about the question of the legitimacy of a Saturday-night Sunday Mass (Mr. Schütz rightly reminds us that liturgical Sunday begins with Saturday Vespers, and a Saturday-night Sunday Mass would seem therefore to disjoint the rhythm of liturgical life–if one wants to show that one values liturgical participation over convenience then why not attend Saturday Vespers and Sunday morning Mass?), the obligation–binding under pain of grave sin–to abstain from unnecessary servile work (and from inducing others to perform unnecessary servile work, for that matter) applies from 12:00 A.M. Sunday till 12:00 A.M. Monday.

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