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Patrece Mayerle wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • What happens when you are required by your place of employment to work on the Sabbath?


  { What happens when you are required by your place of employment to work on the Sabbath? }

Mike replied:

Hi Patrece,

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, the Third Commandment, tells us:

Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work; but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work. (Exodus 20:8-10; cf. Deuteronomy 5:12-15) The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath; so the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath. (Mark 2:27-28)

(CCC 2168)

As God rest on the seventh day, so should we, seeing we are made in His Image and Likeness. It is a day of protest against the servitude of work and the worship of money. (cf. Nehemiah 13:15-22; 2 Chronicles 36:21)

(CCC 2172)

No matter where companies reside in the world, if they respect Christianity, and more importantly religious freedom, they will allow you to opt out of working on Sundays.

If they don’t, according to the Church, this is something they (the decision makers) will have to answer for at their particular judgment. The Church would encourage you to work only for those companies that truly respect religious freedom and keeping the Sabbath holy and a day of rest.

Although their may be exceptions that I have overlooked, when you choose to work for a company that requires you to work on the Sabbath, besides saying something about the company, it says something about you and how important your Covenant is with the Lord.

Don’t treat your relationship with the Lord like a piece of toilet paper; preserve and cherish it.

If you think you have an extreme exception, talk to your Confessor or your pastor and use his advice . . . assuming he is faithful to the Church.

I hope this helps,


Patrece replied:

Hi Mike,

Thank you for the reply.

Now I will live with continued guilt. I live in a resort community. To not work weekends is to not work. It is funny how we in the resort area are the busiest on Sunday serving all the Christians enjoying their Sundays!

Peace in Christ!


Mike replied:

Hi Patrece,

Again, talk to a priest or pastor about your situation and get their counsel. At most parishes, you can renew your Covenant by going to Mass on Saturday evenings or Sunday evenings.

Take some private time in prayer and ask the Lord how to make time for Him.

That’s the best I can offer. My colleagues may have other ideas.


Paul replied:

Hi Patrece,

From the Catechism (with my bolding):

CCC 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.

As you can see, the Church sees fulfilling one's moral obligation in attending Mass as well as finding some time for leisure, rest, and relaxation as paramount; but allows for some work on Sundays relating to other people's leisure and public necessity.

Whether your job falls under either of these categories above may be a matter for interpretation. We can lead you to the Catechism and offer you general principles to live by, but, to have piece of mind for your particular case, you may want to ask a parish priest for his guidance and blessing on your work.



Patrece replied:

Thank you!

I will follow up with my Priest!


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