Monday, 28 May 2012

The Sabbath & Sundays

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Seventh-Day Adventists and many Protestant groups say that the Catholic Church wrongly changed the sabbath from Saturday to Sunday.  Regardless of whether it s true or otherwise, the Catholic Church and much of Christianity worship on Sunday rather than Saturday.  Why is there a break from the Jewish tradition?  While some Christians refer to Sunday as the Christian sabbath, the sabbath has always been Saturday.  Traditionally Jews have celebrated the sabbath from sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday.  Sunday is a distinct day which follows the sabbath.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains, “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 what was done there prefigured some aspects of Christ.”

For Christians, the ceremonial observance of Sunday replaces that of the sabbath.  Christians are not celebrating the sabbath on Sunday.  Christians are celebrating something distinct that they believe the sabbath points toward.  The Catechism says the Jewish sabbath announces man's eternal rest in God and prefigures some aspects of Christ whilst the Sunday thus fulfills what the sabbath pointed toward.

Instead of the Sabbath, Christians celebrate the “Lord’s Day.”  They have done so since the first century.  For example, in the first chapter of Revelation, John of Patmos said he experienced the inaugural vision of the book on the “Lord's Day”:

Revelation 1:9, 10
9 I, John, your brother, who share your ill-usage, your royal dignity, and your endurance in Christ Jesus, was set down on the island called Patmos, for love of God’s Word and of the truth concerning Jesus.  10 And there, on the Lord’s Day, I fell into a trance, and heard behind me a voice, loud as the call of a trumpet,

The important thing to note is that he speaks of the Lord's Day as an already-established practice.


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