Should Christians worship on the Sabbath (Saturday) or on the Sunday?
In the Holy Bible, we read, “So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it because on it God rested from all the work that He had done in creation.” [Genesis 2:3] “Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy.” [Exodus 20:8]
Because of this, some Christian religions, such as the Seventh-Day Adventists, condemn those who worship on Sunday instead of Saturday. They say that God has ordained that we worship on the last day of the week, Saturday, the day of rest and not on the first day of the week, Sunday.
So truly, why do Catholics worship on Sunday? If you were asked by someone, could you provide a valid reason for Sunday worship?
There are four main reasons as to why the Catholic Church worships on Sunday. These are:
1) Early Christians worshiped on Sundays.
In the Holy Bible, we read that the disciples of Jesus were plucking heads of grain and eating them on the Sabbath when such was forbidden under Jewish law. [Mt. 12:1-8; Mk. 2:24-26; Lk. 6:1-5] “Now that day was a Sabbath. So the Jews said to the man who had been cured, ‘It is the Sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your mat.’ But he answered them, ‘The man who made me well said to me, ‘Take up your matt and walk.’” [John 5:10-11]
From the above passages, we see that Jesus did not set strict restrictions regarding the Sabbath. In fact, Jesus proclaimed Himself as the Lord of the Sabbath. “Then He (Jesus) said to them, ‘The Son of Man (Jesus) is lord of the Sabbath.” [Lk. 6:5] Therefore, it is up to Jesus to determine what can and what cannot be done on the Sabbath.
Elsewhere in the Holy Bible, we read that Saint Paul informed the Colossians that they should not be disturbed by those who condemn them for observing the Sabbath. “Therefore do not let anyone condemn you in matters of food and drink, or of observing festivals, new moons, or Sabbaths.” [Colossians 2:16-17]
Why did he inform the Colossians not to be disturbed because of their worship on Sundays? It is because from the early days of the Church, Christian worship took place on Sundays, not on Saturday. This was implemented to recognize who the Christians were. The Jewish people worshiped on the Sabbath in the Synagogues. The Christians worshiped on Sundays in their homes, in the catacombs, any place that was convenient and safe.
2) The Catholic Church possesses the Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven.
Jesus said to Peter, “I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in Heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in Heaven.” [Matthew 16:19] Jesus gave Peter the authority to change the day of worship from Saturday to Sunday. And Peter, having been with Jesus during His ministry, and having seen the actions of Jesus on the Sabbath, did use that authority under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
3) The Resurrection was on a Sunday.
Jesus resurrected on the Sunday, not on the Saturday. Through the glorious Resurrection, Jesus elevated the Sunday as a day of importance, it having become “the Day of the Lord.” Jesus could have resurrected on the Saturday, but He chose the Sunday. Surely, this was a sign to the Apostles during the early days of the Church.
And so the early day Christians met on Sunday to worship. “On the first day of the week, when we met to break bread, Paul was holding a discussion with them: since he intended to leave the next day...” [Acts 20:7]
Did you know that the origin of the Church collection on Sunday is in the Holy Bible? “Now concerning the collection for the saints: you should follow the directions I gave to the churches of Galatia. On the first day of every week, each of you is to put aside and save whatever extra you earn, so that collections need not be taken when I come.” [1 Cor. 16:1-2]
4) Pentecost Sunday.
The Holy Spirit chose to come to the Catholic Church on the Sunday.
Therefore, those who worship on the Saturday, they do not recognize the tradition of the Church since its early days. They do not recognize Jesus’ gift to the Catholic Church of the Keys to the Kingdom of God. They do not consider the day of Jesus’ resurrection as an important day that should be remembered every week. Nor do they consider the Coming of the Holy Spirit to the Church on a Sunday as a worthy gift to be remembered every Sunday.
Now you know why Catholics worship on Sundays.