Table of Contents Table of Contents
Previous Page  392 / 665 Next Page
Show Menu
Previous Page 392 / 665 Next Page
Page Background

364 • Part III. Christian Morality: The Faith Lived


Jesus rose from the dead “on the first day of the week.”

. . . For Christians it has become the first of all days, the

first of all feasts, the Lord’s Day.

—CCC, no. 2174

The Third Commandment calls us to keep holy the Sabbath day. For

Christians, the observance of the Sabbath is transferred to Sunday, the

day that Jesus rose from the dead. God, through the Church, obliges us

to make Sunday holy by participation in the Eucharist and by our being

prayerfully reflective as far as possible. Sunday observance fulfills the

interior law inscribed in the human heart to render to God visible and

public worship as a sign of radical dependence upon God and as grati-

tude for all the blessings we have received.

Every seven days, the Church celebrates the Easter mystery. This

tradition goes back to the time of the Apostles. It takes its origin from

the actual day of Christ’s Resurrection. Sunday extends the celebration

of Easter throughout the year. It is meant to be illumined by the glory

of the Risen Christ. It makes present the new creation brought about

by Christ.

Sunday also recalls the creation of the world. The Genesis account

of creation, expressed in poetic style, is a hymn of awe and adoration of

God in the presence of the immensity of creation.

The Fathers of the Second Vatican Council explained how we should

celebrate the Eucharist on Sunday, or its vigil on Saturday evening:

The Church, therefore, earnestly desires that Christ’s faithful,

when present at this mystery of faith, should not be there as

strangers or silent spectators. On the contrary, through a good

understanding of the rites and prayers they should take part in

the sacred action, conscious of what they are doing, with devo-

tion and full collaboration. They should be instructed by God’s

word and be nourished at the table of the Lord’s Body. They

should give thanks to God. Offering the immaculate victim,

not only through the hands of the priest, but also together with