Chapter 27. Third Commandment: Love the Lord’s Day • 365
him, they should learn to offer themselves. Through Christ, the
Mediator, they should be drawn day by day into ever more per-
fect union with God and with each other, so that finally God
may be all in all. (SC, no. 48)
Our presence at Eucharist must be more than a passive experience
of the work of the priest and the music from the choir. We should join
actively in the worship, where everyone present pours out adoration of
and love for God. The more we meditate upon what we are doing, the
more we will worship in spirit and truth and benefit from the grace that
flows from the Eucharist. We will grow in our love and worship of God
as well as in respect and love for one another.
WHY GO TO CHURCH ON SUNDAY?
The intimate bond between Sunday and resurrection of
the Lord is strongly emphasized by all the churches of
East and West. In the tradition of the Eastern churches
in particular, every Sunday is the anastaseos hemera, the
day of resurrection, and this is why it stands at the heart
of all worship.
—Pope John Paul II,
Day of the Lord
; DD), no. 19
While it is the first day of the week, Sunday is also called the “eighth
day”—a day signifying eternity. Sunday fulfills and completes the
Sabbath because it anticipates our eternal rest in God. The Sabbath
remembered the first creation. Sunday recalls the new creation in Christ
and the Spirit.
The heart of Sunday is the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. The
practice of celebrating the Eucharist on Sunday dates from the earliest
times. For example, St. Justin Martyr (AD 100-165) wrote as follows:
“We all gather on the day of the sun, for it is the first day [after the
Jewish sabbath, but also the first day] when God, separating matter from
darkness, made the world; and on this same day Jesus Christ our Savior
rose from the dead” (I
. 67: cf. PG 6, 429 and 432; cf. CCC, no.