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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.


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


Dies Domini

; 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.