The obligation of rest from work on Sunday remained somewhat indefinite for several centuries. A Council ofLaodicea, held toward the end of the fourth century, was content to prescribe that on the Lord's Day the faithfulwere to abstain from work as far as possible. At the beginning of the sixth century St. Caesarius, as we have seen, and others showed an inclination to apply the law of the Jewish Sabbath to the observance of the Christian Sunday. The Council held at Orléans in 538 reprobated this tendency as Jewish and non-Christian. From the eight century the law began to be formulated as it exists at the present day, and the local councils forbade servile work, public buying and selling, pleading in the law courts, and the public and solemn taking of oaths. There is a large body of civil legislation on the Sunday rest side by side with the ecclesiastical. It begins with an Edict ofConstantine, the first Christian emperor, who forbade judges to sit and townspeople to work on Sunday. He made an exception in favour of agriculture. The breaking of the law of Sunday rest was punished by the Anglo-Saxonlegislation in England like other crimes and misdemeanours. After the Reformation, under Puritan influence, manylaws were passed in England whose effect is still visible in the stringency of the English Sabbath. Still more is this the case in Scotland. There is no federal legislation in the United States on the observance of the Sunday, but nearly all the states of the Union have statutes tending to repress unnecessary labour and to restrain the liquor traffic. In other respects the legislation of the different states on this matter exhibits considerable variety. On the continent of Europe in recent years there have been several laws passed in direction of enforcing the observance of Sunday rest for the benefit of workmen.
[SOURCE] - Catholic Encyclopedia - article: Sunday
Today is the 1,665th anniversary of the death of Pope Saint Sylvester I. This 33rd Roman Pontiff in the line of Peter was the first to wear the Tiered Tiara, though it was only one tier at the time, representing spiritual. Elected on January 31, 314 his pontificate lasted 21 years and he will forever be remembered as the Pope who presided over the historic first Ecumenical Council at Nicea wherein the "Nicene Creed" - still prayed at Sunday Masses and Solemn Feast Days to this day - was formulated and Arianism was condemned while the Council Fathers settled the dispute over God the Father and God the Son decreeing them consubstantial. It would be in the Second Council at Constantinople 56 years later that God the Holy Spirit would be acknowledged to complete the Divinity of the Trinity. It was St. Sylvester who instituted Sunday as the Sabbath in recognition of the Resurrection of Our Lord. Ever mindful of the passion, he established the "Iron Crown" using a nail from the Holy Cross founded by Saint Helena in Jerusalem during her son Constantine's reign. To read more of what happened today in Church History, see MILLENNIUM MILESTONES AND MEMORIES
Derived from the Hebrew word for “cease, stop,” the term Sabbath refers to the observance of the seventh day of the week (Saturday) as a day of rest and religious observance by Jews. According to Genesis 2:3 the Sabbath was made part of the very structure of God’s creation… The term “Sabbath” is also applied in some circles to the Christian observance of the first day of the week (Sunday) as the memorial of Jesus’ resurrection. Sunday seems to have originally been a day of worship. But from the fourth century on Church leaders often applied the OT Sabbath commandment to the observance of Sunday as a day of rest.
The Modern Catholic Encyclopedia, p. 761.
The Church, on the other hand, after changing the day of rest from the Jewish Sabbath, or seventh day of the week, to the first, made the Third Commandment refer to Sunday as the day to be kept holy as the Lord's Day. The Council of Trent(Sess. VI, can. xix) condemns those who deny that the Ten Commandments are binding on Christians.
"Nothing is said in the Bible about the change of the Lord's day from Saturday to Sunday. We know of the change only from the tradition of the Church--a fact handed down to us from earliest times by the living voice of the Church. That is why we find so illogical the attitude of many non-Catholics, who say that they yet will believe nothing unless they can find it in the Bible and yet will continue to keep Sunday as the Lord's day on the say-so of the Catholic Church."
Excerpt from a Catholic book: The Faith Explained (3rd Edition), by Leo J. Trese, page 246.
"QUESTION: How prove you that the Church hath power to command feasts and holy days?
ANSWER: By the very act of changing the Sabbath into Sunday, which Protestants allow of and therefore, they fondly contradict themselves by keeping Sunday strictly, and breaking most other feasts commanded by the same church.
QUESTION: How prove you that?
ANSWER: Because by keeping Sunday they acknowledge the Church's power to ordain feasts, and to
The Douay Cathechism, page 59.
The observance of Sunday by the Protestants is an homage they pay in spite of themselves to the authority of the Catholic Church.”
Monsignor Louis Segur, Plain talk about the Protestantism of Today, p. 213.
“If Protestants would follow the Bible, they would worship God on the Sabbath Day. In keeping the Sunday they are following a law of the Catholic Church.”
Albert Smith, Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, replying for the Cardinal, in a letter dated February 10, 1920.
“It was the Catholic Church which made the law obliging us to keep Sunday holy. The church made this law long after the Bible was written. Hence said law is not in the Bible. The Cath. [sic.] Church abolished not only the Sabbath, but all the other Jewish festivals.”
Letter by T. Enright, Bishop of St. Alphonsus Church, St. Louis, Missouri, June, 1905
“They [the Protestants] deem it their duty to keep the Sunday holy. Why? Because the Catholic Church tells them to do so. They have no other reason…The observance of Sunday thus comes to be an ecclesiastical law entirely distinct from the divine law of Sabbath observance…The author of the Sunday law…is the Catholic Church.”
Ecclesiastical Review, February 1914
"Sunday...It is a law of the Catholic Church alone..."
Catholic American Sentinel, June 1893