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SUNDAY WORSHIP

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Scripture

Isaiah 1:13 - God begins to reveal His displeasure with the Sabbath.

Matt. 28:1; Mark 16:2,9; John 20:1,19- the Gospel writers purposely reveal Jesus' resurrection and appearances were on Sunday. This is because Sunday had now become the most important day in the life of the Church.

Acts 20:7 - this text shows the apostolic tradition of gathering together to celebrate the Eucharist on Sunday, the "first day of the week." Luke documents the principle worship was on Sunday because this was one of the departures from the Jewish form of worship.

1 Cor. 16:2 - Paul instructs the Corinthians to make contributions to the churches "on the first day of the week," which is Sunday. This is because the primary day of Christian worship is Sunday.

Col. 2:16-17 - Paul teaches that the Sabbath was only a shadow of what was fulfilled in Christ, and says "let no one pass judgment any more over a Sabbath."

2 Thess. 2:15 - we are to hold fast to apostolic tradition, whether it is oral or written. The 2,000 year-old tradition of the Church is that the apostles changed the Sabbath day of worship from Saturday to Sunday.

Heb. 4:8-9 - regarding the day of rest, if Joshua had given rest, God would not later speak of "another day," which is Sunday, the new Sabbath. Sunday is the first day of the week and the first day of the new creation brought about by our Lord's resurrection, which was on Sunday.

Heb. 7:12 - when there is a change in the priesthood, there is a change in the law as well. Because we have a new Priest and a new sacrifice, we also have a new day of worship, which is Sunday.

Rev 1:10 - John specifically points out that he witnesses the heavenly Eucharistic liturgy on Sunday, the Lord's day, the new day of rest in Christ.

Matt. 16:19; 18:18 - whatever the Church binds on earth is bound in heaven. Since the resurrection, Mass has been principally celebrated on Sunday.

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Tradition / Church Fathers

 On the Lord's own day, assemble in common to break bread and offer thanks, but first confess your sins so that your sacrifice may be pure." Didache, 14 (A.D. 90).

"If, therefore, those who were brought up in the ancient order of things have come to the possession of a new hope, no longer observing the Sabbath, but living in the observance of the Lord's Day, on which also our life has sprung up again by Him and by His death--whom some deny, by which mystery we have obtained faith, and therefore endure, that we may be found the disciples of Jesus Christ, our only Master." Ignatius, To the Magnesians, 9:1 (A.D. 110).

"The seventh day, therefore, is proclaimed a rest--abstraction from ills--preparing for the Primal Day,[The Lord's Day] our true rest; which, in truth, is the first creation of light, in which all things are viewed and possessed. From this day the first wisdom and knowledge illuminate us. For the light of truth--a light true, casting no shadow, is the Spirit of God indivisibly divided to all, who are sanctified by faith, holding the place of a luminary, in order to the knowledge of real existences. By following Him, therefore, through our whole life, we become impossible; and this is to rest." Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, 6:16 (A.D. 202).

"In fine, let him who contends that the Sabbath is still to be observed as a balm of salvation, and circumcision on the eighth day because of the threat of death, teach us that, for the time past, righteous men kept the Sabbath, or practiced circumcision, and were thus rendered "friends of God." For if circumcision purges a man since God made Adam uncircumcised, why did He not circumcise him, even after his sinning, if circumcision purges? At all events, in settling him in paradise, He appointed one uncircumcised as colonist of paradise. Therefore, since God originated Adam uncircumcised, and inobservant of the Sabbath, consequently his offspring also, Abel, offering Him sacrifices, uncircumcised and inobservant of the Sabbath, was by Him commended; while He accepted what he was offering in simplicity of heart, and reprobated the sacrifice of his brother Cain, who was not rightly dividing what he was offering. Noah also, uncircumcised--yes, and inobservant of the Sabbath--God freed from the deluge. For Enoch, too, most righteous man, uncircumcised and in-observant of the Sabbath, He translated from this world; who did not first taste death, in order that, being a candidate for eternal life, he might by this time show us that we also may, without the burden of the law of Moses, please God." Tertullian, An answer to the Jews, 2 (A.D. 203).

"The apostles further appointed: On the first day of the week let there be service, and the reading of the Holy Scriptures, and the oblation: because on the first day of the week our Lord rose from the lace of the dead and on the first day of the week He arose upon the world, and on the first day of the week He ascended up to heaven, and on the first day of the week He will appear at last with the angels of heaven." Teaching of the Apostles, 2 (A.D. 225).

"Hence it is not possible that the rest after the Sabbath should have come into existence from the seventh of our God; on the contrary, it is our Saviour who, after the pattern of His own rest, caused us to be made in the likeness of His death, and hence also of His resurrection." Origen, Commentary on John, 2:27 (A.D. 229).

"On the seventh day He rested from all His works, and blessed it, and sanctified it. On the former day we are accustomed to fast rigorously, that on the Lord's day we may go forth to our bread with giving of thanks. And let the parasceve become a rigorous fast, lest we should appear to observe any Sabbath with the Jews, which Christ Himself, the Lord of the Sabbath, says by His prophets that 'His soul hateth;' which Sabbath He in His body abolished." Victorinus, On the Creation of the World (A.D. 300).

"They did not care about circumcision of the body, neither do we. They did not care about observing Sabbaths, nor do we." Eusebius, Church History, 1:4,8 (A.D. 312).

"Also that day which is holy and blessed in everything, which possesses the name of Christ, namely the Lord's day, having risen upon us on the fourth of Pharmuthi (Mar. 30), let us afterwards keep the holy feast of Pentecost." Athanasius, Epistle 9:11 (A.D. 335).

"Fall not away either into the sect of the Samaritans, or into Judaism: for Jesus Christ henceforth hath ransomed thee. Stand aloof from all observance of Sabbaths, and from calling any indifferent meats common or unclean." Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures, 4:37 (A.D. 350).

"Christians must not judaize by resting on the Sabbath, but must work on that day, rather honouring the Lord's Day; and, if they can, resting then as Christians. But if any shall be found to be judaizers, let them be anathema from Christ." Council of Laodicea, Canon 29 (A.D. 360).

"For many other observances of the Churches, which are due to tradition, have acquired the authority of the written law, as for instance the practice of dipping the head three times in the layer, and then, after leaving the water, of tasting mingled milk and honey in representation of infancy; and, again, the practices of standing up in worship on the Lord's day, and ceasing from fasting every Pentecost; and there are many other unwritten practices which have won their place through reason and custom. So you see we follow the practice of the Church, although it may be clear that a person was baptized before the Spirit was invoked." Jerome, Dialogue against the Luciferians, 8 (A.D. 382).

"Then as one whom they must respect, there will be the presbyter among them and this will contribute to the security of the estate. There will be constant prayers there through thee hymns and Communions through thee; the Oblation on each Lord's Day." John Chrysostom, Acts of the Apostles, Homily 18 (A.D. 388).

"And on the day of our Lord's resurrection, which is the Lord's day, meet more diligently, sending praise to God that made the universe by Jesus, and sent Him to us, and condescended to let Him suffer, and raised Him from the dead. Otherwise what apology will he make to God who does not assemble on that day to hear the saving word concerning the resurrection, on which we pray thrice standing in memory of Him who arose in three days, in which is performed the reading of the prophets, the preaching of the Gospel, the oblation of the sacrifice, the gift of the holy food?" Apostolic Constitutions, 2,7:59 (A.D. 400).

"Well, now, I should like to be told what there is in these ten commandments, except the observance of the Sabbath, which ought not to be kept by a Christian,--whether it prohibit the making and worshipping of idols and of any other gods than the one true God, or the taking of God's name in vain; or prescribe honour to parents; or give warning against fornication, murder, theft, false witness, adultery, or coveting other men's property? Which of these commandments would any one say that the Christian ought not to keep? Is it possible to contend that it is not the law which was written on those two tables that the apostle describes as 'the letter that killeth,' but the law of circumcision and the other sacred rites which are now abolished? But then how can we think so, when in the law occurs this precept, 'Thou shall not covet,' by which very commandment, notwithstanding its being holy, just, and good, 'sin,' says the apostle, 'deceived me, and by it slew me?' What else can this be than 'the letter' that 'killeth'?" Augustine, Spirit and the Letter, 23:14 (A.D. 412).

"He [Constantine] also enjoined the observance of the day termed the Lord's day, which the Jews call the first day of the week, and which the pagans dedicate to the sun, as likewise the day before the seventh, and commanded that no judicial or other business should be transacted on those days, but that God should be served with prayers and supplications. He honored the Lord's day, because on it Christ arose from the dead, and the day above mentioned, because on it he was crucified." Sozomon, Ecclesiastical History, 1:8 (A.D. 443).

"It has come to my ears that certain men of perverse spirit have sown among you some things that are wrong and opposed to the holy faith, so as to forbid any work being done on the Sabbath day. What else can I call these but preachers of Antichrist, who, when he comes, will cause the Sabbath day as well as the Lord's day to be kept free from all work. For, because he pretends to die and rise again, he wishes the Lord's day to be had in reverence; and, because he compels the people to judaize that he may bring back the outward rite of the law, and subject the per-tidy of the Jews to himself, he wishes the Sabbath to be observed. For this which is said by the prophet, 'Ye shall bring in no burden through your gates on the Sabbath day', could be held to as long as it was lawful for the law to be observed according to the letter. But after that the grace of Almighty God, our Lord Jesus Christ has appeared, the commandments of the law which were spoken figuratively cannot be kept according to the letter. For, if any one says that this about the Sabbath is to be kept, he must needs say that carnal sacrifices are to be offered: he must say too that the commandment about the circumcision of the body is still to be retained. But let him hear the Apostle Paul saying in opposition to him, 'If ye be circumcised, Christ profiteth you nothing. Pope Gregory the Great [regn. A.D. 590-604], To the Roman Citizens, Epistle 13:1 (A.D. 597).

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