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Is it a sin to work on Sunday?


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#1 Johannes

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Posted 18 January 2015 - 04:11 PM

I haven't been able to get a clear answer on this. I have heard from a priest that it was alright to work on things that were refreshing to our souls, i.e., personal projects, hobbies, etc., but I have heard an Orthodox saint quoted as saying all work performed on Sunday will be cursed. 

 

Can anybody direct me to the answer here?

 

I am interested in this question because I am a working father of two children with no time for personal projects during the week.

 

 



#2 Phoebe K.

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Posted 18 January 2015 - 06:21 PM

My Spiritual Father advised me not to do paid work on a Sunday, I am in a position where that is an option although I have Orthodox Friends who work in the heath industry where it is not, so take time when they can and come to Liturgy when the can.

 

 The Principle as I understand it is that Sunday (or one day in seven if it is not possible to keep Sunday due to the nature of the industry you work in) is set aside for God.  This yes means services and spending time with children (if you have them) helping them learn more about the faith through bible stories and those of the Saints (though reading both of these is good whatever age we are), however if you do a craft or Art through which you can glorify God I do not see this as a problem it is just another way of expressing worship.  After all even the hermit saints did and do handy crafts as part of their ascetical discipline to keep occupied and to worship as well as being able to use them to support themselves.

 

As my Priest reminded us in the sermon today, saints my have reached perfection, but some were very hard to live with in life, and are not always the modal of the moral life in a situation outside of their specific one.  Also if all work on Sunday is cursed what about the Liturgy which is after all the work of the people and that which sanctifies our lives and work?  From experience much of what Saints say is directed at specific situations, which means the saints may seem hard to us but was addressing an excess in another way.  The principle as I understand it is moderation in all things, if we have a hobby or craft we enjoy and it helps us express our love for God along with relaxing that is fine, if it interferes with attending liturgy then we need to reconsider it.

 

I think a saying of St Antony's fits hear, (i am paraphrasing a story fond in the alphabetical saying of the desert fathers): a hunter was scandalized to see the monks relaxing so St Antony told him to fire his bow repeatedly, the hunter complained that it would brake if he kept it in tenchon all the time, so St Antony replayed it is the same with the brethren.  In this he shows the need for all the take a brake form the work even monastics, and to keep a balance in life.

 

In the end we are not Jews who to keep the Sabbath come up with a myriad of rules and exceptions, we live under grace and if there are things we enjoy and which help us to glorify God and develop in ourselves there is no reason not to dot hem on a Sunday or a Great feast in we have the freedom not to have to be at paid work on these days, as long as we keep God first and the Liturgy before all other things.  This is my understanding of it, I am shore I will be corrected if I have strayed too far.



#3 Kosta

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Posted 18 January 2015 - 07:21 PM

Im in the restaurant business where working weekends is a must. I would say it is a sin. I started working overnights in a 24 hour place from 6pm to 6am on weekends. Way back then I had the stamina to come home shower up and go straight to church, stay for the coffee hour, come home get a few hours sleep and be back to work sunday evening at 5pm. I dont work those extreme hours anymore but not only do I not have the energy to do that anymore, I can't get to church with the hours I do have now.

Even taking away the hours, I still think its wrong.

#4 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 18 January 2015 - 07:24 PM

I agree with Phoebe's post. Did not the 'ruler of the synagogue', the religious official of his time, condemn Christ for healing on the Sabbath (Saturday)? We are not under such law as bound the Jews. Having said that, Sunday is the Lord's day to be kept as best as is possible for God but what a person can do depends on his circumstances. Some jobs require Sunday working; it may be no answer for someone to say, 'change your job, then' - if a man is, say, a metallurgist working in a steel works, he cannot avoid Sunday and shift working: are we to say metallurgists cannot be Christians or that a Christian must not be a metallurgist? All the more so, a nurse or doctor may help to heal on a Sunday just as Christ did. A well-formed conscience will tell the Christian whether what he is doing on Sundays is sinful or not. Clearly, though, a job which prevented regular church attendance on Sundays would be a problem.



#5 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 18 January 2015 - 07:31 PM

I've mentioned this before somewhere but I recall a friend in a village in Cyprus who ran a tourist shop. He used to open on Sundays. He asked his spiritual father if this was right. He was told to try closing on Sundays and to see what would happen. It turned out that after a time, it appeared that his takings did not decrease through closing on Sundays - as if God helped him. But then he was in control of his own business: employees don't have that option. Restaurants are open on Sundays in Cyprus and Greece and churchgoers go to them: are the (presumably there Orthodox) customers wrong in 'aiding and abetting' Sunday business?


Edited by Reader Andreas, 18 January 2015 - 07:32 PM.


#6 Lakis Papas

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Posted 20 January 2015 - 05:56 PM

The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath.



#7 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 20 January 2015 - 06:01 PM

This, of course, referred to the Jewish Sabbath, Saturday.






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