The Directory for Sunday Celebrations in the Absence of a Priest recognizes the challenge for people in the modern world. Bosses insisting on working workers. Workers striving for more money and recognition. Corporations sending peons far and wide in the obsession with expansion and travel. Does Sunday become “a day of joy and freedom?” Less often for some than others.
16. Finally, pastoral effort should concentrate on measures which have as their purpose “that the Lord’s Day becomes in fact a day of joy and of freedom from work.” (SC 106) In this way Sunday will stand out in today’s culture as a sign of freedom and consequently as a day established for the well-being of the human person, which clearly is a higher value than commerce or industrial production. (Cf. “Le sens du dimanche dans une societe pluraliste. Reflexions pastorales de la Conference des eveques du Canada,” La Documentation Catholique, no. 1935 (1987), 273-276)
17. The word of God, the Eucharist, and the ministry of the priest are gifts that the Lord presents to the Church, his Bride, and they are to be received and to be prayed for as divine graces. The Church, which possesses these gifts above all in the Sunday assembly, thanks God for them in that same assembly and awaits the joy of complete rest in the day of the Lord “before the throne of God and before the Lamb.” (Revelation 7:9)
Perhaps some of us are so overworked that rest becomes equated with sleep. Sunday isn’t about sleeping in as much as saving oneself to express qualities such as gratitude and enjoy experiences of community.
Directory for Sunday Celebrations in the absence of a priest English translation © 1988, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All Rights Reserved.