The Third Commandment Lesson 8

The Third Commandment Lesson 8

Required Obligations Given By The Church

Keep The Sabbath Sunday Holy

“In the Scriptures keeping holy the Sabbath means a cessation from bodily labor and from business, as is clear from the following words of the Commandment: Thou shalt do no work on it.(Exodus 20:10). -Catechism of the Council of Trent

This would also include include your family and or those who you employ and any animals you may have.

Thou shalt do no work on it, thou nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy beast, nor the stranger that is within thy gates. (Exodus 20:10)

We are to Sanctify the Sabbath Sunday

Observe the day of the Sabbath, to sanctify it, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee. (Deuteronomy 5:12)

“….it would have been sufficient to say “Observing the day of the Sabbath” but it added, and sanctify it; and these additional words prove that the Sabbath is a sacred to religion, set apart for works of piety and devotion.

We sanctify the Sabbath fully and perfectly, therefore, when we offer to God works of piety and religion. This is evidently the Sabbath, which Isaiah calls delightful.

If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy own will in my holy day, and call the Sabbath delightful, and the holy of the Lord glorious, and glorify him, while thou dost not thy own ways, and thy own will is not found: to speak a word:(Isaiah 58:13)- Catechism of the Council of Trent

Notice that it says our “thy own will.” That is thy own pleasures. Going to professional games not only is not sanctifying the day unto the Lord, but it is keeping others who have to work at the stadiums, golf course etc. from setting the Lords day apart for God. The same goes for eating out on Sundays, going to the movies on Sunday, grocery shopping, going to gas stations etc.

When examining our conscience the “Blessed be God” says, “It is necessary that we tell in confession, as far as we can remember, all the mortal or grievous sins we may have bee guilty of since our last confession, giving the number of times each one has been committed.” It goes on to say, “The following list will help us to know our sins.”

At this point we find a preliminary examination list, a Table of sins against the Commandments. Under the heading “Third Commandment” the question is asked, “Have you bought or sold without necessity?” Put that question side by side with the activities mentioned above and you will find, except for very few occasions, that those activities done on the Sabbath Sunday is mortal sins.

As we continue with the list given for examining our conscience, we come to a list called “Tables of Sins against the Precepts of the Church”. In this list the question is asked: “Have you observed the Sundays and holy days by hearing Mass and avoiding servile works?” Continuing on we see a list of “Nine ways of being accessory to another's sin” in this list number seven says we are accessory to another's sins “by partaking.” We are encouraging others to work on the Sabbath or to be open on the Sabbath. Again, in all these examinations we find that except for a few occasions, those activities mentioned above are mortal sins when being done on the Sabbath Sunday.

We are to Worship on the Sabbath Sunday

Six days shalt thou labor, and shalt do all thy works. But on the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: thou shalt do no work on it, thou nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy beast, nor the stranger that is within thy gates. (Exodus 20:9-10)

“From these words we learn that the Sabbath is consecrated to the Lord, that we are required on that day to render Him the duties of religion, and to know that the seventh day is a sign of the Lord's rest.”-Catechism of the Council of Trent

Works Forbidden on the Sabbath Sunday

Thou shalt do no work on it, thou nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy beast, nor the stranger that is within thy gates. (Exodus 20:10)

“These words teach us, in the first place, to avoid whatever may interfere with the worship of God. Hence it is not difficult to perceive that all servile works are forbidden, not because they are improper or evil in themselves, but because they withdraw the attention from the worship of God, which is the great end of the Commandment”-Catechism of the Council of Trent

Works Permitted on the Sunday Sabbath

It has already been mentioned that “works of piety, devotion and religion” was acceptable works for a Sunday Sabbath. But let us go into more detail. Piety and devotion would include the works we do with in the Church at mass. The Catechism of the Council of Trent includes “whatever regards the celebration of divine worship, such as the decoration of the altar or church on occasion of some festival and the like.” It goes on to say, “although servile works, they are not prohibited.”

This would include what is called, “The Seven Spiritual Works of Mercy” They are:


  1. To admonish sinners.

  2. To instruct the ignorant.

  3. To counsel the doubtful.

  4. To comfort the sorrowful.

  5. To bear wrongs patiently

  6. To forgive all injuries.

  7. To pray for the living and the dead


Saint James says: “Religion clean and undefiled before God and the Father, is this: to visit the fatherless and widows in their tribulation:” (James 1:27)

This verse can be applied to Policemen, Doctors and Nurses, those employed in retirement homes, etc. These are people who are taking care of the basic needs of others.

The Church gives a a guide line under the “Seven Corporal Works of Mercy”. They are:


  1. To feed the hungry.

  2. To give drink to the thirsty

  3. To clothe the naked

  4. To visit and ransom the captives

  5. To harbor the harborless

  6. To visit the sick

  7. To bury the dead.

May God help us to desire to put away our own wants and pleasures. May we desire to be faithful in worshiping Him every Sabbath Sunday. And may we be full of Spiritual and Corporal works of mercy.