Sunday, June 7, 2009

Happy Sunday!

Happy Sunday everyone!

The birds are singing and the sun is shining today. It's a glorious day! Since it's a day of rest, I'll keep it simple today and offer an excerpt about Sundays from my book, Grace Cafe: Serving up Recipes for Faithful Mothering.

You knew it was Sunday

“Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Deut 5:12)

"Growing up in a large Catholic family was celebrated in the ordinariness of our lives. We had our routines, chores, and of course our Sunday dinners. Back when I was a little girl, we didn’t have a Saturday night vigil Mass until a bit later on. We always knew when it was a Sunday because we went to Mass in the morning and usually enjoyed pancakes with bacon and eggs for breakfast and then we usually visited relatives or invited them to our house. All of my siblings and I were always expected to be home for Sunday dinner which we had in the mid afternoon. It didn’t matter what event you were invited to or what else was going on. When it was Sunday, you were home at 2:00 o’clock in the afternoon for a big Sunday family meal together. It was a very rare occasion if you were let off the hook. We enjoyed a simpler meal together later in the day too. It was an extra treat still, when some of our relatives would drop by. We kicked back and enjoyed the day. It was a day of rest, but not exactly so for my mother because she worked hard to put out a very nice spread on the table for all of us. I rarely saw my mother sit down except at meal times or unless the day was finished. We all pitched in by setting and clearing the table and helping with dishes, but looking back I certainly now realize that my mother without a doubt had her two feet firmly planted in the heart of our home in her role of twenty four seven.

My mother provided a wonderful tradition for her eight children and my father for family Sundays. It seemed so ordinary and natural for us growing up—that was the beauty in it really. Now being a mother myself I see such richness and profound meaning to Sundays in the family. Life in the domestic church is a blessing to be cherished.

We know that the third commandment tells us or actually commands us to keep the Lord’s day or Sabbath holy. The Catechism tells us that Sundays are a day designated for the celebration of the Sunday Eucharist, rest and time with family.

“Just as God ‘rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done,’ human life has a rhythm of work and rest. The institution of the Lord’s Day helps everyone enjoy adequate rest and leisure to cultivate their familial, cultural, social, and religious lives” (CCC, no. 2184, cf. Gaudium et spes 67 S 3)

I also love this explanation from the Catechism about the appropriateness for rest on a Sunday and to also allow others to rest:

“God’s action is the model for human action. If God ‘rested and was refreshed’ on the seventh day, man ought to ‘rest’ and should let others, especially the poor, ‘be refreshed.’ The Sabbath brings everyday work to a halt and provides a respite. It is a day to protest against the servitude of work and the worship of money” (CCC, no. 2172).

These days though, it's tough to tell one day from another sometimes. We are so busy that I think we carry our busyness into Sundays, too. It's challenging not to do this however when there's so much to do and so little time, it seems! Are we doing too much? Do we need to plan a bit better?

What's a Christian mother to do? How do we observe the Sabbath when we are catching up on laundry, washing the kitchen floor (because we haven't had a chance to do it the other day and it is disgusting), and endless other household tasks as well as trips to the store for materials for a school project or our kids just wanting to shop?

We have to draw the line somewhere and then stick with that. Perhaps it will be in vowing not to do laundry on a Sunday, refusing to go to stores unnecessarily and certainly in choosing to spend more family time together as well as making sure everyone knows that they are all required to be present for Sunday dinner. Of course, we know that some sports events have crept into our Sundays so we need to adjust our schedules at times, perhaps. However, it is up to us parents to set the limits and lay down the foundations. The traditions we begin now will be carried out throughout our family's life to a certain extent and even into our children's future family's traditions. How can we slow down a little and what can we do to enjoy a day of rest? Perhaps we can try some of these suggestions:

1) Vow to make certain adjustments to the Sunday schedule.
a) A regular dinner time when everyone is required to be present.
b) Less or no shopping.
c) No doing laundry.
d) And also in any area wherever you need to adjust the activity to achieve more calmness.
2) Hug your kids and spouse.
3) Hug them again.
4) And again (now wasn't that nice?)
5) Read a book.
6) Read to the kids.
7) Take a nap (or daydream about the possibility).
8) Do something outside together.
9) Do some yard work together (even though it's technically work, it can be fun!)
10) Take a walk in the fresh air, weather permitting.
11) Tell a story while walking.
12) Tell jokes.
13) Play a game.
14) Talk about something inspirational.
15) Pray.
16) Plan dinner together (hopefully you have already planned it previously but want the kids to feel included).
17) Get the family to help out with dinner—make it fun.
18) Bake or make a dessert together.
19) Call a relative you have been meaning to talk to but haven't had time.
20) Invite a relative over for a visit.
21) Give the dog a bath (or maybe not).
22) Write a letter--not an email—an actual letter or card that you will put in an envelope and put a stamp on to mail to brighten someone's day.
23) Have the kids write a thank you note to someone special in their lives to express how special they feel to know this person or how they appreciate that person.
24) Dedicate an allotted time to do nothing but ponder and meditate.
25) Plan an outing to possibly a shrine, basilica or pilgrimage site.
26) Get creative; draw some pictures with the kids.
27) Start a new tradition with the kids.
28) Think about what you can do to help a needy family in the upcoming holidays.
29) Smile!
30) Smile some more, happy that God has truly blessed you!

I'm sure you get the idea and can think of some of your own things to do to and ways to make your Sunday special."

(for more on Sunday's, read my book, Grace Cafe!)

Now, go and enjoy your day of rest! Spend it with family and friends and those who could use a visit or phone call. Have a blessed Mass on this feast of the Most Holy Trinity too. Feel free to chime in about your Sunday in the comment box. But, be sure not to spend too much time on the computer!




  1. Wonderful advice! I struggle with this so much. I was just chatting with a few Catholic friends about this. I abandoned my laundry last Sunday and had a hard time catching up. I guess I need to plan better on Saturdays. I wish that church youth groups/lifeteen groups weren't on Sunday nights!! That is a huge pet peeve of mine. My oldest child loves his youth group but it really puts a damper on our Sunday night. We do family Rosary and sometimes he's not there for it. Anyway, thanks for your great post!

  2. Hi Amy,

    I think it's always a struggle for busy Moms, so don't feel bad. Once in a while, I think it can't be helped having to do laundry on a Sunday. The idea is to really strive to make Sunday a holy day, a family day, and restful too. Rest may sound impossinle for Moms. :) But, we can try!

    I know what you mean about the Church youth group Sunday nights, but thank God they're interested in being a part of it, right? Maybe you can change your Rosary time so your son won't have to miss it.

    Thanks for your kind words and for commenting. I am heartened that Moms are visiting and conversing here. I'm striving to have a comfortable place here for all of us to share. Please pass the word.

    God bless your night!


I welcome your comments, thanks for stopping by! :)