We know well and good that, as Christians, Sunday is the sabbath day, the day of rest, the day set apart for God and for family. Ideally, our Sundays would be spent going to Mass, spending quality, focused time with our families, and doing enjoyable tasks/hobbies that bring joy to our hearts and connect our souls with God.
But then there are those who’s sabbaths are interrupted by unavoidable tasks like work.
We’ve fallen into that category before. Up until recently, when Dave decreased his hours to part time at work, he had to work a 12-hour shift every Sunday due to his school schedule. In the past, I have had to use many Sundays as a work day since my parents are able to watch George on that day. Because of this, we had to find extra special and different ways to honor the sabbath and keep it holy. If any of you are ever in this tight bind, maybe you’ll find some of these helpful!
1. Get to Mass
We made this our absolute main priority. We are fortunate enough to live in an area with innumerable Mass times, including one at 8 p.m. on Sundays, an hour after Dave got off work. Most areas have a Saturday vigil Mass, too. The biggest way we can honor God on Sundays is by worshipping him in the liturgy. If we are able to only do one thing outside of work on Sundays, this is it.
2. Set aside another day of the week to rest
This one can be difficult, but so rewarding. When Dave worked on Sundays, he made a big effort to set aside one weekday afternoon to just relax. This only added up to an hour or two each week; but ideally, if someone has to work on Sundays, they will be able to set aside a full weekday to relax and recuperate.
3. Do something simple as a family
If you’re working on Sunday, chances are you’ll be exhausted by the end of the day. You may not be up for a multi-hour family adventure (or maybe you want that! then go for it!). Something simple like a family game, movie night, or puzzle (am I too lame?) can be a great way to unwind together without wearing you out even more.
4. Increase your prayer during your work
Hopefully, we are making all our work a prayer. We have plenty of opportunities to pause during our work for a minute of conversation with God. We have the ability to see God in our work and to devote our efforts to Him. If we work on Sundays, we can labor to be even more aware of this reality. For example, instead of eating lunch in the break room, we might eat at our desk and do some spiritual reading. We can offer up our time spent away from our family for the work that we’re completing. There are plenty of ways for us to continuously remind ourselves of the sabbath during the work day – find which one works best for you!
5. Make a big meal
This is my favorite way to celebrate Sundays, especially when one or both of us is working. Because of the work, some elaborate meal may not be feasible, and that’s ok! I usually just try to make something new to us, a favorite meal of Dave’s, or a yummy dessert. I’ve found that anything that is out of the ordinary helps us set that day aside as something special, even when it can feel like just another work day.
Have you ever been in a season of life when you’re not able to fully celebrate the sabbath? What did you do to keep that day holy?