Some historians--both Catholic and Protestants--make reference to Constantine, the emperor, circa 527, as paving the way for the Bishop of Rome as responsible for the change that historically took effect of transferring Sabbath sacredness to Sunday as an act of church authority.

Is there any official church document that confirms such claim?


2 Answers 2


"Already in apostolic times (Acts 20:7) Christians transferred the Sabbath from the seventh to the first day of the week."
Source: Dictionary: SABBATH, BIBLICAL | Catholic Culture.

cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church: II. THE LORD'S DAY

This is the day which the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.1

The day of the Resurrection: the new creation

2174 Jesus rose from the dead "on the first day of the week."2 Because it is the "first day," the day of Christ's Resurrection recalls the first creation. Because it is the "eighth day" following the sabbath,3 it symbolizes the new creation ushered in by Christ's Resurrection. For Christians it has become the first of all days, the first of all feasts, the Lord's Day (he kuriake hemera, dies dominica) Sunday:

We all gather on the day of the sun, for it is the first day [after the Jewish sabbath, but also the first day] when God, separating matter from darkness, made the world; and on this same day Jesus Christ our Savior rose from the dead.4

Sunday - fulfillment of the sabbath

2175 Sunday is expressly distinguished from the sabbath which it follows chronologically every week; for Christians its ceremonial observance replaces that of the sabbath. In Christ's Passover, Sunday fulfills the spiritual truth of the Jewish sabbath and announces man's eternal rest in God. For worship under the Law prepared for the mystery of Christ, and what was done there prefigured some aspects of Christ:5

Those who lived according to the old order of things have come to a new hope, no longer keeping the sabbath, but the Lord's Day, in which our life is blessed by him and by his death.6

2176 The celebration of Sunday observes the moral commandment inscribed by nature in the human heart to render to God an outward, visible, public, and regular worship "as a sign of his universal beneficence to all."109 Sunday worship fulfills the moral command of the Old Covenant, taking up its rhythm and spirit in the weekly celebration of the Creator and Redeemer of his people.

1. Ps 118:24.
2. Cf. Mt 28:1; Mk 16:2; Lk 24:1; Jn 20:1.
3. Cf. Mk 16:1; Mt 28:1.
4. St. Justin, I Apol. 67:PG 6,429 and 432.
5. Cf. 1 Cor 10:11.
6. St. Ignatius of Antioch, Ad Magn. 9,1:SCh 10,88.

Please see also:


I know it's been a while since you asked this question but I though that the following quotations might be helpful to you or someone else:

Q. Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday?
A. We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday."

-- The Convert's Catechism of Catholic Doctrine, 1951 printing, page 50.

Q. How prove you that the Church hath power to command feasts and holy days?
A. By the very act of changing the Sabbath into Sunday which Protestants allow of; and therefore they fondly contradict themselves, by keeping Sunday strictly, and breaking most other feasts commanded by the same church."

-- Henry Tubervill, An Abridgment of the Christian Doctrine, 1833, page 58.

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