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