Holy Days and Holidays

Included in the Commandments which were given by Moses to the children of Israel is the one pertaining to observance of the Sabbath. He said, "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy." And then follow certain simple directions indicating that the seventh day of the week should be set apart as a day of rest.

In later times, through the traditions of the elders, elaborate rules were made concerning observance of the Sabbath which were so numerous as to make its observance a burden, rather than a joy. It was this sense of Sabbath observance that was rebuked by Jesus when he "said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath."

The Jewish Christians observed both the first and the last day of the week as Sabbath days, but later the Gentile Christians observed only the first day, which we call Sunday. From this is derived the modern Christian custom of setting apart Sunday, the first day of the week, as a day devoted to religious worship as well as to rest and recreation. It is regrettable, however, that many professing Christians in recent years have seemed to overlook the fact that the primary purpose of Sabbath observance is to afford an opportunity for attendance at religious services and for quiet study, reflection, and spiritual refreshment. There appears to be a growing tendency to utilize this weekly holiday largely for purposes of recreation—sports, motoring, entertainments, social gatherings, and so forth. Christian Scientists, in common with other Christians, need to watch lest they yield unduly to this modern tendency. Certain wholesome forms of recreation may be indulged in without harm, but these should be subservient to the more important phases of Sunday observance.

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New Officers of The Mother Church
June 25, 1938

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