The Change from Sabbath to Sunday

Q. Which is the Sabbath day?

A. Saturday is the Sabbath day.

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 (1957) p. 50



Question: Have you any other way of proving the Church has power to institute festivals of precept?     

Answer: Had she not such power, she could not have done that in which all modern religionists agree with her, she could not have substituted the observance of Sunday the 1st day of the week, for the observance of Saturday the 7th day, a change for which there is no Scriptural authority. - Stephen Keenan, Catholic—Doctrinal Catechism 3rd Edition: 174

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The Catholic Church claims responsibility for the change from seventh-day to first-day Sabbath. Here is an explanation from The Catechism of the Catholic Church Section 2 Article 3 (1994):


Sunday – fulfillment of the Sabbath. Sunday is expressly distinguished from the Sabbath which it follows chronologically every week; for Christians its ceremonial observance replaces that of the Sabbath...

The Sabbath, which represented the completion of the first creation, has been replaced by Sunday which recalls the new creation, has been replaced by Sunday which recalls the new creation inaugurated by the Resurrection of Christ... In respecting religious liberty and the common good of all, Christians should seek recognition of Sundays and the Church’s holy days as legal holidays. And here are various Catholic sources claiming the change was the doing of the Roman Catholic Church: Cardinal James Gibbons, The Faith of Our Fathers (Ayers Publishing, 1978) p. 108


But you may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a single line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. The Scriptures enforce the religious observance of Saturday, a day which we never sanctify. If Protestants would follow the Bible, they should worship God on the Sabbath day by God is Saturday. In keeping the Sunday, they are following a law of the Catholic Church. - Chancellor Albert Smith for Cardinal of Baltimore Archdiocese, letter dated February 10, 1920


Practically everything Protestants regard as essential or important they have received from the Catholic Church... The Protestant mind does not seem to realize that in accepting the Bible and observing the Sunday, in keeping Christmas and Easter, they are accepting the authority of the spokesman for the church, the Pope. - Our Sunday Visitor (February 5, 1950)


Thus the observance of Sunday by the Protestants is a homage they pay, in spite of themselves, to the authority of the (Catholic) Church. - Louis Gaston Segur, Plain Talk about the Protestantism of To-Day (London: Thomas Richardson and Son, 1874) p. 213


The Catholic Church, for over one thousand years before the existence of a Protestant, by virtue of her divine mission, changed the day from Saturday to Sunday... The Catholic Mirror (September 23, 1893)


It was the holy Catholic Church that changed the day of rest from Saturday to Sunday, the 1st day of the week. And it not only compelled all to keep Sunday, but at the Council of Laodicea, AD 364, anathematized those who kept the Sabbath and urged all persons to labor on the 7th day under penalty of anathema. - Catholic Priest T. Enright, CSSR, Kansas City, MO.


The use of temples, and these dedicated to particular saints, and ornamented on occasions with branches of trees; incense, lamps, and candles; votive offerings on recovery from illness; holy water; asylums; holydays and seasons…are all of pagan origin and sanctified by their adoption into the Church. - Cardinal John Newman, An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine (London: Basil Montague Pickering, 1878) p. 373


The [catholic] Church is above the Bible, and this transference of the Sabbath observance is proof of that fact. - Catholic Record (September 1, 1923)


We hold upon this earth the place of God Almighty. - Pope Leo XIII, Praeclara Gratulationis Publicae (The Reunion of Christendom), June 20, 1894


The Pope is of so great dignity and so exalted that he is not a mere man, but as it were God, and the vicar of God. - “Pope,” Ferraris’ Ecclesiastic Dictionary


The letters inscribed in the Pope’s miter are these: VICARIUS FILLII DEI, which is the Latin for, “Vicar of the Son of God.” - Our Sunday Visitor (April 18, 1915) p. 3


Of course the Catholic Church claims that the change was her act…And the act is a MARK of her ecclesiastical power and authority in religious matters. - Letter from C.F. Thomas, Chancellor of Cardinal Gibbons on October 28, 1895


Sunday...is purely a creation of the Catholic Church. - American Catholic Quarterly Review (January 1883)


Sunday...It is a law of the Catholic Church alone...Catholic American Sentinel (June 1893)


Not the Creator of the Universe in Genesis 2:1-3, but the Catholic Church “can claim the honor of having granted man a pause to his work every seven days.” - S.C. Mosna, Storia della Domenica (1969) p. 366-367


The (Catholic) Church changed the observance of the Sabbath to Sunday by right of the divine, infallible authority given to her by her Founder, Jesus Christ. The Protestant claiming the Bible to be the only guide of faith, has no warrant for observing Sunday. In this matter, the Seventh-day Adventist is the only consistent Protestant. - “The Question Box,” The Catholic Universe Bulletin (August 14, 1942) p. 4


The Church made a sacred day of Sunday…largely because it was the weekly festival of the sun; for it was a definite Christian policy to take over the pagan festivals endeared to the people by tradition, and to give them a Christian significance. - Arthur Weigall, The Paganism in Our Christianity (New York: Putnam’s Sons, 1928) p. 145


But since Saturday, not Sunday, is specified in the Bible, isn't it curious that non-Catholics, who claim to take their religion directly from the Bible and not from the Church, observe Sunday instead of Saturday? Yes, of course, it is inconsistent; but this change was made about fifteen centuries before Protestantism was born, and by that time the custom was universally observed. They have continued the custom even though it rests upon the authority of the Catholic Church and not upon and explicit text in the Bible. That observance remains as a reminder of the Mother Church from which the non-Catholic sects broke away—like a boy running away from home but still carrying in his pocket a picture of his mother or a lock of her hair. - John A. O'Brien, The Faith of Millions: the Credentials of the Catholic Religion Revised Edition (Our Sunday Visitor Publishing, 1974) p. 400-401


"Nowhere" in the bible do we find that Jesus or the apostles ordered that the Sabbath be changed from Saturday to Sunday. We have the commandment of God given to Moses to keep holy the Sabbath day, that is, the Seventh day of the week, Saturday. Today, Christians keep Sunday because it has been revealed to us by the [Roman] church outside the Bible." - Catholic Virginian, Oct. 3, 1947


"You may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a single line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. The Scriptures enforce the religious observance of Saturday, a day which we never sanctified." James Cardinal Gibbons, The Faith of Our Fathers (1917 ed.), pp.72,73


"If protestants would follow the Bible, they should worship God on the Sabbath Day, that is Saturday. In keeping Sunday they are following a law of the Catholic Church." Albert Smith, chancellor of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, replying for the cardinal in a letter of Feb. 10, 1920.


"The Catholic Church,..by virtue of her divine mission, changed the day from Saturday to Sunday. " The Catholic Mirror, official organ of Cardinal Gibbons, Sept. 23,


"Is Saturday the 7th day according to the Bible and the 10 commandments?" "I answer yes". "Is Sunday the first day of the week and did the Church change the 7th day, Saturday, for Sunday, the 1st of day?" "I answer yes". "Did Christ change the day?" "I answer no!" Faithfully yours, "J. Cardinal Gibbons" Gibbons' autograph letter. Christian Doctrine, ed. by Daniel Ferris [1916 ed.], p.67)

                    Luke 13:3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.