FishEaters Traditional Catholic Forums

Full Version: Work on Sunday
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
I just got a job at a golf course that will require me to work on most Sundays for 3 hours. Would it be sinful to do this? Should I decline it?
Hopefully someone who knows better than me can respond, but I believe that as long as it doesn't interfere with your ability to go to Mass, then you're aren't liable if your employer forces you to work.
You are obliged by Ecclesiastical Law to do no unnecessary servile work on Sundays or Holy Days.

Two questions : i

1. Is this servile work?
2. If so , is this necessary?

To the first, we have to define "servile". It is generally understood as manual labor that historically would have been performed by a servant. So if you're working at the desk in the pro shop, that's different than mowing. The former is arguably not strictly speaking servile (though the argument would be pretty weak), the latter certainly is.

But then there is also necessity.

Custom, for instance, helps us define what is necessary servile work and what is not. Food establishments, inns and the like, for instance, have always historically be allowed to operate on Sundays. Thus it is normal and permitted that a restaurant be open on a Sunday, and for Catholics not only to visit it (we're not Pharisees who are fine with those "gentile swine" doing work, even though we could not), but if they can visit legitimately, then they can also work.

So if your job is at the 19th Hole, or operating a refreshment stand, or even working in the kitchen of the course's restaurant, that's considered necessary and acceptable by custom.

But also seeing as it is perfectly legitimate to go and play a round of golf on Sunday, if your work at the golf course is necessary to allowing players to play, then even if it were servile work, it would be "necessary" and permitted.

If the work, however is not necessary for the running of the course (e.g. it is not necessary to mow every day, and the owners could easily ensure that if the work is done Monday to Saturday, the grounds crew would get Sundays off), then it is only justified if the necessity is on your part.

How necessary is the job for you. Is it your only source of income? Could you afford not to take that income? Will you lose the job if you say you cannot work Sundays? If there is a real necessity for you, then this work is also acceptable.

So ask yourself those questions, and you can probably get a good idea if it's allowed. If you want to detail more here, perhaps we could help.

Generally, moral theologians say that about 2 hours doing unnecessary servile work amounts grave sin.

The law is the Church's to change, and many 20th century theologians wanted these things more carefully specified and adapted to modern life. For instance, the legal practice is not servile, but intellectual work. Gardening is servile. So it would be "legal" for a lawyer to work a full day on Sunday, but to do some recreational gardening is technically forbidden (though common error that says everything recreational is allowed, probably has established a contrary custom by now).

The last question to ask is whether the work will keep you away from Mass. If it will, then the necessity must be the more serious, because it has to also excuse you from Mass. "A few extra bucks" or a "High School Job" kind of situation certainly does not justify such a thing except perhaps very occasionally.
(03-02-2018, 04:55 PM)MagisterMusicae Wrote: [ -> ]You are obliged by Ecclesiastical Law to do no unnecessary servile work on Sundays or Holy Days.

Two questions : i

1. Is this servile work?
2. If so , is this necessary?

To the first, we have to define "servile". It is generally understood as manual labor that historically would have been performed by a servant. So if you're working at the desk in the pro shop, that's different than mowing. The former is arguably not strictly speaking servile (though the argument would be pretty weak), the latter certainly is.

But then there is also necessity.

Custom, for instance, helps us define what is necessary servile work and what is not. Food establishments, inns and the like, for instance, have always historically be allowed to operate on Sundays. Thus it is normal and permitted that a restaurant be open on a Sunday, and for Catholics not only to visit it (we're not Pharisees who are fine with those "gentile swine" doing work, even though we could not), but if they can visit legitimately, then they can also work.

So if your job is at the 19th Hole, or operating a refreshment stand, or even working in the kitchen of the course's restaurant, that's considered necessary and acceptable by custom.

But also seeing as it is perfectly legitimate to go and play a round of golf on Sunday, if your work at the golf course is necessary to allowing players to play, then even if it were servile work, it would be "necessary" and permitted.

If the work, however is not necessary for the running of the course (e.g. it is not necessary to mow every day, and the owners could easily ensure that if the work is done Monday to Saturday, the grounds crew would get Sundays off), then it is only justified if the necessity is on your part.

How necessary is the job for you. Is it your only source of income? Could you afford not to take that income? Will you lose the job if you say you cannot work Sundays? If there is a real necessity for you, then this work is also acceptable.

So ask yourself those questions, and you can probably get a good idea if it's allowed. If you want to detail more here, perhaps we could help.

Generally, moral theologians say that about 2 hours doing unnecessary servile work amounts grave sin.

The law is the Church's to change, and many 20th century theologians wanted these things more carefully specified and adapted to modern life. For instance, the legal practice is not servile, but intellectual work. Gardening is servile. So it would be "legal" for a lawyer to work a full day on Sunday, but to do some recreational gardening is technically forbidden (though common error that says everything recreational is allowed, probably has established a contrary custom by now).

The last question to ask is whether the work will keep you away from Mass. If it will, then the necessity must be the more serious, because it has to also excuse you from Mass. "A few extra bucks" or a "High School Job" kind of situation certainly does not justify such a thing except perhaps very occasionally.

Thank you for taking the time to write all of that. I'm not sure what exactly I would be doing on Sundays because I haven't started yet. I still live with my parents so the income isn't an absolute necessity but my dad says he will definitely not let me sit around at home after I'm finished school.
(03-02-2018, 10:53 PM)For Petes Sake Wrote: [ -> ]Thank you for taking the time to write all of that. I'm not sure what exactly I would be doing on Sundays because I haven't started yet. I still live with my parents so the income isn't an absolute necessity but my dad says he will definitely not let me sit around at home after I'm finished school.

Not a problem. It will end up being a good way to analyze these things for the future. Now you have the principles to make a judgement on cases yourself, and if it's not clear then you can go talk to a priest about the specific question, perhaps.

I think your best bet here is to ask what kind of work you would be doing on Sundays. Let the golf pro (or manager) know that you have to go to Mass on Sunday (so you cannot come in until X o'clock), and because of that you want to know what the usual Sunday work will be, because you want to bring a proper change of clothes in case you're coming straight from Church.

That's a bit less confrontational than, "what work am I doing, because my Church says I can't do any servile work..."

Sunday work probably is going to be of the wash carts, man the pro shop, clean up the 19th hole, etc. As before, technically that's servile, but custom allowing a round of golf or a visit to a Range on a Sunday for recreation, it justifies as necessary the work that is truly necessary to make that happen.

Still, if you can avoid working on Sunday, that's the better thing.

If it means you miss Mass on Sunday, then, really, you cannot take the Sunday work, so that is something to find out for sure. I would bet that most managers or pros would understand that small request (time to go to Church), and would make the schedule work out for you.
Would this job cause you to miss mass?
I don't know what you would be doing but it looks like you would be doing something that in some way helps others to be able to relax and enjoy their Sunday. It could be an opportunity to serve others. I think if you can make it to Sunday mass then you should take the job. That way you would be serving others and you would be honoring your parents by not sitting at home doing nothing.
:) :) :)
(03-04-2018, 01:44 AM)Poche Wrote: [ -> ]Would this job cause you to miss mass?

No it would only be 3 hours of work so I could go to a number of different masses regardless of what time I have to work.
(03-04-2018, 07:28 PM)For Petes Sake Wrote: [ -> ]
(03-04-2018, 01:44 AM)Poche Wrote: [ -> ]Would this job cause you to miss mass?

No it would only be 3 hours of work so I could go to a number of different masses regardless of what time I have to work.

I think you should take the job.