The Origin of Sunday Observance

"It is certain, that Christ himself, his Apostles, and the Primitive Christians, for some good space of time did constantly observe the seventh-day Sabbath." -William Prynne, A Briefe Polemicall Dissertation, Concerning...the Lordsday-Sabbath, p. 33.

"Until the second century there is no concrete evidence of a Christian weekly Sunday celebration anywhere. The first specific references during that century come from Alexandria and Rome, places that also early rejected observance of the seventh-day Sabbath." Dr. Kenneth Strand, The Sabbath in Scripture and History, p. 330.

"It is certain that the ancient Sabbath did remain and was the Christians of the East Church, about three hundred years after our Saviour's death." -Prof. E. Brerewood, A Learned Treatise of the Sabbath, p. 77.

"Down even to the fifth century the observance of the Jewish Sabbath was continued in the Christian church." -Lyman Coleman, Ancient Christianity Exemplified, chap. 26, sec. 2.

"Although almost all churches throughout the world celebrate the sacred mysteries on the sabbath of every week, yet the Christians of Alexandria and at Rome, on account of some ancient tradition, have ceased to do this."-Socrates Scholasticus (written about A.D. 440), quoted in Ecclesiastical History, Book 5, chapter 22.

"The Christian Church made no formal, but a gradual and almost unconscious, transference of the one day to the other." -F. W. Farrar, The Voice From Sinai, p. 167.

"Christianity and the higher forms of paganism tended to come nearer and nearer to each other as time went on.... They tended to merge into one another like streams which had been following converging courses." -J. H. Robinson, Introduction to the History of Western Europe, p. 31.

"The two opposed creeds moved in the same intellectual and moral sphere, and one could actually pass from one to the other without shock or interruption.... The religious and mystical spirit of the Orient had slowly overcome the whole social organism and had prepared all nations to unite in the bosom of a universal church." -Franz V. M. Cumont, Oriental Religions in Roman Paganism, reprint 1956, pp. 210, 211.

"Remains of the struggle are found in two institutions adopted from its rival by Christianity in the fourth century, the two Mithraic sacred days, December twenty-fifth, dies natalis solis, as the birthday of Jesus, and Sunday, 'the venerable day of the Sun,' as Constantine called it in his edict of 321." -Walter Woodburn Hyde, Paganism to Christianity in the Roman Empire, p. 60.

"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, 1928, p.145.

"The church...took the pagan Sunday and made it the Christian Sunday.... The Sun was a foremost god with heathendom.... And thus the pagan Sunday, dedicated to Balder, became the Christian Sunday." Dr. William L. Gildea, The Catholic World, March, 1894.

"What began, however, as a pagan ordinance, ended as a Christian regulation; and a long series of imperial decrees, during the fourth, fifth, and sixth centuries, enjoined with increasing stringency abstinence from labour on Sunday." -Hutton Webster, Rest Days, p. 270.

"The Roman Church...reversed the Fourth Commandment by doing away with the Sabbath of God's word, and instituting Sunday as a holiday." -Nicolas Summerbell, History of the Christian Church, 3rd edition, 1873, p. 415.

"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.

"The Sunday, as a day of the week set apart for the obligatory public worship of Almighty purely a creation of the Catholic Church. It is...not governed by the enactments of the Mosaic law. It is part and parcel of the system of the Catholic Church." -John Gilmary Shea, The American Catholic Quarterly Review, January, 1883.

"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." -Peter Geiermann, The Convert's Catechism of Catholic Doctrine (1957 ed.), p. 50.

"They will needs have the Church's power to be very great, because it hath dispensed with a precept of the Decalogue." -The Augsburg Confession, 1530.

"The church has changed the Sabbath into the Lord's day by its own authority, concerning which you have no Scripture." -Johann Eck, Handbook of Common Places Against the Lutherans, 1533.

"If you follow the Bible alone there can be no question that you are obliged to keep Saturday holy, since that is the day especially prescribed by Almighty God to be kept holy to the Lord. In keeping Sunday, non-Catholics are simply following the practise of the Catholic Church for 1800 years, a tradition, and not a Bible ordinance.... With the Catholics there is no difficulty about the matter. For, since we deny that the Bible is the sole rule of faith, we can fall back upon the constant practise and tradition of the Church." -Francis G. Lentz, The Question Box, 1900, p. 98, 99.

"Like two sacred rivers flowing from Paradise, the Bible and divine Tradition contain the Word of God, the precious gems of revealed truths. Though these two divine streams are in themselves, on account of their divine origin, of equal sacredness, and are both full of revealed truths, still, of the two, TRADITION is to us more clear and safe." -Joseph Fa di Bruno, Catholic Belief, p. 45.

"We have, therefore, the same authority for Purgatory as we have for Sunday." -Martin J. Scott, Things Catholics Are Asked About, 1927, p. 136.

"Protestantism, in discarding the authority of the Church, has no good reason for its Sunday theory, and ought, logically, to keep Saturday as the Sabbath." -John Gilmary Shea, The American Catholic Quarterly Review, January, 1883.

"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 [Catholics] never sanctify." -James Cardinal Gibbons, The Faith of Our Fathers, 1917 ed., pp. 72, 73.

"Is it not strange that those who make the Bible their only teacher should inconsistently follow in this matter the tradition of the Church?" -Bertrand L. Conway, The Question Box Answers, 1910, p. 255.

"But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?" -Matthew 15:3.

"But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." -Matthew 15:9.

"No; it never was changed, nor could it be, unless creation was to be gone through again: for the reason assigned must be changed before the observance, or respect to the reason, can be changed!! It is all old wives' fables to talk of the change of the sabbath from the seventh to the first day. If it be changed, it was that august personage changed it who changes times and laws ex officio--I think his name is DOCTOR ANTICHRIST." -Alexander Campbell, The Christian Baptist, Feb. 2, 1824, vol. 1, no. 7.

"We ought to obey God rather than men." -Acts 5:29.

"The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate." -Isaiah 24:5, 6.

"Reason and common sense demand the acceptance of one or the other of these alternatives: either Protestantism and the keeping holy of Saturday or Catholicity and the keeping of Sunday. Compromise is impossible." -Catholic Mirror, December 23, 1893.