Sundays are my favorite days. I love waking up and getting ready for Mass first thing in the morning. (By “first thing in the morning,” I mean Mass at 10:30.) I truly believe, at least for me and my family, that attending Mass on Sunday mornings sets certain spiritual tone for my entire week.
I didn’t always attend Mass on Sunday mornings. While I was in college, I attended Mass on Sunday evenings because I volunteered at my church’s high school youth group afterward. While I gained great spiritual growth through time spent with the youth of my church, I simultaneously felt that other aspects of my spiritual life suffered from attending Mass on Sunday nights. Instead of centering my day around God, it always felt like I was hurried to get homework and housework done Sunday morning before tacking God on to the end of my day. And without a full day devoted to the Lord, it became easier to forget about Him during the rest of the week. Since getting married, it’s become very important to me that as the woman of the house I purposefully cultivate a restful, reverent atmosphere every Sunday.
With just my husband and me, it’s easy for us to keep Sundays uncomplicated and relaxing. Sunday mornings are devoted to Mass. After Mass, we usually go to the farmer’s market to pick up some vegetables for our Sunday night stir fries, maybe go for a walk or watch a movie together, and now that it’s fall, David watches a few football games. While we wouldn’t turn down invitations to go somewhere simply because it’s a Sunday (in fact, last Sunday we went to a friend’s apartment to watch football and play board games), we are also careful not to overbook ourselves.
When I was young, Sundays were spent with family. My family didn’t always attend church on Sundays, yet even when we didn’t, the day was set apart as a day to rest and be together. We would drive up to Rocky Mountain National Park to go hiking or watch the colors change. We would go to the archery range with my dad. My parents would make sure to be home all day and even if that just meant that my dad was watching football in the living room while my mom did our finances on the kitchen table, we were all there and my brother and I knew they were available for us for anything we needed. And I know that this wasn’t how it was just in my family, it was the same in the households of all my friends. Yet I feel like that isn’t necessarily the case anymore.
My husband’s cousin has two children who just turned 5 and 7. She recently told me that she believes that Sundays are no longer considered family days as they once were. Nearly every Sunday, she is taking one or both of her kids to birthday parties or other activities. I worry about the choices I’ll have to make when my own children are at the age when they will be invited to activities on Sundays. It seems that Sunday has become just another hectic day to get things done. Stores are busy on Sundays and businesses that formerly were closed on Sundays (or all weekend) are now open seven days a week so they won’t miss the opportunity to make money on Sundays.
David and I try not to shop on Sundays unless we really need to get something for Sunday dinner. Although we know that the two of us don’t make a difference on our own, if a significant population stopped shopping on Sundays, many companies wouldn’t find it profitable to remain open on Sundays. Their employees would be able to stay home with family and attend church. My brother isn’t able to attend Mass most weeks because he works two jobs and is always scheduled Saturday night, Sunday morning, and Sunday night between the two of them. He’s been trying for months to get Sunday mornings off, but since it is a busy time for his employer (a national retail store), he hasn’t been able to switch his schedule.
Since Sundays are such a wonderful day for us because we start it with Mass, I can only imagine how wonderful it would be to start each day with daily Mass. Now that I’m not working, I’ve had dreams of going to Mass everyday, yet I haven’t gotten to daily Mass even once since we’ve moved here. I’m making it a goal to go to Mass at least one day this week.