SUNDAY: Can we spare one day a week to do what matters most?
The European Union’s first-ever Citizen Referendum will vote on whether Sunday be officially declared a day for family and rest.
Martin Kastler, 35-year old father of two, representing the Christian Social Union of Bavaria, a member of the ruling coalition in Germany, presented the petition to the European Parliament at Strasbourg last month, saying this initiative “will strengthen direct democracy in the European Union.”
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The Referendum’s online website, titled “Mum and Dad Belong to Us on Sunday” says:
“We need a work-free Sunday in all of Europe,
• because children need a family day, which is protected as a day off-work
• because this brings Europe forward on its way to become the most child-friendly region in the world . . . .
• because studies prove the positive health effects of the work-free free Sunday
• because every person needs spare time — to relax, to be active in civil society, for hobbies and for religion
• because the work-free Sunday is a part of the European cultural heritage.”
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The Jewish religion kept the seventh day holy (Saturday/the Sabbath).
The practice of meeting together on the first day of the week to celebrate the Eucharistic Sacrifice is mentioned in the New Testament in the Acts of the Apostles and elsewhere.
In the Didache, the injunction is given: “On the Lord’s Day, come together and break bread. Give thanks (offer the Eucharist), after confessing your sins, that your sacrifice may be pure”.
This became a central feature of European society, and has remained so.
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Sunday needs to be rescued from becoming just another work day.
This European initiative is a good one.
Other countries like Australia should consider doing the same.