When I was a little girl, I lived in Kelligrews. It wasn’t even Conception Bay South at that time; the towns were separate entities and I had already moved into St. John’s when Conception Bay South was formally amalgamated. On Sunday, everything was closed. No one worked unless they were essential workers. In my household, Sunday was a complete day of rest. No one did chores, except cooking meals. No homework was done for school, that was done on Saturday. We couldn’t play cards and the day was a church day.
In the morning, we would get out of bed and get some breakfast. The next step was to wash your face and brush your teeth. Then the most exciting part for me was picking out my outfit to wear to church. It was always the best dress I had. My shoes had been cleaned and shined on Saturday and I had to find my whitest socks for church. We all dressed up in our best clothes and everyone piled into the car. Mom would stay home to cook lunch but everyone else went to church. We were told to be on our best behaviour in church because God was watching, and we needed to show him respect. At that time, there were three of us, all under eight years old. You would think dad had his hands full, but I don’t remember us being badly behaved. We had our good clothes on, and we were in church—a place we were to listen and sit quietly.
When church was finished, we went back home and took off our good clothes to have lunch. Mom always cooked Sunday dinner which meant chicken, salt meat, all the vegetables, dressing and gravy! A feast in our opinion!
After lunch, we all got ready again to leave the house. This time, we didn’t have to be dressed up. The next step in our Sunday was to go to Sunday School. At that time, it was held in our regular school and not in the church. Once again, we all piled in the car. Sunday School lasted a couple of hours and then we would return home for the evening. Supper would be the next step in our Sunday routine where everyone, including my grandparents, would gather once again at the kitchen table to share the leftovers from lunch. After supper, we would get ready for bed and prepare for the busy week ahead. We all had after school activities and volunteering during the week to prepare for, so my parents told us it was especially important to get a good night’s sleep on Sunday. Before bed we would all say our prayers, kneeling at the side of our beds, with mom or dad leading the prayers. A kiss good night would end the day and then we were off to dreamland!
By today’s standard, our Sunday routine seems rather boring, but we had a family day which was focused on church, Our Lord and Saviour, and being together without everyday chores and activities. We all went places together, as a family, ate as a family and prayed as a family. No matter how much “work” had to be done, it was never done on Sunday, and yet, we all had plenty of time to accomplish everything we needed to do in the other six days of the week.
Our lives have become so very very busy that we don’t stop to appreciate our many blessings—family, togetherness, down time, and faith. God has given us the ability to accomplish anything we put our minds to, but in today’s world that means being busy all day every day without a break. Even God rested on the seventh day when he created the heavens and the earth. God wants us to rest as well for one day a week: hopefully, spending that day with him!
God bless you all!