I remember the days when if you needed something on Sunday, you went to the local variety store. They had the basics. If you needed a loaf of bread, a bottle of OJ or a can of peas, you were all set. Then, it was as if a wind swept through the country, all the malls, shopping centers, super markets and now even liquor stores were open on Sundays. Back in the day, I remember Sunday distinctly as the Lord’s Day. As an only child, my parents and I went to Mass together at the St. Anthony’s, the Italian parish in Woonsocket. The three of us would be dressed to kill. I had my little suit and my mother her long white gloves and hats, and of course my father to this day won’t go to Mass dressed down.
After Mass, we went to a bakery for fresh, hot, steaming rolls. I can still remember the long lines and the aroma of the fresh baked breads, it filled that neighborhood. My parents would purchase two dozen of those rolls, one dozen for me to eat on the way home and the other for our Sunday dinner. Every Sunday, dinner was a big deal. You could smell the pasta sauce throughout the house. On a few occasions, I remember the parish priests joining us for dinner. They were all close to our family, since my father grew up across the street from St. Anthony’s.
Sunday didn’t end with dinner. There wasn’t a Sunday that we didn’t visit with relatives or they didn’t visit with us. I can sill see all of us children running around in my grandparent’s yard and the adults gathered in the house. The men often played a game called Morra. It was really annoying, because everyone was screaming out the numbers, in hopes they would win. We would also visit my aunt and uncle on my father’s side of the family. All of these visits were filled with food, laughter, loud conversation, more food, fun and even more food.
Along with our ability to shop anywhere on Sunday, people haven’t just stopped going to church, they have stopped spending time together. In the past, life was much more simple, we were much more human, we were much more balanced. Sunday is about worshiping God above all things, but it’s also about spending time with those you love.
Sunday has become a time to do the things we don’t have time to do during the week when we work. It’s our free time to do the shopping, mow the lawn, paint the house. In fact, Sunday is so busy, that we need a day to rest from our Sunday activities. How unfortunate it is, we no longer celebrate the Lord’s Day on Sunday, but our day!