When does the Lord's Day begin?

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Ranger

Puritan Board Freshman
Hey guys,
To be frankly honest, I am ashamed because this is an issue that my wife and I have only begun to deal with in our personal walks after three years of ministry in the church. For us, the Lord's Day meant going to church, going out to eat with friends before promptly returning to church where we would make copies of the evening bulletin, possibly put together a video for the evening service, etc. go to evening service, and then I would go to praise team practice. We now realize that many of those events do not fall under necessity or mercy and realistically could have been done on Saturday or on another evening during the week. We are going to try to dedicate the day to teaching, preaching, singing, fellowship, ministry, etc.

My question is this, when does it begin? Does it start at sundown Saturday? Midnight? Or at 4-5-6 A.M? I would really like to know. All I can find are the passages which speak of the disciples going to the tomb early on the morning of the resurrection. Thoughts?
 

Scot

Puritan Board Sophomore
Kyle,

I think we're safe in assuming that the Lord's Day is a 24 hour period, from midnight to midnight. Scripture doesn't tell us this for sure but I think it may imply this. In John 20 it tells us that Christ arose while it was still dark. Also, in Acts 20:7, it says that Paul preached until midnight.

I know that's not much to go on. Maybe someone else has looked at this more in-depth but I've always looked at it as being from midnight to midnight.
 

jfschultz

Puritan Board Junior
It should apply to all the hours of Sunday from rising in the morning to going to bed at night. When the change occurs in the hours you are asleep should not have major significance.

The Jews held, and still hold to sunset to sunset. This is proabably based on the lanugage in Gen 1 used to define each day, and make it clear that it is a solar (24 hr.) day.
 

yeutter

Puritan Board Senior
Eastern Orthodox Churches have their Vespers Services Saturday Night rather then Sunday. I have often wondered if it would not be helpful to have a preparatory service on Saturday evening so we would have time to reflect and prepare ourselves to come to the Lord's Table on Sunday.
 

Peter

Puritan Board Junior
[b:de4209037e]jfschultz[/b:de4209037e]
[quote:de4209037e]It should apply to all the hours of Sunday from rising in the morning to going to bed at night. [/quote:de4209037e]

True, however, for those who are not asleep during the change it is an important question. (eg Someone who works irregular hours or lives in a part of the world with only a couple hrs night, etc.)

[b:de4209037e]yeutter[/b:de4209037e]
[quote:de4209037e]I have often wondered if it would not be helpful to have a preparatory service on Saturday evening so we would have time to reflect and prepare ourselves to come to the Lord's Table on Sunday.[/quote:de4209037e]

The Puritans emphasised preparing for the Lord's Day.
Thomas Watson: "This day (the Sabbath) approaching, we must in the morning dress and fit our souls for the receiving of the Word. The people of Israel had to wash their garments before the Law was delivered to them. Our hearts must be washed by prayer and repentence before the oracles of God are to be delivered to us"
 

Peter

Puritan Board Junior
[b:8ef7fe30f2]jfschultz[/b:8ef7fe30f2]
[quote:8ef7fe30f2]It should apply to all the hours of Sunday from rising in the morning to going to bed at night. [/quote:8ef7fe30f2]

True, however, for those who are not asleep during the change it is an important question. (eg Someone who works irregular hours or lives in a part of the world with only a couple hrs night, etc.)

[b:8ef7fe30f2]yeutter[/b:8ef7fe30f2]
[quote:8ef7fe30f2]I have often wondered if it would not be helpful to have a preparatory service on Saturday evening so we would have time to reflect and prepare ourselves to come to the Lord's Table on Sunday.[/quote:8ef7fe30f2]

The Puritans emphasised preparing for the Lord's Day.
Thomas Watson: "This day (the Sabbath) approaching, we must in the morning dress and fit our souls for the receiving of the Word. The people of Israel had to wash their garments before the Law was delivered to them. Our hearts must be washed by prayer and repentence before the oracles of God are to be delivered to us"
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
William Gouge, The Sabbath's Sanctification:

Question 48. When begins the Lord's Day?
Ans. In the morning, Acts 20:7.
When Paul came to the Church at Troas, he had a mind to spend a Lord's day with them, though he was in great haste to depart so soon as he could. He came, therefore, to their assembly at the time that they came together according to their custom; but he kept them till the end of the day (for he would not travel on the Lord's day); and having dismissed the assembly, he departed. Now it said that he continued his speech "till midnight" (Acts 20:7), even "till break of day" (verse 11), and then departed; which departure of his is said to be "on the morrow." By this punctual expression of the time, it appears that the first day of the week, the Lord's day, ended at midnight, and that then the morrow began. Now to make a natural day, which consisteth of twenty four hours, it must begin and end at the same time; for the end of one day is the beginning of another. There is not a minute betwixt them. As, therefore, the Lord's day ended at midnight, so it must begin at midnight, when we count the morning to begin. Which is yet more evident by this phrase, Matt. 28:1, "In the end of the Sabbath" (namely, of the week before which was the former Sabbath) "as it began to dawn" (namely, on the next day, which was the Lord's day). Or, as John 20:1, "when it was yet dark" there came divers to anoint the body of Jesus, but they found him not in the grave. He was risen before; so as Christ rose before the sun.

Question 49. What reasons may be given of the Lord's day beginning in the morning?
Ans. Other days then begin.
That they do so with us is evident by the account of our hours. For midnight ended, we begin with one o'clock; then the first hour of the day beginneth. And it appears to be so among the Jews; for when Aaron proclaimed, Exod. 32:5, 6, "Tomorrow shall be a feast to the Lord," "they rose up early on the morrow." I deny not but that sundry of the Jewish feasts began in the evening, as the Passover (Exod. 12:6). But it cannot be proved that their weekly Sabbath so began. There were special reasons for the beginning of those feasts in the evening, which did then begin. As for the supposed beginnings of the first days gathered out of this phrase: "the evening and the morning were the first day;" they cannot be necessarily concluded to be at the evening. For the evening and the morning there importeth the moment of the evening and morning parting from one another, and the return to the same period; which moment is rather at the beginning of the morning than of the evening. The evening useth to be referred to the end of the day and the morning to the beginning, as Exod. 29:38, 29; 1 Sam. 17:16; John 20:19.

Question 50. What other reason is there of the Lord's day beginning in the morning.
Ans. Christ then rose, Mark 16:2, 9.
Of Christ's rising in the morning, no question can be made; all the evangelists agree in the narration thereof. Now the Lord's day being a memorial of Christ's resurrection, if it should begin in the evening, the memorial would be before the thing itself, wihch is absurd to imagine. As all God's works were finished before the first Sabbath, so all Christ's sufferings before the Lord's day. His lying dead in the grave was a part of his suffering. Therefore, by his resurrection was all ended. With his resurrection, therefore, must the Lord's day begin.
To make the evening before the Lord's day a time of preparation thereunto is a point of piety and prudence; but to make it a part of the Lord's day is erroneous, and in many respects very inconvenient.
 

Puddleglum

Puritan Board Sophomore
Without any real support from anything, I tend to say that the Sabbath starts whenever I go to bed Saturday, and ends when I go to bed Sunday. Or you could say from when I get up Sunday to when I get up Monday, it doesn't really make a huge difference (except for when I can't sleep Saturday night / Sunday morning and spend some of that time thinking about the Sabbath . . . ).
 
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