Sabbath and Its Meaning in Rabbinic Judaism
The study approaches the meaning of Sabbath in Judaism. It is concerned with a definition of Sabbath as “a temple in time”, a tradition referring to the creation of the world and human imitation of the Divine creativity as well as the Divine rest understood as an element of liberation from slavery and salvation at the end of times. The author also deals with the mysticism interpreting Sabbath as the connection of heaven and earth including marital symbolism.
Saturday and Sunday in Ancient Christianity
The study analyses the role of the holy day of Christians in the early church. It summarizes the main sources from the beginning of the 2nd century and evaluates them in the perspective of contemporary trends within historical research of this period. They stem from the justifiable assumptions that separation of the groups of Jesus’s disciples from the synagogue of pre-rabbinic Judaism was much more gradual process realised not until the 2nd century. The study also outlines the main reasons supporting the statement that the link between Sunday and celebration of the resurrection of Jesus was not obvious from the beginning but it was the result of the later theological development.
Validity, Fulfilment, Dispensation
The Sunday Obligation in the Historical Context
The study maps the development within the Catholic Church of the obligation to participate in the Eucharistic celebration on Sunday. It emphasises medieval and post-Tridentine period connecting the participation with building a discipline in society, forming its identity and supporting solidarity with the ruling power. The author proves the link among various (not only religious) aspects and the Sunday obligation as well as their mutual functioning within the social system. The culmination of this tendency (in completion of the parish network) at the end of 18th century quickly transforms after the French revolution into the gradual erosion. The conflict between needs of the modern society and demands of the church is the cause of declining public interest to participate in holy mass on Sunday. The author understands the contemporary crisis as an opportunity to return to the essence of Sunday celebration leaving the obligations formulated in terms of power behind and offering what is the core of Christian worship to the secular world.
Ludvík Armbruster SJ and Jan Regner SJ
Faith and Ritual
An Experience of Hidden Christians in Japan
The text written by two Czech Jesuits describes a period in the history of Japan characterised by the initial openness of the country to the European influence including Christianity in the 16th century, followed by the radical isolation from the foreign world set in 17th century. As a result, hundreds of thousands converts to Christianity were left without priests or any contact with the outside church. However, illegal Christians were able to hold on to their faith for generations regardless serious troubles, create elaborated systems of symbolic language and terms and live out of their religious identity in a different way.
Assessing Public Perception of Sunday in Czech Society
An Interview with a Sociologist Vojtěch Prokeš
The interview based on the representative sociological online survey of 600 respondents reveals how Sunday is perceived by Czech society. It shows that Sunday always holds the exclusive position within a week, it is not understood only as the second Saturday or another business day and the ideal Sunday is not spent in a shopping centre. Czech people mostly link Sunday with their need of time for themselves, time for others, and experience of safety. Josed Prokeš, the priest who conducted the interview, theologically reflects the sociological data and searches how Christian approach to Sunday can be appropriately offered to the contemporary society.
Petr Beneš CSsR
Eucharist as the Source of Christian Life
The essay by Petr Beneš originates in the experience of closed churches and complicated access of the faithful to the Eucharist during the coronavirus crisis. In this context, the author turns to the essence of the Eucharist. He explains that the situation we have all encountered, should have not – and in the theological perspective could not move us away from the Eucharist. It should have encouraged us to more intensive eucharistic life, hierarchically orientated to Jesus Christ, experienced in the community of the church representing the sacrifice of Christ. We had an opportunity to realize interconnection among particular manifestations of ecclesiastical life, appreciate the crucial position of the common priesthood and learn to respect the plurality of functions within the church and their own dignity.
Christianity without Eucharist – Eucharist without Christianity
A Theological Reflexion of Sunday Celebration in Covid-19 Crisis
The essay examines the reaction of the Catholic Church to the coronavirus crisis. The author asks if the strong individual gestures including Pope Francis’s extraordinary Urbi et Orbi is going to be the best fruit of the crisis for Christians? First, he maps spreading of the coronavirus and reactions of the Catholic Church to this issue. Second, he theologically examines these reactions – mass live-‑streams, domestic liturgies, dispensations, non-liturgical celebrations, etc. Third, he proposes some inspirations for Sunday celebration waiting to be reinvented in the post pandemic period.
Is Sunday Celebration Going to Be Transformed After the Coronavirus?
The text concerned with Sunday worship was influenced by the experience of celebration without mass participation during the period of pandemic restrictions in the spring 2020. The author systematically proceeds from the general description of the feast day celebration in the Bible and in the history; through the explanation of the possible substitutional way of fulfilling the Sunday obligation; to the solution of issues related to contemporary shortage of priests. The first part deals with the sense of the third commandment in Decalogue, the meaning of the eucharistic celebration and the possibility of a “substitution” for mass attendance. The second part analyses various ways of solving the problem of the shortage of priests causing the impossibility to attend Sunday Eucharistic service experienced in numerous local parishes as well as abroad. The third chapter contains some impulses involved in the documents following the synod of Amazonia. The fourth part outlines the solution options of the issue in the future.
The Spiritual Autobiography
The letter of Simone Weil addressed to the priest and her spiritual director in 1942 reveals her deep bond to Christianity and the church even though she wasn’t willing to receive baptism. Weil explains the paradox in the letter, in many aspects close to the experience of a modern man in general regarding his relation to the sacred and Christianity itself.
A survey on celebration
We asked five different people to approach the issue of celebration from their specific perspective: Radkin Honzák as a psychologist, Tomáš Holub as a military chaplain, Jaroslav Pulkrábek as a sacristan in a periphery of Šumava region, Ján Rybář as a man who experienced prison and Richard Hlaváček as a Czech Muslim.