For full reports and exact statements of the denomination's position on a particular issue, the reader should look to the references provided.
The position of the church with respect to keeping the Lord's Day holy is based on the fourth commandment and on the observance of the Sabbath day by the Jewish people, which was translated to Sunday observance by the church from the time of the apostles. The CRC believes that Sunday must be so consecrated to worship that on that day we rest from all work except that which charity and necessity require and that we refrain from recreation that interferes with worship. The faith and practice of CRC members have been shaped by Q. and A. 103 of the Heidelberg Catechism regarding the fourth commandment:
103 Q. What is God's will for you in the fourth commandment?
that the gospel ministry and education for it be maintained,
and that, especially on the festive day of rest,
I diligently attend the assembly of God's people
to learn what God's Word teaches,
to participate in the sacraments,
to pray to God publicly,
and to bring Christian offerings for the poor.
that every day of my life
I rest from my evil ways,
let the Lord work in me through his Spirit,
and so begin in this life
the eternal Sabbath.
The CRC dealt with observance of the Lord's Day repeatedly in its early history, usually in regard to Sunday labor. The basic position was adopted in 1881 and reaffirmed in 1926 and 1940. In 1974 the churches were encouraged to guard the celebration of the Lord's Day against the onslaught of secularization.
References to Agendas and Acts of Synod
Acts of Synod 1857-1880, pp. 65, 66, 74, 111, 153, 189
Acts of Synod 1881, p. 19
Acts of Synod 1882, p. 12
Acts of Synod 1888, p. 23
Acts of Synod 1892, p. 24
Acts of Synod 1894, p. 58
Acts of Synod 1926, pp. 185-92
Acts of Synod 1936, p. 62
Acts of Synod 1938, pp. 34-35, 129
Acts of Synod 1939, pp. 77-78
Acts of Synod 1940, pp. 102-3
Acts of Synod 1941, p. 31
Acts of Synod 1942, pp. 133-40
Acts of Synod 1957, p. 105
Acts of Synod 1959, p. 61
Acts of Synod 1970, pp. 26, 347-48
Acts of Synod 1974, p. 32