Last night we slept with the windows open, and at various intervals this morning (6:30, 6:50, 7:00, 7:20) I was aware of car doors closing, engines starting and people driving away, many of whom I believe were heading to work.
Sunday has become, in many respects, just another day. I remember the first time I walked into a grocery store on a Sunday, and the first time in a department store. It was a strange feeling; like I shouldn’t be here, and neither should anyone else. The stores were not particularly busy and the argument was made that they wouldn’t do any more business than they might have in six days.
Growing up in Canada, I often heard older people speak of The Lord’s Day Alliance Act. Wikipedia explains:
In 1888, the Lord’s Day Alliance came into existence as the result mainly of Presbyterian and Methodist interests. Leading up to 1906, the Lord’s Day Alliance advocated the national Lord’s Day Bill. They were opposed by Roman Catholics and Anglicans.
The Lord’s Day Act, which since 1906 had prohibited business transactions from taking place on Sundays, was struck down as unconstitutional in the 1985 case R. v. Big M Drug Mart Ltd. Calgary police officers witnessed several transactions at the Big M Drug Mart, all of which occurred on a Sunday. Big M was charged with a violation of the Lord’s Day Act. A provincial court ruled that the Lord’s Day Act was unconstitutional, but the Crown proceeded to appeal all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada. In a unanimous 6-0 decision, the Lord’s Day Act was ruled an infringement of the freedom of conscience and religion defined in section 2(a) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
I remember hearing stories of the major stores in downtown Toronto actually covering up their window displays from Saturday night until Monday morning in what might have been strict adherence to the act or personal convictions.
But today it’s hard to tell the difference between Sunday and any other day. In Canada, I think that’s due to a mixture of religious pluralism (partly because of immigration and partly owing to general secularization) and business owners who lack conviction on the matter. I wonder what they’d think of Chick-fil-A in this country?
Here’s a classic from Evie about “walkin’ to church on a Sunday morning…”
…and from the a classic gospel music-themed song from Neil Diamond