First Day

I’ve become aware recently through various readings that Quakers used to call Sunday ‘First Day’. I’ve always thought of Saturday and Sunday as the weekend, that is, the end of the week, or the last two days of the week. Over the last few years when I’ve installed new calendar software on a computer, it’s often asked “Which day would you like to be the first day of the week”. I found it curious to have a choice.

What would it mean for Sunday to be the first day of the week, rather than Monday? For me it’d mean not starting the week with the mad rush of school and work. It’d mean starting the week with Meeting for Worship, spending time with family and being (at least slightly) more quiet and contemplative than I am during the working week.
So, I think I’m going to start the week on Sunday.

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2 Responses to “First Day”

  1. Anna D Says:

    When I was a child I used to assume calendars and so on that had Sunday at the beginning of the week were due to some weird overseas custom. After all we had ‘week-end’ and Monday was always referred to as the start of the week. What little explanation I had been given was Sunday was our day of rest in recognition of God’s day of rest on the 7th day of creation.

    I later learned that in the Jewish faith Saturday was the Sabbath/day of rest and after all they beat the christians to having a calendar by several hundreds (thousands?) of years which kind of explained the week starting on a Sunday, but not it being the first day of the week AND a day of rest – which Testament was right – old or new? Surely you had to work first to earn your day of rest? I think around this point I was starting to struggle with the whole bible/church thing and opted for going along with semantic literalism (week-end) rather than religious doctrine.

    I like the idea of starting the week with worshipful contemplation of what is to come – and I like the idea of starting every day with it even more but know I don’t have the discipline to do so (unless you count my daily ponderings between hitting the snooze button before getting up – you were right, that resolution failed abysmally!). But right now my week is rarely defined in the ways of most people so it all feels somewhat academic beyond knowing which column to look at on the calendar.

  2. Anna D Says:

    ps – meant to say – some Friends still do call it First Day, mostly in the States but not exclusively so.

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