The church’s role in reviving Sunday observance among the youth of Achilet Parish in light of Dies Domini
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The study has been carried out on the Church’s role in reviving Sunday observance among the youth of Achilet Parish. Right from the very beginning of the early Church, Sunday has always been revered at the heart of Christianity. Christians converged on Sunday, the day of Jesus Christ’s Resurrection, the fundamental event upon which our Christian faith rests. The early Church Fathers generally viewed the Lord's Day as the proper Christian observance. The Code of Canon Law holds that Sunday is to be observed as the foremost holy day of obligation in the Universal Church. The faithful are bound to participate in the Holy Mass on Sundays and other holy days of obligation (CIC, Cann. 1246-1247). However, amidst the importance Sunday, the Lord’s Day, we notice that Changes in socioeconomic conditions have led to profound modification of social behaviour and hence of the character of Sunday. Today, with the custom of the “weekend” becoming more wide spread, a weekly period of respite, spent, perhaps far from home, Characterised with secular activities mainly, Sunday loses its fundamental meaning and becomes merely part of a “weekend,” and hence leading to diminishing Church attendance and Sunday Liturgy among the youth. A large number of them are unable to stand firm with conviction in their faith. There is growing gap between the devoted elderly faithful and the youth Worse still, they end up shunning Sunday celebration and even quit the Catholic Church, decline in morality and a number of them resort to addiction to substance and drug abuse. All these inspired me to carry out a research study with the main objective to establish the role of the Church in restoring Sunday observance. This has been achieved through exposing the meaning and importance of Sunday, investigating why Christians especially the Youths shun Sunday observance and suggesting ways how the Church can restore Sunday observance among the youth. A research methodology that used both random and non-random sampling was construed. Different tools of data collection were used and they included: oral interviews, questionnaires, participatory observation, non participatory observation, focus group discussion. From the field, the major reasons why the Youth shun Sunday observance and even end up quitting the Catholic Church include: Inadequate spiritual nourishment as attested to by 58 (31.4%) of the respondents. The second most of the factors is Uninspiring Liturgy as is evidenced by 43 (23.2%) respondents. The third is Inadequate catechesis and Ignorance of the Catholic doctrine as attested by 36 (18.4%). Insufficient attention given to the youth as observed by 20 (10.8%). Irresponsible parents as evidenced by 17 (9.2%) and Influence of Schools and Institutions as evidenced by 11(6%). Therefore, we came up with the following conclusions: the Church urgently needs ongoing Mystagogical Catechesis on the significance and sacredness of Sunday, encouragement and promotion of vocation to the Priesthood, recruitment and training of more catechists who are committed to their ministry in order to restore Sunday observance. When adequate attention is given to the Youth and parents take their obligations of nurturing the faith of the children seriously, the Catholic Church will revive Sunday observance among the Youth.